With the remarkable beauty and undeniably friendly locals, the Philippines isn’t difficult to love. Most tourists think that the Philippines is just about beaches but actually, it’s much more. And just as a trip here will certainly make you fall for everything you see, it will also make you fall for the values of everyone you meet and the palatable cuisines they serve.

10 Things That Will Make You Fall In-Love With the Philippines

The Philippine tourism slogan goes “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” and it’s not hard to see why. Here’s a list of what is Philippines known for, that will absolutely make you choose Philippines as your next travel destination.

What’s inside this blog?

Here are the 10 reasons why it is more fun in the Philippines and why you’ll love the Philippines even more!

1. Breathtaking Views

banaue rice terraces tourist spot in the philippines

Unlike other places, an adventure in the Philippines takes you to a wonderland where it seems as though you’ve walked straight into a postcard. Cue in, Batanes and Banaue Rice Terraces. Its vast greenery, hills, stunning sunset views everywhere, and crashing waves from the ocean surely take one’s breath away. And just like that, you’ll be in a state of bliss. 

The Philippines is mysterious, grand, and inviting at the same time. Through the eyes of a first-timer, this country is unbelievable. So if you’re to describe Philippines in one word, it’s breathtaking. Enough to convince you that it’s more fun in the Philippines.

2. 7,641 Islands to Choose From

palawan christmas in the philippines

The Philippine beaches and islands are certainly among the most convincing reasons why you should visit the Philippines. If you’re asking what is Philippines famous for, it could take all day to list everything down. But its pristine beaches are among the main reasons why travelers across the world and the top 10 countries that love Philippines list the country among the world’s best islands.

Boracay is a sure-fire hit for travelers and beach-lovers. Many people all over the world drool to go on a trip to this island. Boracay is famous for its fine white sand and now, clear blue waters, party scene, and amazing water activities.

Must-read: 12 Most Spectacular White Sand Beaches in Philippines You Must Visit

Then there goes Palawan that will make you scream “I love Philippines” upon setting your foot on its ground. You can either go to Coron where great diving spots and lagoons are or El Nido where you can just enjoy the chill ambiance of the place.

Bantayan Island in Cebu also amazes tourists in so many ways. This Philippine island offers fresh air, calming sound of the waves, and cerulean waters.

3. Great Diving and Surfing Spots

surfing in la union

One thing that will make you realize its more fun in the Philippines is visiting its beaches with towering waves and rich marine life. Diving enthusiasts around the world just can’t get enough of the fantastic Philippine diving spots. Some tourists make their way to the Philippines to train or get their diving licenses because of its tropical nature and reputation as a great vacation destination. Some popular spots are found in Coron, Palawan; Apo Reef in Occidental Mindoro; and Monad Shoal in Cebu.

Another thing that will convince you its more fun in the Philippines is that it boasts amazing surfing spots! Some people from across the world travel here just to feel the adrenaline rush from surfing the Philippine waters. Surfing spots in the Philippines that are worth the visit include Siargao, the country’s surfing capital, Baler in Aurora Province, and La Union. If these aren’t enough to convince you it’s more fun in the Philippines, we don’t know what else will.

4. Exquisite Pinoy Cuisine

filipino food it's more fun in the philippines

With more than 7,000 islands and rich history, the Philippines has many delicious dishes of its own. And there’s more to Filipino food than the mind-boggling balut (duck embryo).

What Philippines is known for in terms of food is its popular adobo and sinigang. When in the Philippines, one should not miss its famous adobo. The pork or chicken meat is marinated in vinegar and soy sauce. It’s easy to prepare so it’s very common in the country.

Lechon is also something worth trying! The entire pig is roasted over coals, with the crisp, golden-brown skin served with liver sauce, the most coveted part. Everyone loves this, even the late world-famous chef Anthony Bourdain. He won’t say it’s the best pig ever for nothing!

Quarantine Hotels in manila

Another must-try dish in the Philippines is the sinigang. There are many varieties of it though: from pork to seafood. Everyone loves it because of its sour and slightly spicy taste.

