Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Sinulog 2018

While the country’s biggest festival is best known for the crazy parties happening on the streets, Sinulog goes beyond that. Here’s everything you need to know for Sinulog 2018.


As always, we always understand why and how it started.

“One Beat. One Dance. One Vision.” This theme has continuously defined the grandiose Sinulog celebration that attracts revelers every year. A festival that can be traced back to a rich history, Sinulog has always been identified with the Queen City—linking us with our pagan past and our Christian present.

At the time when our ancestors worshipped wooden idols and anitos, Sinulog was already a dance ritual honoring these elements. Upon the arrival in 1521 of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who introduced Christianity to the country, he presented the Santo Niño image as a baptismal gift to Cebu’s ruler Rajah Humabon and his wife, Hara Amihan. Subsequently, the natives were converted to Christianity and started offering dances but this time in reverence to the Child Jesus.

The term Sinulog comes from the Cebuano word “sulog” which means “water current movement”. The rhythmically forward-backward dance steps of Santo Niño devotees during the Sinulog Grand Parade is said to resemble the movement of currents of water. Cebu’s first Sinulog parade took place in 1980, and the festival has now been institutionalized, making it an annual event.

Today, Sinulog is one of the grandest, most colorful and best-known festivals in the country. A cultural-religious celebration that lasts for nine days, it involves solemn activities widely participated in by Cebuanos whose deep faith in the Holy Child go beyond boundaries. The massive preparation and warm welcome put up by the locals for the upcoming Sinulog festival truly proves their strong devotion to the Santo Niño who has greatly influenced the lives of the Cebuano people. (By Ansylle Mae Bontuyan)


Throught that, it is said that the image is stored in what is today the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino—where thousands of faithfuls will come every year to worship and give praise the Holy Child. Up until now, Sinulog can’t be done without the novena schedule that succeeds prior to the Pista Señor, that is in honor of the Sr. Sto. Nino.

Here’s the schedule of some of the activities at the Basilica.

January 11, Thursday – Opening Salvo

4:00am – Walk With Jesus

5:30am – Holy Mass (Installation of Hermano Mayor and Hermana Mayores 2018)

And with some of the novena masses schedules done from January 11-18, 2018.

4:00am – Holy Mass (Cebuano)

5:30am – Holy Mass (Cebuano)

7:00am – Holy Mass (Cebuano)

8:30am – Holy Mass (English)

10:00am – Holy Mass (Cebuano)

11:30am – Holy Mass (English)

1:00pm – Holy Mass (English)

2:30pm – Holy Mass (Cebuano)

4:00pm – Holy Mass (Cebuano)

5:30pm – Holy Mass (English)

7:00pm – Holy Mass (English)

January 19, Friday

4:00am – Walk With Mary

7:00am – Traslacion (going to National Shrine of Saint Joseph Parish, Mandaue City)

January 20, Saturday (Visperas)

3:00am – Traslacion (from Mandaue to the National Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Regla Parish, Lapu-lapu City)

6:00am – Fluvial Procession

9:00am – Renactment of the First Mass, Wedding and Baptism

1:00pm – Solem Procession

6:00pm – Pontifical Mass

January 21, Sunday (Fiesta Señor Day)

4:00am – Mañanita Mass

6:00am – Pontifical Mass

followed by regular Sunday mass schedules

Source: Sinulog Foundation Website (for full details visit the website them here)


On to the festival side, there’s a lot we can expect to. From gigantes to dances, here’s the schedule to some of the highlights this Sinulog.

January 1 – 30 – Sinulog Street Fair

January 12, Friday – Sinulog 2018 Kick Off

January 13, Saturday – Sinulog sa Lalawigan

January 14, Sunday – Sinulog sa Barangay

January 15, Monday – Cultural Show at Plaza Independencia

Sinulog Idol Eliminations

January 18, Thursday – Sinulog Festival Queen 2018 Photoshoot

– Sinulog Festival Queen 2018 Parade of Costumes & Runway Competition at SM City Cebu

– Sky Night at Plaza Independencia

January 19, Friday – Festival Queen Coronation Night at Cebu City Sports Center

– Dance Crew Grand Showdown at Cebu City Sports Center

January 20, Saturday – Sinulog 2018 Grand Finals at Plaza Independencia

– Sinulog 2018 Fireworks Competition at SM City Cebu

January 21, Sunday – Sinulog Grand Parade

Source: Sinulog Foundation Website (for full details visit the website them here)


Now for the parties, we never get tired of having fun during these times. As it becomes a yearly habit for us. We give you the following schedule for the ultimate Sinulog parties that will take place in the city.

January 19, Friday


City di Mare, South Road Properties

January 20, Saturday

Plus 63 Music and Arts Festival

Cebu Business Park

Hyper Wonderland

Axis Entertainment Avenue


SM Seaside City Open Grounds

January 21, Sunday

Neon Jungle: Sinulog Music Festival

The Sentral Cebu, Norkis Cyberpark, Mandaue City


Tickets are sold through Sinulog Foundation Inc. You can visit the website here. (


Plan ahead as we don’t know how much traffic we can get and we can contribute. Please see the following route through this website.

Zee Lifestyle
Zee Lifestyle

Zee Lifestyle strives to capture the pulse of Cebu! As a city-centric lifestyle magazine, it aims to inform and entertain with features on culture, personalities, travel, food, fashion and everything in between. Follow Zee Lifestyle on Instagram at @zeelifestyle.

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