Archive for the ‘ Features ’ Category

Photojournalists win Sinulog video documentary

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

CEBU CITY — A documentary film about Cebuanos’ strong faith in Sr. Sto. Nino in the midst of the recent fires that hit the city is this year’s Sinulog 2012 Best Video Documentary.

“F-Stops” was written and directed by Aldo Nelbert Banaynal, a photographer of The Freeman, one of Cebu’s local newspapers.

F-STOPS: A Documentary on Fire & Faith from BANAYNAL BROTHERS FILMS

Reynan Villena, also a photographer of The Freeman, helped Banaynal in the documentary. Banaynal and Villena’s entry bested 12 other entries for the Sinulog 2012 Video Documentary.

F-Stops is a documentary on the harsh effects of fire in the city as seen through the eyes and lenses of Banaynal and Villena. It contains actual footages of the two photographers’ risky coverage in relation to Cebuanos faith in Sto. Nino as their protector in times of trouble.

It also showcased the lives of photographers and the risks they face while performing their job.

The same entry also won the Best Story, Best Director, Best in Cinematography and Best Narrator. (Sunnex)


New Zealand celebrates Sinulog

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

TAKING off with a procession of the image of the Santo Niño and the Virgin Mary at 10:30 a.m., nearly 10,000 people gathered together for this year’s Sinulog at the North Shore Events Centre in Auckland, New Zealand on January 15.

The Sinulog Dance Troupe performed a praise dancing followed by a liturgical mass celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio for New Zealand, Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo.

Nearly 10,000 people gathered together for Sinulog 2012 at the North Shore Events Centre in New Zealand (JV Villanueva)

Auckland Catholic Filipino Chaplaincy head Rev. Fr. Ruben Elago co-presided the mass, along with Rev. Fr. Samuel Pulanco, Rev. Fr. Carlo Constantino Cruz, and Rev. Fr. Larry Rustia.

Filipinos, Indians, Pacific Islanders and New Zealand Europeans celebrated their faith as one and witnessed group dance performances depicting various Philippine tribal tales of worship to the Santo Niño, including how it all began in 1521 and a cultural dance to the tune of Dandin Ranillo’s “Cebu”.

A nine-day novena mass was held prior to the fiesta at the Good Shepherd Parish in Balmoral.

Sinulog has been celebrated annually in New Zealand for the past 18 years organized by the New Zealand-Filipino Santo Niño Devotees Trust led by Benemerenti awardees Miriam and Oscar Batucan.

The trust aims to promote the devotion to the Santo Niño and to build a shrine for the Holy Child Jesus. (Cherry C. Thelmo-Fernandez)

Sinug or Sinulog?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

CEBU CITY — The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi) sponsored a forum Monday discussing the difference between the “Sinug” and “Sinulog” in line with the Feast of the Señor Sto. Niño.

Dubbed as “Sinug or Sinulog? A dance offering for Sto. Niño,” the forum, held at the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, had Dr. Erlinda Alburo as the main speaker.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who attended the forum, said he is interested to learn the Sinug and Sinulog aspect “because in this way, we will understand our religion and tradition and to communicate better.” (Read more)


An award-winning Sinulog choreographer’s story

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

EVEN when he was still young, he already possessed the passion for dancing and fashion designing. Apparently, it is not surprising that that passion brought him to where he is right now.

On this year’s Sinulog Grand Parade, award-winning choreographer Barry Luche of Tribu Himag-ulaw has high hopes that the contingent will become this year’s champion – making them a grand slam winner.

The 34-year-old choreographer hopes that the Placer, Masbate contingent will keep its champion title for the third time in the Free-Interpretation category of Cebu’s grandest festival.

Award-winning choreographer Barry Luche (right, white shirt) checks and makes final touches of the dress for the lead dancer of Tribu Himag-ulaw of Placer, Masbate.

On this year’s Sinulog, Luche’s concept for the Masbate contingent is all about the living creation of God (particularly animals), showing all creatures giving praise to Sr. Sto. Niño, not just human beings.