Some may not like how balut tastes like, why people would line up for isaw (pork and chicken intestines) or why Filipinos eat with their hands. But perhaps the best way to understand Filipino food is by trying.

5. Ridiculously Good People

why it's more fun in the philippines

May it be to locals or foreigners, Filipinos are warm-hearted people. They are caring, respectful, hard-working, and full of possibilities even in hard times.

Filipinos are naturally empathetic— a loved one’s problem becomes everyone’s problem. They hold each other’s hands, they hardly leave their loved ones alone and they constantly check in with each other, whether through texts, calls, Skype, or other social media platforms. 

Filipinos respect their relatives and they treat the elderly with great fondness. They grab their hand and put it against their forehead. This gesture of pagmamano is so deeply ingrained in their culture that it has become the greatest symbol of affection in the family. 

Filipinos don’t discriminate and that is why they are highly ranked for service, hospitality, and care-related jobs. So if you’re asking how to introduce Philippines to foreign travelers, just say it’s home to one of the nicest people in the world. If this doesn’t convince you that it’s more fun in the Philippines, we don’t know what else will.

6. Grand Festivals

street dancers at masskara festival

When it comes to parties and festivities, Filipinos take it seriously! In fact, each province has its own festival. They are vibrant, colorful, lively, and grand.

These Philippine festivals showcase the country’s culture and the locals’ creativity. Many feature colorful costumes, painted bodies, and crazy beautiful street dance performances.

Tourists from all over the world visit the Philippines not just to see its beautiful beaches and breathtaking sights, but also to experience the country’s grand festivals that, without a doubt, will make you say its more fun in the Philippines/

7. Dynamic Nightlife

Contrary to what others think when someone asks to describe Philippines, Filipinos are not dull and boring. They know how to party, too! In fact, there are many great bars in the country that take the party scene to the next level!

Enjoy a pub crawl at Poblacion in Makati or go to Bonifacio Global City or Ortigas to get the best city views, breezy outdoor escapes, and chic spots that are sure to have you sipping and toasting all night long.

8. Interesting Mix of Different Cultures

Because of the country’s history of colonialism and encounters with different cultures — Chinese, Malay, Spanish, American, and Japanese — what has resulted, is the most curious melting pot of varying traits and practices. 

Travelers familiar with any of these cultures will be surprised and amused at the parallels Filipinos carry in their ways of life.

9. Filipinos Welcome Everybody With Open Arms

Many tourists find Filipinos very hospitable and this impression is clearly an edge. That’s how hospitable they are! Filipinos don’t discriminate but welcome everyone with open arms even if they’re not related. They will offer anything they can to foreigners and even teach them Filipino words even without asking. This is definitely what Philippines is known for. So if you’d ask how can you describe the Pinoy being in a foreign country, we tell you, Filipinos respect other people and are kind to others.

10. It’s More Fun in the Philippines

With all these being said, the country’s tourism slogan is true. It’s more fun in the Philippines because you’ll never run out of things to do. You will fall in love with the people and every spot in the country. You can come to the Philippines for the beaches, but what you’ll get is so much more.

The Philippines may not be the richest country in the world or may not have the highest standard of living yet. Still, the Filipino people are very rich to have good qualities and breathtaking places that spell genuine happiness. And at the end of your trip, you will say “I love Philippines” because it’s not really difficult to fall in love with this country.


Frequently Asked Questions About Reasons to Love the Philippines

Q: Why foreigners love the Philippines?
A: Foreigners love the Philippines because of its climate. Since the Philippines is a tropical country, it’s a great destination for beach vacations. Aside from this, foreigners love the traits of the Filipinos and of course, the food!

Q: What do you think are the reasons why the Philippines is considered as a tropical country?
A: Tropical countries such as the Philippines are nations that are found in the tropics, a region that is located along or near the Earth’s Equator. Here’s the answer to your question: what do you think are the reasons why the Philippines is considered as a tropical country.

