Archive for October, 2011

City finally launches official Sinulog flower

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

AFTER more than a decade, the Cebu City Government launched yesterday the official flower for the Sinulog.

Unknown to many, Franklin Seno, consultant of the Hillyland Management Board, said the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) has declared the “celosia” as the official Sinulog flower in 2000 yet.However, Seno said the flower has not been officially launched to the public until yesterday because the Hillyland Management Board became stagnant for years.

In yesterday’s activity in Barangay Sirao, the celosia flower was also named by the City as the “Halad sa Sto. Niño” flower as it features the prominent colors of the garment of the Sto Niño: yellow and red. (Read more)

Sinulog: The Festival and The Dance

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

EVERY Friday, the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño pulsates with the activity of visiting worshippers and the Sinulog dancers-cum-vendors.

These vendors meet the churchgoers at the grounds of this 18th century legacy and ask if they are interested in having the prayer-dance performed in their behalf. After agreeing on the number of candles, the vendor positions herself at the church door and starts lifting her arms, dancing rhythmically with her candle-laden hands upraised in supplication – this is the Sinulog dance.

The dance moves two steps forward and one step backward. This movement resembles the current (sulog) of what was then known as the Pahina River thus, in local dialect, Sinulog. At this festival, the ritual is performed to the beat of the drums in the streets of this oldest city in the Philippines. Thousands of visitors visit Cebu to see this glorious Mardi Gras.

It is said that long before Ferdinand Magellan discovered Cebu in 1521 and brought Christianity, the Sinulog dance was already performed by the natives in honor of their wooden idols and anitos.

Historians further say that during the 44 years between the coming of Magellan and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the natives continued to dance the Sinulog. However, when Legaspi arrived in 1565, the natives were already dancing the Sinulog as a sign of reverence to the Santo Niño which is now enshrined in the basilica.

Before 1721, the Fiesta Señor was observed every April 28. On that year, Pope Innocent XIII decreed that the feast be celebrated on the second Sunday of January after the Epiphany, to avoid the season of Lent. The Augustinians highlight the occasion on the day earlier (a Saturday), with a Grand Procession of the miraculous image of the Holy Child in the streets of Cebu city, joined by hundreds of thousands of the faithful.

The simple ritual and fiesta inside the basilica grounds every Friday were expanded into an impressive community dance in the 80s a Mardi Gras deserving of the Holy Image.

Many artists and chorographers have created several variations to the Sinulog dance but are unanimous in their usage of the Sinulog dance step and beat. When this festival was founded in 1981, in order for it to be distinguished from the Ati-Atihan festival of Aklan, the organizers decided to use the parade to depict the history of the Sinulog which, as has been said, is the dance that links the country’s pagan past and the Christian present.

Hubo, the ritual

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

By Jenara Regis Newman

According to Fr. Ambrosio Galindez, OSA, “hubo” came about because there are a lot of people who want to have the privilege of giving the Santo Niño His garments. So every year He always has new clothes.

In the old days, he continues, the Santo Niño ritual dressing was done in the relative privacy of the convento’s large sala. Then the privilege of dressing the Santo Niño belonged to a group of Spanish women. With the Filipinization of the congregation, the privilege of dressing the Niño also changed hands.

This time, it was the Filipino women’s turn to dress the Niño. But the crowd in the sala became so numerous that around 1990, the congregation decided to make the ritual public so all the devotees who wish to can witness the Hubo.

With this change in the ritual, the dressing became the task of the priest chosen to officiate it. The ritual is incorporated in the Mass, done usually before or after the Gospel, depending on the officiating priest.

Removed in the following order are the crown; then the orb and scepter and armlet (or vambrace); the bands; the cape; the tunic; the inner garments; and finally the boots. With each item of clothing removed, invocations, commemorating Christ’s suffering and death, are said.

The naked Niño is then dipped into a basin of water for His “bath”, after which the Niño is dressed in his new garments in the following order: His inner garments, then His boots, His tunic, His bands, His cape, His scepter and orb and armlet, and finally His crown. Every piece put on the Santo Niño is also accompanied by prayers, this time invoking the glory of His resurrection.

The part the devotees eagerly wait for then follows: the water in which the Niño was “bathed” is sprinkled on the crowd.

After this, the Mass goes on, and the fiesta festivities officially close. But not the devotion to the Santo Niño which goes on and on, becoming more fervent and the devotees becoming more numerous with every grace, both spiritual and material, that comes from this miraculous Child. Pit Senyor!


Father of the Sinulog Mardi Gras

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

By Manual N. Oyson

OVER 20 years ago one Sunday when the religious “Sinulog” dance of faith and veneration was transported from within the private walls of the Santo Basilica on Jones Avenue to become a public showcase, with college students meandering and dancing in the streets surrounding the basilica to the beat of (would you believe?) “Hala bira!”

That was then an experiment, in the cultural tradition of Aklan’s annual “Ati-atihan” and Iloilo’s “Dinagyang.”BRAINCHILD: Instead of frayed and furrowed women candle vendors dancing and supplicating to the Santo Niño, with their rhythmic one-two steps within the gates of the historic church, the same was brought to the streets for the very first time. It was an experiment that immediately caught the fancy and excitement of the public, including visitors and pilgrims from outside Cebu.

Big colleges and universities willingly marshaled their physical education students to the brainchild of then Director David S. Odilao Jr. of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to showcase the “Sinulog” to the general public for the first time. They have been doing so every year since, while the “Sinulog” has become a religious and cultural spectacle of revelry and merrymaking of pandemonium proportions.

If for this reason alone, Odilao should be included among the ranks of the 100 most notable Cebuanos of the century. His forte and expertise was not politics, education or entrepreneurial. Rather, it was cultural reawakening and revivalism. In 1982, no less than former Cebu city mayor Florentino Solon called him publicly “Father of the Sinulog.”

OVERLOOKED: Despite his expertise, Odilao has practically been disregarded by organizers since the “Sinulog” Mardi Gras became a world-renowned extravaganza. But he will not be forgotten. He is a recipient of the Perlas Award as one of the 10 most outstanding Filipinos in the field of tourism; the Great Cebuano Award in the field of leadership; and the Presidential Award from Arena-7 and the Civil Service Commission.

In 1995, he was elevated to the Cebu Sports Hall of Fame for involvement and vital contribution to sports development in Cebu and other parts of the country. And many, many more distinctions in his public and private life. In the cultural history of the province, his name and fame is already secured. Does anyone still recall Miguel Lopez de Le-gazpi?

NOTES: The proposed Philippine Sports hall of Fame was conceptualized in 1985, or five years before the Cebu Sports Hall of Fame.

Businessman Danding Cojuangco was the chairman of the PSHF board.

The Edsa Revolution the next year aborted the project. The Philippine Sports Commission will be the lead agency once the bill establishing it is signed by President Estrada…I have just received the Sports Illustrated 2000 Sports Almanac from my son in Detroit, Michigan. It is 852 pages thick.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I want to play in the PBA and honestly that’s what I really wanted to do now.” – Dondon Hontiveros, quoted by Daily Inquirer, on the announcement that he has inked a P150,000 monthly salary with San Miguel beer.

(This article was first published in the Jan. 16, 2000 issue of Sun.Star Cebu)