Luche, however, said winning this year’s Sinulog competition is just a consolation prize for them as the number one reason why they joined the Sinulog is thier devotion for the Holy child Jesus.

Luche was born and raised in Daanbantayan, a town in the northern part of Cebu province. He recalled that when he was still young, he always wanted to be a dancer and costume designer.

“Ganahan na jud ko mosayaw bisag kadtong elementary pa ko,” he said. “And even in high school, nagsugod na ko tudlo og sayaw sa school.”

Son of a tourism official in Daanbantayan, he also worked as a fashion designer in Manila for two years, but he was asked by his father to return home to promote the town fiesta in their place.

“Gipa-uli ko sa ako papa sa Daanbantayan para mag.tudlo og sayaw sa among festival didto; para pud daw ma promote ang among lugar,” Luche said.

Few years later, he was hired by the Placer municipality for the Sinulog festival.

“Daghan nag-offer para mo-tudlo ko og sayaw sa ilang contingent para sa Sinulog, pero nagpabilin ko sa Masbate kay basin kaluy-an mi ni Sto. Niño nga maka-daug napud karun nga tuig.”

Asked what is his technique of being an award-winning choreographer, Luche mentioned one thing – patience. He said it is a characteristic a choreographer must possess.

He added that being friendly to the members is also an important thing, thus he didn’t have a huge difficulty in handling the dancers.

“This is because, willing man sila tanan,” Luche said. “Mao jud na ang pinaka-importante kay lisud kaau mag-choreograph sa mga dili willng mo-apil or kanang napugos lang.”

“Sa among contingent karun, naa gani mi 53 years old, tricycle driver, and even fisherman nga ni-apil. I let them join because of their willingness and their devotion to Sto. Niño,” he added. (Daryl Anunciado)

A mother’s devotion to Sto. Niño

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

MILAGROS Alalim, a senior citizen all the way from Leyte province, went to Cebu alone to fulfill her promise to the Sto. Niño.

Alalim, a retired teacher, went to the Cebu Port (Pier 1) to witness the fluvial procession Saturday morning. She went to the area as early as 3 a.m.

She said it is her promise to the Sto. Niño to join and witness the celebration of the Sinulog Festival every year.

Alalim, a mother of three, said when she was still a teacher at the Ybañez Memorial Elementary School in Tabango, Leyte, she always asked the school principal that she be allowed to join the Sinulog celebration.

Alalim, a single parent, said it was the Sto. Niño who helped her raise her three children; two of them are now policemen in Cebu while the other is a seaman.

Rhea Dogohoy, meanwhile, braved the cold morning when she, carrying her baby, joined the foot procession also called “Walk with Mary” on Friday.

Dogohoy, who came from Pardo, Cebu, said she is also a devotee of the Sto. Niño.

She said she brought her child with her during the procession as she offered her to the Holy Child Jesus.

She said she joins the “Walk with Jesus” and “Walk with Mary” every year.

Dagohoy also said the Holy Child Jesus always gives them good health and guidance. (Tashuana Alemania)

Badjaos at Cebu port on Sinulog

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

By Tashuana Alemania

BADJAOS, popularly known as “Sea Gypsies”, took advantage of the crowd before the fluvial parade started Saturday morning at Pier 1 in Cebu City.

They begged for alms from a throng of devotees who came to the port to witness the fluvial procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño that started around 6 a.m.

The people at the pier who were entertained by the Badjaos, on board their small boats, threw coins at them.

They seemed to be enjoying their work without minding the possible threat the sea may bring. One of them even brought her months-old child while paddling through the water.

Here’s a video of them at the Cebu City port before the fluvial procession:

A candle vendor’s story

Friday, January 13th, 2012

by Jhay-ar A. Book

SHE sleeps late along sidewalks and wakes up early; she runs after people but runs away from policemen. This is how Luz Canoy lives her life as a candle vendor. Her life is one among ordinary lives that remain unnoticed. But her story and her peers’ sure are worth a novel.

