Well, the Sinulog festival is once again around the corner and this is one spectacular event to start the year, which locals and foreigners alike look forward to.
I was lucky enough to be flown in to Cebu for 4D/3N by Smart Telecommunications in the Philippines to cover the event's 30th anniversary.
I've been to more than a dozen fiestas all over the Philippines and I don't remember enjoying one as much as this one.
First thing you have to keep in mind is that things are bound to get sweaty in events like this and since people don't really mind whatever it is that you wear, you can practically wear what I call the hipster's (or bum's) 3S--shorts, sando, slippers. You may opt to wear a cap but all the heat would probably get trapped in there and the risk of fainting will be highly likely. And if you're taking photos, front-facing caps are too much hassle.
My hotel, Crown Regency, was in the middle of everything. I'd wake up, take a shower, have breakfast, and go down directly into all the action the entire stay. Don't worry, there won't be a lot of pushing because Filipinos are still really very courteous.
The vibe is as exciting as it can get. You'll see colors everywhere from the costumes, to the higantes, and the different floats. It's really a photographer's dream as you can practically point your camera anywhere, click, and you're sure to get something awesome.
Now, if you really want to make a name for yourself, the Sinulog committee holds a photography contest yearly and the best ones get cool prizes and will have their photos displayed in one of the big malls in Cebu.
There's a fee of P1,000, which will get you an I.D. (that will give you access to practically anywhere but don't quote me on that), and you get to submit 10 of your best photos for judging in five categories: 1) Contingent; 2) Fluvial and Solemn Procession; 3) Float, Higante, and Puppeteers; 3) Decor, Arch, and Sidelights, and finally 5) the Festival Queen, which features the beauty of the Cebuanas.
You can find out more at www.Sinulog.ph but for now, let me share a few of the snaps I took from that trip: