Sinulog Festival

TBC Jan 2018
Cebu City, Cebu

Dance-offs, historical re-enactments and a 12 hour parade - it can only be Cebu's Sinulog Festival.

  • When? TBC 2018
  • Where? Cebu City, Cebu
  • Price: Free

Forget any notions that this is your average X Factor style fight to the death - Cebu's Sinulog Festival offers a far more exciting and colourful competition. Held every year in January this all-day, all-night cultural and religious extravaganza hosts dancing competitions as well as a city-wide parade. 

The festival theme tells the story of the arrival of the Spanish in 1521 and brings together both tribal and Catholic elements. One of the biggest events are the Sinulog dance-offs which see performances from different troupes occur around the city. Traditional colourful dress is worn by hundreds of people; there's also a 12 hour parade which attracts visitors from across the region. Beating drums, pealing trumpets and traditional gongs provide the musical backdrop while flotillas glide past adorned with brightly hued ribbons and flowers. The dancers take two steps forward and one step back to imitate water currents (the Cebuano word sulog means currents).

For the dance competitions, there's a first prize of one million pesos up for grabs (time to get practicing perhaps?). Even if your moves aren't quite up to scratch you can still attend to soak up the festive, carnival-esque atmosphere. The parade ends at beautiful Basilica Minore del Santo Niño when a re-enactment of historic baptisms takes place. Get there early if you want a chance to see anything from the front; Sinulog Festival is hugely popular. 

Don't worry there isn't a Simon Cowell or Louis Walsh in sight (not that they could judge dancing anyway).

  • Get there: Fly into Cebu and use taxis to get around the island.
  • Stay: Book accommodation in Cebu City to be in the heart of the action.

*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!