Q: Why should you travel to the Philippines?
A: The Philippines is more than just its pristine islands. Here are the reasons why you should travel the Philippines:

  1. Breathtaking Views
  2. 7,641 Islands to Choose From
  3. Great Diving and Surfing Spots
  4. Exquisite Pinoy Cuisine
  5. Ridiculously Good People
  6. Grand Festivals
  7. Dynamic Nightlife
  8. Interesting Mix of Different Cultures
  9. Filipinos Welcome Everybody With Open Arms
  10. It’s More Fun in the Philippines

Q: What are the best places to visit in the Philippines?
A: With over 7,000 islands to choose from, there are so many beautiful places to visit in the Philippines. These are:

  • Sugba Lagoon in Siargao
  • Intramuros in Manila
  • Vigan in Ilocos Sur
  • Boracay in Aklan
  • Chocolate Hills in Bohol
  • Hinatuan Enchanted River in Surigao del Sur
  • Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao
  • Big and Small Lagoons in El Nido, Palawan
  • Bantayan Island in Cebu
  • Racuh A Payaman in Batanes

Q: What are the best things to do in the Philippines?
A: Philippines is such a versatile country that caters to all types of traveler. here are some of the most fun things to do in the Philippines:

  1. Swimming
  2. Island-hopping
  3. Food tripping
  4. Shopping
  5. Partying
  6. Diving
  7. Hiking
  8. Attending festivals

Q: How will you show that you love your country Philippines?
A: There are many ways to show love for the country. From being patriotic and learning the history to promoting and supporting local products, showing love for the country is something everyone should learn and do.

Q: Where are the Philippines’ most beautiful islands?
A: The Philippines is home to more than 7,000 islands and among the most popular and beautiful ones are located across the country. You can find them in Boracay, Palawan, Batangas, Pangasinan, Zambales, Siargao, Bohol, and more. The islands here will make you describe Philippines as jaw-dropping, that’s why its more fun in the Philippines.

Q: What is Philippines known for?
A: Philippines is known for so many things: pristine beaches, breathtaking mountains, jaw-dropping lagoons, historic sites, and hospitable people.

If you’re planning to visit the Philippines, choose the property that will help you save more! Book budget hotels in the Philippines here. Travel more. Pay less.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Dinagyang is a Hiligaynon word that means “merrymaking.” Just like the Sinulog and Ati-Atihan Festivals, Dinagyang Festival is one of the religious festivities in the Philippines that celebrates the feast of the Santo Niño and the pact between the Datus and locals.

Every 4th Sunday of January, the festival transforms the Iloilo City into a massive street party with overflowing drinks and food. The most exciting part is that the city hosts a highly competitive Dinagyang Festival dance contest and grand float parades.

ZEN Rooms Quarantine Hotels

Dinagyang Festival Activities

Dinagyang is one of the most-awaited festivals in the Philippines because of its fun, lively, and colorful celebration. Here are some of the fun activities you should experience at the Dinagyang Festival:

  1. Floats Parade of Lights
  2. Festive Parade Sponsors Mardi Gras
  3. Dinagyang 360° Tribe Competition
  4. Ilonggo Dinagyang Arts Festival
  5. Miss Iloilo Pageant
  6. Ilonggo Food festival
  7. Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika

What’s inside this blog?


Dinagyang Festival History

The Dinagyang festival history started in 1967 when an Augustinian priest from Cebu gave a replica image of the Santo Niño as a birthday gift to a fellow Augustinian priest in Iloilo. Since then, a novena mass was held every Friday at the San Jose Parish Church.

In 1969, a competition was organized similar to the popular Ati-Atihan Festival of Kalibo town in Aklan province. That time, the Dinagyang was known as “Iloilo Ati-Atihan.”

“Dinagyang” became the official name almost a decade later when radio broadcaster Pacifico Sudario insisted on using a local word to distinguish the festival from the well-known Ati-Atihan of Kalibo. 

