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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Philippines Series at FilipinoPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Filipino holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 9, Sinulog Festival. In Filipino, it’s called Sinulog Festival.
The Sinulog Festival is a week-long celebration held in the province of Cebu. This festival is one of the largest festivals held in all of the Philippines. The most excitedly anticipated part of it is the parade, held at the start of the third week of January, during which participants dance to the beat of drums to pay reverence to the baby Jesus.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Why is the festival called the “Sinulog Festival?”
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Common tradition holds that the Sinulog Festival began when Magellan presented the image of the Christ Child, usually referred to as Santo Niño in Filipino, to Queen Juana of Cebu as a gift when she was baptized as a Christian. However, even though the Queen had converted, the rest of the province did not follow in her footsteps, primarily due to the death of Magellan when he fought with Lapu-Lapu, the tribal chief of Mactan.
The Sinulog Festival celebrated today lasts for nine days. As this day is offered as Thanksgiving Day to the Holy Child, the celebration begins with masses starting from four o'clock in the morning. The first is called the Mañanita Mass, followed by the Pontifical Mass, and lastly the Holy Mass. Before the heavily anticipated parade, a procession is held on the river carrying the image, or imahen of the Holy Child on a boat decorated with candles and flowers and sailing from Mandaue City to Cebu City.
The most awaited event of all is surely the Grand Street Parade, which altogether can last from nine to twelve hours! Participants in this parade come from towns all over the Philippines, wearing colorful, or makulay, costumes and dancing to the music of different instruments. A traditional phrase closely associated with the Sinulog Festival is "Viva Pit Señor." The greeting is a short way of saying the longer phrase "Panangpit sa Senor," which is a term for God our Lord in the form of the Holy Child.
The dance, or in Filipino sayaw, consists of two steps forward and one step backward. It is said to have been danced for the first time as a way of giving thanks to an idol, or anito. It is also said that the Sinulog dance has been performed by the people of Cebu even before the Spaniards came to the Philippines 400 years ago.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Why is the festival called the “Sinulog Festival?”
The word "Sinulog" derives from the Visayan word sulog. The word means "like the flow of water," which is comparable to the flow of the Sinulog dance moves.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What festival in your country is similar to the Sinulog?
Leave us a comment telling us at FilipinoPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!