Cebu News

Sinulog among Asia’s top festivals

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —   Cebu City’s Sinulog Festival has been chosen by the International Events and Festivals Association (IFEA) Korea as one of the Top Three Ocean Cities’ Festivals.

The award will be presented at the Ocean Tourism Festival City Forum in Tongyeong City, Korea on March 25, 2022.

IFEA Korea is recognized as an authority on Asian festivals specializing in research and the collection of practical knowledge on these cultural celebrations. It organizes activities such as conferences and competitions to discover excellence and creativity in festival events throughout the region.

DOT-7 Director Shahlimar Hofer Tamano, in a press statement, describes the award as “recognition of the grandeur that is Sinulog.”

“It is an acknowledgment of the role that the festival plays in enhancing the lives of the Cebuanos and tourists,” he said.

IFEA Asia president Gang Hoan Jeong invited Department of Tourism (DOT) Korea Office Director Ma. Corazon Jorda-Apo to make a 15-minute presentation about Sinulog during the forum.

Gang specified that Tongyeong is interested in a cooperative arrangement with Cebu for knowledge-sharing towards further developing both cities as tourist destinations.

The Sinulog Festival was nominated to the awards through a global selection process, wherein recommendations were received from the branches of the World Festival Association in America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Domestic festival experts then voted on a set of finalists from which the members of IFEA Korea selected the winners.

The Pattaya Fireworks Festival of Thailand and Hansan Battle Festival of Tongyeong are also among the awardees this year.

Last year, the Boryeong Mud Festival of Korea, Songkran Festival of Thailand, and Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival of China received the recognition.

Sinulog is a ritual prayer-dance honoring the Señor Sto. Niño. It is an annual cultural and religious celebration that peaks with fluvial and foot processions and on the third Sunday of January, a grand parade.

The festival has been celebrated for 42 years already. It has since evolved into the Philippines’s biggest event hosting millions for the series of activities commemorating the 16th century arrival of the Spanish fleet in Cebu and the first baptism on Philippine soil.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent Typhoon Odette, the Sinulog was still celebrated, though not in the same manner as in the normal times. – JMD (FREEMAN)


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