Another thing to note is that the Dinagyang Festival performances are anchored on a folkloric story about the Barter of Panay. The story revolves around how 10 Bornean datus and their families fled a tyrannical ruler in Borneo early in the 13th century and sailed towards the island of Panay. When they arrived, the Borneans bargained with the native Atis to occupy the lowlands. To celebrate the barter, the Borneans painted their bodies with soot and danced with the Atis.

Because of the remarkable celebration, Dinagyang Festival has been famous not just in the Philippines, but across the world.


Dinagyang Festival 2021 Schedule of Activities

The Dinagyang Festival 2021 activities will push through despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Iloilo festival in 2021 will be different from the previous years as some of the activities will be held on-ground, while some will be held online.

  • January 10-17 – Pinta sa Kapiestahan (JCI Iloilo) | Atria Park District
  • January 15, 5PM – Pamukaw sa Virtual Opening Salvo 2021 | Online Stream: www.iloilofestivals.com (Dinagyang Social Media Pages)
  • January 17 – Dinagyang Fun Bike Ride | Iloilo Business Park-Megaworld
  • January 18-24 – Iloilo Dinagyang 2021 MarketMarket (PCCI) | SM City Iloilo Activity Center
  • January 18-24 – One Iloilo, One Dinagyang Trade Fair | Festive Mall Iloilo
  • January 18-24 – Dinagyang Costume Exhibit | SM City Iloilo North Point
  • January 18 – Dinagyang Fantasy Make-Up Contest | Robinson’s Place Jaro Activity Center
  • January 20 – Dinagyang Drumbeats | Robinson’s Place Iloilo Fountain Area
  • January 22, 2PM – Sto. Nino Religious Motorcade (IFFI & San Jose Parish) | San Jose Parish Church – Iloilo City main streets
  • January 22-24 – Dinagyang Foodfest | Iloilo Convention Center (Mercado Iloilo Weekend Market & IHRA); 
    City Time Square (Street Food Night Market Drive Thru); SM City Iloilo (Batchoy Festival) and 
    ATRIA Park District (Tienda)
  • January 23, 9AM-11AM – Dagyang sa Calle Real Time (Rotary Club of Iloilo South) | Online Stream: www.iloilofestivals.com (Dinagyang Social Media Pages)
  • January 23, 5:30PM – Dinagyang Warrior Fashion Show | Festive Mall Iloilo
  • January 23, 7PM – Virtual Religious Sadsad 2021 (IFFI & San Jose Parish) | Online Stream: www.iloilofestivals.com (Dinagyang Social Media Pages)
  • January 24, 7AM – Virtual Dinagyang Mass 2021 (IFFI & San Jose Parish) | Online Stream: www.iloilofestivals.com (Dinagyang Social Media Pages)
  • January 24, Sunday, Morning – One Dinagyang Digital Presentation | GMA Regional TV 6,  Online Stream: www.iloilofestivals.com (Dinagyang Social Media Pages)
  • January 24, 6PM – Virtual Awarding Ceremony (IFFI & San Jose Parish) | Online Stream: www.iloilofestivals.com (Dinagyang Social Media Pages)

Main Highlights of the Festival in Iloilo

  • Floats Parade of Lights
  • Festive Parade Sponsors Mardi Gras
  • Dinagyang 360° Tribe Competition

Dinagyang Festival 2021 Guide

There is no room for dead air and boredom in Dinagyang Festival 2021 when the thunderous drum beats, heart-pounding chants, and world-class Dinagyang Festival dance performances begin. And when you’re in Iloilo for the festival, keep these tips in mind to make the most out of your festival experience!

1. Research 
Don’t just book that flight and travel to Iloilo empty-handed. Find out the most Instagrammable spots, where to eat, and the best places to stay in Iloilo. Read also some things about Dinagyang. Trust us, you’ll enjoy the festivity more if you know and absorb the true Dinagyang Festival meaning.

2. Bring water
Don’t let yourself dehydrated. Always bring a water bottle with you because for sure, you will get tired from the endless but convivial walks, dances, and parties throughout the day!