Luz is a 50-year-old mother of seven. Her husband works as a farmer in Pinamujan town, south of Cebu. With seven children, she admits it isn’t easy bringing food to the table with only her and her husband working.

With P200 on regular days, she says it is enough for her family to eat twice a day. But on peak seasons, like the Sinulog festival, she says she gets around P400 to P500, only if you work harder.

Working hard, for Luz, means convincing people to buy her candles among other dozens of candle vendors thronging devotees.

A soft-spoken Luz takes her post at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño during first and last Fridays of the month. This has been her life since the last 10 years. It takes for her enough strength and courage for the day’s work but Luz never complains. In fact, she admits she is content with such a life. She even shares they sometimes get nabbed for peddling beyond their assigned areas.

“Managan ra mi, kun’ di manago (We just run away or hide),” she jokingly says. If not at the Basilica, Luz helps her husband till their farm.

Candle vendors performing a dance accompanied by a song in native language, known as Sinulog, when lighting a candle, is a common sight at the Basilica with the Sinulog festival celebration this January.

Sinulog, says Luz, is a tradition that has long been practiced among Catholics, a form of prayer praising and thanking the Almighty.

Unsure of income, Luz always keeps her fingers crossed, hoping she could have enough for food a day.

“Panganduy unta nako nga makalampos akong anak sa pagskwela pero ako ra man sad ang nangita. (My dream is for my children to graduate from school but I am the only one in the family earning),” she says.

Like Luz, Clemencia Panugaling, a candle vendor for six years, is hopeful about life.

At 58, she’s done no ordinary jobs for her family of six. Before taking the streets of Basilica, Clemencia started working as a street sweeper in a Cebu port to be able to live a day with her husband without a job.

In her six years as a candle vendor, Clemencia says, “Mao gyapon. Usahay makakaon, usahay di. Pwerte jud pagkapaita. (Nothing has changed. Sometimes, it brings food; at times, not. It’s really hard).”

Clemencia positions herself at the back of the Basilica, near the Magellan’s Cross, selling candles at P10 each the whole day. She admits she hardly even gets P200 a day like other candle vendors.

Clemencia says it takes a lot of convincing to get people from buying candles.

“Ang uban mangyam-id; ang uban dili maningug (Some smirked while others do not even talk),” she says.

Clemecia shares she’s had enough of hardships but this doesn’t stop her from achieving her goals in life — to start her own business at her home in Carcar City, south of Cebu.

“Wa ta kahibaw dunggon tang Mama Mary (Mama Mary might hear my prayers, we can’t tell.),” she says.

True, Luz and Clemencia’s life stories are no fairy tale. There are no magic. But theirs is a story inspiring enough for us to light a candle, with them on our own prayers.

Devotion to the Sto. Nino

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

by Maria Armie Sheila Boco Garde

Some people love to collect things that interest them. Some do it simply for fun, for trading with other collectors, or for selling completed sets of items.

The kind of collectibles widely varies – miniature icons, figurines, coins to fashionable accessories, among others.

To some people, satisfaction is what they get when adding another piece to a collection; add to that the pride of having that sense of ownership as well as recognition by fellow collectors.

But why would someone collect Sto. Nino images? Val Sandiego of Cebu’s Sinulog Dance Studio shares his story – his devotion to the Sto. Nino.

CEBU. This is one of Val Sandiego's oldest Sto. Nino icons that was saved from the Sandiego's fire-hit house in 2002. (SBG)

CEBU. Val Sandiego has been collecting Sto. Nino icons for the past 48 years. He is joined by his wife, Ofelia, with one of their Sto. Nino figures. (SBG)

Maranao traders join Sinulog street fair

Friday, January 6th, 2012

BATIK (dyed fabrics) items, such as malong (tube dress or dress) and bags, among others, are displayed in the stall of Amorran Tanggoti along Osmena Boulevard Street in Cebu City.

