Sunday, January 13, 2008


".....armed with candles in hand and hearts filled with pure love our beloved Santo Niño, will surely not only please one’s self – but the dear Child Jesus as well." January 12 - 20, all of the Island of Cebu will celebrate "Sinulog". With blind, catholic devotion everyone will celebrate and pray to a small stone/wood figure that is supposedly representing the Christ child, the "Holy Child", or in Spanish "Santo Niño".

"....a Festival Queen has the privilege to bear in her hands the image of the Christ child. She has become the resemblance of Queen Juana receiving the image of Santo Niño. The latter can be traced back to the year 1521 wherein together with Rajah Humabon, Hara Amihan or Queen Juana received the image of the Santo Niño from Magellan as a baptismal gift among the first Filipinos to be Christianized."
The girl who holds the Santo dances her own dance as the 'queen'. With arms outstretched, she takes the idol in a large circle, and up and down, bending her elbows, and circling from her waist. Sometimes, a contingent of the troupe lift her up, as she holds the little child out for the adoration and praise of all...

In hopes of absolving their sins, the people all go to a mass mass (pun intended) ...
..and burn candles, and sing praises to the "Santo Niño". The little girls all hope to grow up to be the most popular girl, the girl who gets to hold the saint, and dance.The lost-ness is overwhelming... the eyes searching for hope in the eyes and ears of the little child in red... who cannot see or hear them. This is where my heart is.....
Every barrio and barangay trains its school children for months, has endless band practice, and prepares the most elaborate costumes it can think of. Depicting the Spanish possession, or a battle with the moors, the dances then turn to a depiction of flora, fish, or fauna that show how the little child has benefited their lives. (the background dancers in the picture are fish)If you care for a more "surround sound" experience, please listen to this Youtube video. It is the song that is the "theme" of all of Sinulog. Everyone walks along singing and chanting.
After looking in vain for a lyrics sheet, I will just write out a few words for you.
"Pit Señor" is the theme, which means "praise the Saint"
At the end of the first 'verse" is the line that always makes me want to cry. "...Praying and worshipping the Santo Niño, offer (up) your life so that god will (still) be happy... Sinulog, shout it out loud, everyone celebrates" (repeat 2 times)

Thanks to for the photos.

The Cebu Sun Star's website also displays some moving pictures.
Try Wikipedia for an overveiw.
(Bethany wrote out what lyrics she could hear)

Sinulog, isyagit ug kusog; (Pit Señor, Pit Señor) tanan magsaulog
Sinulog, isyagit ug kusog; (Pit Señor, Pit Señor) tanan magsaulog
Sisisinulog, sisisinulog
Sa balanghay maoy atong dungog
Pagsayaw nga giparis patihog sa sulog
Panadje ug manampit alang sa santo Niño
Ihalad ang kinabuhi aron malipay pa ang Ginoo

mga langyaw sa tibouk kalibutan
apil ang mga langyaw sa atong pagsaulog
malingaw sa pagsaulog sa mga pasundayag
magkiay ta sa pagtambong kay naabut nang panahon

Someone needs to make new words:
Sinulog, syagit ug kusog, JESUS LAMANG, JESUS LAMANG, tanan mag...something... Hmmm..


Anonymous said...

Hey! The written script really helps!

zebu said...

"the tradition of preserving traditions became a tradition"

--quite late for a response since i just bumped into this but in time for the occasion though. :)

Anonymous said...

its that time of the year again to celebrate! Viva Pit Señor!!!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WRITING THE LYRICS!!! =)) I've searched for them on the internet and COULD NOT find them anywhere! Do u know a place where I can get the translation? Thank you!

Warbler said...

My sister translated that. We are familiar with the language.
I don't think there is an english translation least not official.