3. Wear appropriate clothes
Comfort is key to a more fun festival experience! Wear clothes that are light and comfortable enough for you to move freely. Also, if you don’t want to have calluses at the end of the day, avoid wearing heels. Choose a comfortable but tough pair of shoes to keep your feet clean and safe.

4. Wear sunscreen
Unless you want to get a tan, protect your skin from harmful UV rays of the sun by putting on sunblock. 

5. Book your accommodations in Iloilo early
Dinagyang Festival is one of the country’s biggest festivals so expect that many tourists around the world will visit Iloilo during this time. We suggest that you book your accommodations in Iloilo as early as today.


Must-visit Iloilo tourist spots

Here are some of the top attractions in Iloilo every traveler must visit.

  1. Gigantes Islands
  2. Miag-ao Church
  3. Garin Farm
  4. Nadsadjan Falls
  5. Calle Real
  6. Molo Church
  7. Iloilo River Esplanade
  8. Pawikan Cave
  9. Concepcion Islands
  10. Tangke Lagoon

For the full list of Iloilo tourist spots, read this: 18 Must-Visit Iloilo Tourist Spots That Will Capture Your Heart

The real Dinagyang Festival meaning is not just about the grand street dance, a parade of floats, and partying but about the celebration in honor of Santo Niño. Through Dinagyang, Ilonggos did not just prove the world how artistic Filipinos are but also show the values and unity of the community.


Iloilo Tourism Guidelines 2021 | COVID-19 Updates

As of April 2021, traveling to Iloilo is allowed but travelers must comply with the following requirements:

What you need:

  1. Get coordination through the s-pass system https://s-pass.ph/
  2. RT-PCR test upon arrival
  3. Passengers will be required to upload soft or scanned copies of their pre-travel requirements. Once verified, you will be given a QR Code indicating the local government’s approval of their travel to Iloilo City. Ensure that you have a copy of the QR Code, whether soft or hard copy of the same which shall be presented for scanning upon their arrival at the ports of entry of Iloilo City.
  4. Get a Travel Coordination Permit (TCP) through the S-PaSS Travel Management System by submitting the following requirements: 

ILOILO CITY RESIDENTS AND/OR THOSE STAYING WITH ILOILO CITY RESIDENTS
Get a Certificate of Residency from their respective Barangays in Iloilo City 

NON-RESIDENTS OF ILOILO CITY
Copy of hotel or accommodation establishment booking

APOR (staying in Iloilo for not more than 24 hours)

  1. Negative RT-PCR (OPS / NPS) Test Result showing that the date of specimen extraction was made not more than three (3) days prior to the date of travel
  2. Identification Card
  3. Travel Order
  4. Travel Itinerary
  5. Must pass symptom-screening at ports of entry and exit
  6. Accomplish official business in Iloilo City within twenty-four (24) hours from arrival.

APORs traveling for medical purposes must secure a certification from a physician, hospital or medically qualified healthcare provider indicating the medical services or procedures. 

ALL OTHER INDIVIDUALS ARRIVING IN ILOILO CITY (LSIs, ROFs, APORs staying in Iloilo City for more than 24 hours, and Persons on Non-essential Travel / Tourists)

  1. Upon arrival in Iloilo City, passengers shall be subject to NPS/OPS RT-PCR Testing at the airport.
  2. After the RT-PCR testing, individuals must observe strict self-quarantine until a negative RT-PCR test result is issued. The self-quarantine may be observed in either the following: at home, at hotels/accommodation establishments, or at the government quarantine facilities.
  3. Individuals who are confirmed COVID-19 positive shall comply with the instructions of local health authorities.

For more travel updates, visit Iloilo City Tourism’s Facebook page.


Frequently Asked Questions About Dinagyang Festival

Q: What is the Dinagyang Festival description?

A: Dinagyang is a Hiligaynon word that means “merrymaking.” Just like the Sinulog and Ati-Atihan Festivals, Dinagyang Festival is one of the religious festivities in the Philippines that celebrates the feast of the Santo Niño and the pact between the Datus and locals.