Forty-year-old Tanggoti, a Maranao trader from Zamboanga City, is joining the Sinulog Street Fair just across the Cebu Normal University, near the Cebu City Sports Center.

Several traders from different parts of the country are gathered in Cebu City for the annual street fair in time for the Sinulog Festival, which is one of the grandest festivals in the Philippines.

The Sinulog Foundation Inc. organized the street fair to help traders showcase their products in affordable prizes, as well as to generate income.

Tanggoti and the other traders rented their space at P35,000 for the period of two months.

The fair started last December 1 and will last until January 31.

Tanggoti said it’s his third time in the Sinulog Trade Fair this year and he admitted his sales for the first two weeks were lower than that of last year. He cited the night market in Colon Street as one of the reasons.

“Naa man gud competition. Pero wa man tay mabuhat ana kay panginabuhi man pud na… (There is competition but we can’t do anything about it because it’s also their means of livelihood),” Tanggoti said.

However, there was an increase during and after the holidays, because customers who we looking for gift items visited his stall. Add to this the increase in the number of Sinulog revelers who often visit the trade fair.

Saidamen Hasan, one of Tanggoti’s assistants, agreed that more customers, especially local and foreign tourists, were coming in lately.

Their saleable items include malong, shawls, duster (clothing), magic bags and pouches. The items in Tanggoti’s stall, which you can buy for as low as P100 and as high as P400, are imported from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Hasan and two others – Muamar Rasol and Jovelyn Magno – are helping Tanggoti in dealing with buyers and in preparing the items for display.

They start preparing as early as 6 a.m., open their stall at 8 a.m. and close it at midnight. They sometimes close beyond midnight depending on the volume of customers.

Tanggoti, who has a family of seven, has been in this business for 12 years. In Zamboanga City, his shop is located at the Canilar Trading Center.

“Usahay muganansya gamay, usahay dako, depende sa kadaghan sa customers. Depende pud unsaon nimo pag-approach ang customers (The profit sometimes is high, sometimes it’s low, depending on the number of customers. It also depends on how you approach the customers),” Tanggoti said.

Like the rest of the traders who are taking part in the street fair, one of Tanggoti’s goals is to take advantage of the local and foreign tourists who come to Cebu for the Sinulog festival. (Maria Armie Sheila B. Garde/Sunnex)

Devotee City preparations ongoing

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

CEBU CITY — Thousands of pilgrims from all over the country are gathered every January for the Sinulog festival, which is also the feast of Sr. Sto. Niño. Some of them are housed inside the Devotee City.

Devotee City committee chairman Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias said pilgrims from Bohol, Leyte, Samar, Dumaguete, Siquijor, Luzon and Mindanao provinces, and even beyond the cities of Carcar and Danao, who cannot afford to stay in hotels and do not have relatives in the city, are accommodated in the Devotee City.

“We do not want to see them sleeping along sidewalks and outside the churches,” he said.

The Devotee City will be at the Compania Maritima, Cebu International Port, where 110 20-footer two-level vans will be in place to shelter more or less 2,500 devotees.

The area is provided with electricity, comfort rooms and even wifi. All the activities inside the Devotee City will be video-streamed. It can be watched real-time on the Cebu City Government website.

Unlike before, when devotees had to eat inside their vans only, this time, a mess hall with tables and chairs will be set up.

The Devotee City will start welcoming pilgrims on January 15. Devotees are required to keep and present only their bus and boat tickets.

“We will give them IDs with their van numbers that will serve as their gate pass,” Cabarrubias said.

Aside from the Aboitiz Group and other sponsors, Julie’s bakeshop also partners with the City Government to provide snacks and entertainment for the devotees.

Fluvial parade tickets will also be raffled off to allow some devotees to experience the fluvial procession.

Two uniformed policemen will also secure the place for 24 hours with the help of village watchmen, Cabarrubias said. (Maria Armie Sheila Boco Garde/Sunnex)