2014 Sinulog in Joso, Ibaraki, Japan

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Philippine Star

More than 200 Filipinos came for this year's Sinulog celebration in Joso, in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. Participants came from various neighboring areas. Aside from Tsukuba and Toride, kababayans came from Maebashi and Kusatsu of Gumma Prefecture led by Sr. Flor Florece, the original organizer of the first Sinulog Celebration in Joso!  Together with some Japanese and other foreign guests, everyone had a happy fiesta here in honor of our Sto. Niño!

After the Mass celebrated by Fr. Tony and assisted by Brother Rannie that set the spiritual tone for the celebration, a procession followed with the worshippers dancing while carrying their own Sto. Niño statues. Then a program followed, with participants from various Filipino groups sharing their dance numbers with the happy audience.

The beautiful ladies and two gentlemen from the Tsukuba Catholic Church were the first to present their version of their tribute to Baby Jesus, their dance calling attention to the continuing worship of God and Baby Jesus since Christianity was embraced by Filipinos in Cebu. The Tsukuba dancers wanted the audience to remember the rich historical and cultural tapestry of our nation through their dance. They also offered their dance in thanksgiving for God's grace for our country and for peace and prosperity to reign among our people and our land.

The Toride group followed, with two young girls gracefully smiling through their dance number with the beautiful ladies all clad in red. Then, it was the turn of the host community, the Joso Catholic Church dance group, in their bright yellow costume and beautiful fancy fans.

With the very lively interpretation of the Sinulog dance, everyone learned to memorize parts of the Sinulog song while watching the lively dance groups rendering their numbers! "Pit Senyor, Pit Senyor, ishagit og kusog…!"

Like fiestas back in the Philippines, the Sinulog celebration here had its ample share of a variety of delicious Filipino food: dinuguan, adobo, nangka with gata and bagoong, boiled saging sab-a, barbecue and more! Would have been complete with Cebu's famous lechon here though!!

Sponsors and donors shared raffle prizes --iPad reserved for the first prize winner! Sponsors from various banks and telecommunications company had booths as well to inform the Filipino clientele about their services and offers.

Rain was predicted for January 26, Sunday but God generously allowed the sun to shine the whole day allowing all to really enjoy the dances, the food, and the third year of Sinulog celebration at Joso!

Where Filipinos gather, expect just as many children to be present! Surprisingly, they were well-behaved during the Mass and looked happy, enjoying the dances, the food and the games that they played together. For sure, the Sinulog will be part of their happy childhood memories. May they also learn to embrace the spiritual dimension of the Sinulog celebration.

Our congratulations to our Joso kababayans and Sr. Rose Remigio for hosting this year's very happy Sinulog celebration! To Gerlie Martinez Nakakuki, the dynamic coordinator of the Joso Church Filipino community, to Eleonor and Dodong Soliva, Haya Mencias Salvador Jr., Roberto Mandreza, and all others from Joso who gave their precious time and effort to make this year's Sinulog celebration a happy and memorable affair especially for our kababayans, maraming maraming salamat po!!! Even if they were extremely tired as they prepared for the choir, their Sinulog dance number, they set up the booths, cooked food and more, with Sr. Rose, they were there for all the guests, with their happy smiles, warm welcome and joyful celebration of the feast of our Sto. Niño! Mabuhay kayong lahat and daghang salamat! Otsukaresama!

Everyone left happy and this early, are already looking forward to next year's Sinulog Fiesta in Joso!!! Until next year's celebration, let us continue to celebrate the love and grace of our Baby Jesus - PIT SENYOR everyone!


Email: [email protected].

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