Q: Why is Dinagyang Festival celebrated?

A: Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo is an important event in the Philippines just like other festivals. The festival is held to show reverence of Santo Niño as well as to mark the arrival of Malay immigrants.

Q: Where is Dinagyang Festival celebrated?

A: The Dinagyang Festival place of origin is Iloiloi that’s why it is celebrated there.

Q: When is Dinagyang Festival celebrated?

A: This Iloilo festival is celebrated every 4th Sunday of January.

Q: Who is the patron of Dinagyang Festival?

A: Just like the Sinulog and Ati-Atihan Festivals, Dinagyang Festival is one of the religious festivities in the Philippines that celebrates the feast of the Santo Niño and the pact between the Datus and locals.

Q: How do we celebrate Dinagyang festival?

A: Every 4th Sunday of January, the festival transforms the Iloilo City into a massive street party with overflowing drinks and food. The most exciting part is that the city hosts a highly competitive Dinagyang Festival dance contest and grand float parades.

Q: What activities to do in Dinagyang Festival?

A: When attending Dinagyang Festival, make sure you wouldn’t miss these fun activities:

  1. Floats Parade of Lights
  2. Festive Parade Sponsors Mardi Gras
  3. Dinagyang 360° Tribe Competition
  4. Ilonggo Dinagyang Arts Festival
  5. Miss Iloilo Pageant
  6. Ilonggo Food festival
  7. Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

For years, millions of devotees of the miraculous image of the Child Jesus, Santo Niño, have been coming to Cebu City from all over the world to show their gratitude to the Holy Child in the week-long Sinulog festival.

Apart from being a religious festival, Sinulog has also served as a venue to showcase the unique Cebuano artistry and creativity as participants offer stunning performances and a remarkable celebration that continues to capture the hearts of local and foreign tourists.

Sinulog Festival Activities Every Traveler Must Experience

Many travelers all over the world visit Cebu to experience the grand Sinulog Festival in Cebu. Make sure you wouldn’t miss these fun activities for an amazing festival experience!

  1. Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of the Santo Niño
  2. Sinulog Grand Parade
  3. Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan
  4. Sinulog sa Barangay (Dakbayan)
  5. Search for Sinulog Festival Queen

What’s inside this blog?

Sinulog Festival Description

If you’re asking about the Sinulog Festival description, here’s the answer.

Sinulog means “like water current” and is actually the name of the dance ritual in honor of the Santo Niño. The dance moves to the beat of the drums and this resembles the current of a river in Cebu. Thus, calling it the Sinulog Dance. 

Now that you know the Sinulog Festival description, let’s now trace back the Sinulog festival history.


Sinulog Festival History

sinulog festival cebu

Historians say that Sinulog is the link between the Philippines’ pagan past and its Christian present.

Sinulog was already danced by the natives in honor of their wooden idols and anitos even before Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan came to Cebu on April 7, 1521 to plant the cross on its shore and claim the country for the King of Spain. Then Magellan came and introduced Christianity. He gave the image of Santo Niño as a baptismal gift to Hara Amihan, who was later named Queen Juana, wife of Cebu’s Rajah Humabon. At that time, more than 800 were baptized including the rulers and their subjects. But shortly after the religious conversion, Magellan was killed into a reckless fight with the reigning ruler of Mactan, Lapu-Lapu, on April 27, 1521.

sinulog festival cebu

It took 44 years before a new group came and started the formal Christianization of the islands. Miguel Lopez de Legaspi arrived in Cebu on April 28, 1565, and his ships bombarded the village. Then Spanish soldier Juan Camus found the image of the Santo Niño inside a wooden box in the burned ruins of a pre-Spanish settlement in Cebu.

During the 44 years between the coming of Magellan and Legaspi, the natives continued to dance the Sinulog. Every Santo Niño fiesta which falls on the third Sunday of January, children dressed in moro-moro costumes danced the Sinulog. This was not really a big event for Cebu City then.

sinulog festival cebu

In 1980, then Regional Director of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development (MYSD) David S. Odilao Jr., organized the first-ever Sinulog parade.

