Dinagat Islands Joins Sinulog Festival for the First Time

HISTORIC Members of the Tribung Kamanting Performing Arts Guild of the municipality of San Jose, Province of Dinagat Islands perform at the Sinulog Festival. PHOTO BY MOISES CRUZ
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The province of Dinagat Islands made its debut appearance in the renowned Sinulog Festival in Cebu City on Sunday, marking a significant milestone for the region. This year’s festival marked the 17th anniversary of the event, and the participation of the 450 Tribu Kamanting performers from Dinagat, supported by Rep. Alan Uno Ecleo, added a vibrant touch to the street dance competition, alongside 16 other contingents from various provinces.

Ecleo, expressing his enthusiasm, stated, “We are not just here to win; we are here because we are already winners. We defeated one of the biggest storms in our history by being united. And by being united, we will defeat poverty, isolation, and negativity.”

The Sinulog Festival is an annual cultural and religious event held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, honoring the Sto. Niño or the Child Jesus. With its rich history and significance, the festival attracts an estimated 1 million to 1.5 million people each year.

The Sto. Niño de Cebu, the oldest Christian artifact in the Philippines, holds great historical value. It was presented to Rajah Humabon and his wife, Hara Humamay, by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 as a symbol of their Christian baptism.

The street dance contest concluded with a captivating performance by Tribu Kamanting on the main Sinulog stage. The contingent drew inspiration from the festival’s original name, Bugkosan, which means “coming together.” Through their presentation, they showcased the diverse backgrounds and unity of the people of Dinagat Islands, highlighting their love for their province, culture, and heritage.

The Dinagat Islands’ performance resonated with the audience, who cheered “Pit Señor!” (“Long live, Christ, the Child!”) and “Barug Dinagat!” (“Arise Dinagat!”) in support. The presentation narrated the story of the Dinagat Islands, their unique culture, and the integral role of faith in fostering solidarity and resilience among its people.

The festival was attended by esteemed government officials, including Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and Senators Ronald dela Rosa, Christopher “Bong” Go, and Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros. Vice President Sara Duterte also expressed her delight in joining the celebration, emphasizing the importance of humility and “childlike sincerity” in one’s spiritual journey.

The participation of Dinagat Islands in the Sinulog Festival not only showcased their vibrant culture but also symbolized their resilience and unity as a province. It served as a reminder that through faith and solidarity, communities can overcome challenges and build a brighter future.

As the Sinulog Festival continues to captivate audiences with its colorful performances and rich traditions, the inclusion of Dinagat Islands has undoubtedly added a new dimension to the event. The province’s participation in this esteemed festival is a testament to the diversity and unity that defines the Philippines’ cultural landscape.

With each passing year, the Sinulog Festival reaffirms its position as a cherished event that brings people together to celebrate faith, culture, and heritage. The addition of Dinagat Islands to the festival’s lineup further enriches the experience and fosters a deeper appreciation for the country’s vibrant traditions.

As the Sinulog Festival concludes, the memories and experiences shared during this celebration will continue to inspire and unite communities across the Philippines, reminding us of the power of culture, faith, and unity.

Source: The Manila Times

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