Sinulog Festival Guide: Here’s What to Expect at Cebu’s Biggest Festival

Do you claim to be the life of the party? Well, there’s only one way to test that. Happening once a year is the country’s largest festival, Sinulog Festival, and it’s right around the corner! Every third weekend of January, you can expect party upon party in the Queen City of the South. Of course, the festival’s main purpose is to celebrate the Sto. Niño, but any religious gathering in the Philippines is also another excuse to get out of town!

Since you’ve already booked your tickets, it’s time to pack your bags, and get ready for the wildest weekend down in Cebu! Here’s how to survive Sinulog Festival 2017. Pit Senyor!

A Little Party Never Killed Nobody

If you’re arriving a day ahead of the Sinulog festival, on a Thursday, you can jump into the pre-Sinulog parties to prepare for the weekend madness. There are a lot of things to do in Cebu beside drinking and dancing, and taking a day to explore is a good idea, too! But here’s what’s happening on a weeknight.

Liv Superclub and Sentral

sinulog festival
Image Credit: via Instagram

Check out these establishments, and you’re sure to see a Manila-based DJ you’re familiar with. Most of them, like DJ Mars Miranda or Ace Ramos, arrive ahead of time to hype up the crowd. If you’re in the mood for hip-hop, Sentral is the newest bar in Cebu that dishes out the classics and modern R&B. Want to pump your fists in the air to Top 40s and EDM? Liv Superclub has the reputation as Cebu’s most frequented nightclub in the city.

Liv Superclub
City Time Square, A108, Mandaue City

#2 Norkis Cyberpark, A.S. Fortuna Street


sinulog festival
Image Credit: @lifedancecebu via Instagram

If we haven’t completely outdated the word Yolo, LifeDance embodies this term precisely. This year, they’re taking it up a notch by having three stages, adding one specifically for indie bands. With a mix of international and local acts, it’s exciting to see the most talked about event in Sinulog expand their musical taste to the likes of Up Dharma Down, and Jensen and the Flips. All attendees can get a fair share of DJs and bands this January 13!

Sinulog Festival Activities

Taking place on Saturday and Sunday are official activities that you can look forward to. During the whole month of January, Sinulog Festival hosts different competitions, marathons, concerts and even masses! But of course, we can’t forget the Filipino favorite, beauty pageants!

Beauty Queens and Fireworks

sinulog festival
Image Credit: @2minutetraveltales via Instagram

After two very successful MMFF entries about pageants (Die Beautiful and Sunday Beauty Queen), it’s safe to say Filipinos just looove their pageantry. Falling on a Friday night (January 13), you can watch in anticipation who will be crowned the newest Sinulog Festival Queen 2017! After all, Cebuanos take pride in their representatives to national competitions, and she may just be the one! In addition to this, admire more beauty and magnificence on Saturday night (January 14), when the Sinulog Fireworks Competition takes place in SM City Cebu at 7:00 p.m.

TIP: It’s best to get a good night’s rest on Saturday night, seeing as the Grand Parade starts early the next morning on Sunday. And you’re going to need all the energy!

Sinulog Grand Parade

sinulog festival
Image Credit: @wandergai via Instagram

The Sinulog Grand Parade is a cultural feast for the eyes! From native dances to elaborate costumes and floats, you can watch the parade as it marches throughout the city. This showculminates all activities leading up to it and has never failed in its grandiosity and liveliness. If you’re in Cebu for the whole week, this is the ultimate way to cap it off before you hit the streets!

READ: Cebu Itinerary: From North to South of Cebu In Just 4 Days

Sinulog Invasion

Annually, street parties during Sinulog Festival have grown bigger and bigger that a few years ago that they had to be banned. Fortunately, however, Spectrum made a way to keep the tradition alive by staying in Mango Avenue. Sinulog Invasion is the most anticipated event of the festival for partygoers and tourists alike. The party is actually a tour in all cultural festivals of the Philippines, starting with Sinulog, then Dinagyang in Iloilo, Masskara in Bacolod and lastly, Kadayawan in Davao. This year’s Invasion features regulars, Nix Damn P, Martin Pulgar, and Kat DJ!

Survival Essential Tips

  1. Travel in a group. Sinulog Festival is not the time for a solo trip! You should gather a bunch of your friends and come up with an itinerary for which activities in Sinulog you want to do.
  2. Bring extra clothes. It’s hard to say when they’re going to get dirty, but they will get dirty. Particularly at outdoor events.
  3. Purchase a phone bag and sturdy backpack. Walking around the parade or party, you never know when you might accidentally drop or lose your belongings. So secure those.
  4. Keep hydrated. Water is essential, and with the amount of drinking and frolicking you’ll be doing, you need that H2O.
  5. Bring extra cash and secure a way back to your hotel. Write your hotel address on your shirt if you must! It’s going to get busy and packed. You don’t need the hassle of always trying to find an ATM or use your card, and it’ll be hard to catch cabs on the street. Book Uber in advance or make sure to book a hotel/hostel near your planned events!

We hope you find this survival guide helpful on your upcoming Sinulog trip. If you need a complete Cebu itinerary, we also have one for you!

One Beat. One Dance. One Vision. Visit for more information on Cebu’s most colorful festival!

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