The Sinulog steps were analyzed and further enhanced. With the help of the teachers from several schools and universities, the first Sinulog Street Dance Parade was spearheaded. The street dance parade was the start of the idea of making the Sinulog a festival.

Under the direction of then Cebu City Mayor Florentino S. Solon together with the influential names in town, a committee was formed to officially organize the first Sinulog Festival in 1981.

sinulog festival cebu

With the background of the Spanish encounters, the Sinulog committee used a native warrior’s shield on whose face is imprinted the coat of arms of the House of Hapsburg (which then ruled most of the known world from 15th-20th century) that now represents the Sinulog logo. The native shield figure symbolizes the country’s continued resistance to colonization. It represents the Filipinos’ readiness to defend the country from all forms of foreign attack and to resist any move that may endanger the country. The coat of arms of the Santo Niño on the face of the shield on the other hand, traditionally symbolizes the country’s acceptance of Christianity as European rulers brought it to the settlements.

And year after year, the Sinulog festival gets bigger and better. 


When is Sinulog Festival celebrated?

Sinulog Festival is celebrated every third Sunday of January. For Sinulog 2021, it falls on January 17.  However, due to the 2021 COVID-19 pandemic, the Sinulog Festival 2021 physical and virtual celebrations are postponed. 


What to Expect

Sinulog is one of the most-awaited events in the Philippines so expect to see a lot of people in the streets who will participate in the celebration. The Grand Street Parade which is the biggest event during Sinulog, normally starts at around 8 or 9 in the morning. There are also pyromusical shows, and a series of fun events that you should look forward to.


Sinulog Festival 2021 Schedule of Activities

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to the pandemic, Sinulog Festival 2021 will be done virtually.

  • January 3-10, 2021: Sinulog Festival Kick-Off – Fun Ride – Virtual Bike Challenge
  • January 4-6, 2021: Virtual Sinulog Workshop
  • January 8, 2021: Holy Mass @ Basilica del Sto. Nino | Opening Salvo Rewind
  • January 8, 2021: See Cebu in Carousel Launch
  • January 9, 2021: Sinulog sa Lalawigan Rewind @ Sinulog Facebook Page & Website
  • January 10, 2021: Sinulog sa Dakbayan Rewind @ Sinulog Facebook Page & Website
  • January 12, 2021: Festival Queen Rewind | Dollie Suzara Tribute
  • January 13, 2021: Highlands Blooms and Eco-Tourism Launching
  • January 14, 2021: Sinulog Idol Battle of the Champions | Balik Cebu: Padayun Ta
  • January 15, 2021: Festival Queen Grand Showdown @ SM Seaside Open Space Parking
  • January 16, 2021: Holy Mass c/o Basilica del Sto. Nino
  • January 17, 2021: Grand Ritual Showdown @ SRP (No audience; Virtual streaming available via Sinulog Festival Facebook Page & Website)
  • January 1-31, 2021: Cebu City Sinulog One-Stop Shop at Ayala Center Cebu
  • January 1-31, 2021: Cebuano Kini – Balik Cebu Native Exhibit at Ayala Center Cebu
  • January 8-31, 2021: The Sto. Nino – Gasa sa Ika Lima Ka Gatos Ka Tuig (500 Years Of Christianity) Exhibit at Ayala Center Cebu
  • January 8-31, 2021: Sinulog Festival Queen Costume Exhibit at Ayala Center Cebu
  • January 18, 2021 (Monday): Awarding Ceremonies
  • January 24, 2021 (Friday): “HUBO” c/o Basilica del Sto. Nino
  • January 27, 2021: Judging Sinulog 2021 Photo Contest at Robinsons Galleria Cebu
  • January 28, 2021: Judging of Finalists in Short Film/Video Documentary and Music Video Contest at Robinsons Galleria Cebu
  • February 2, 2021:
    • 1:00PM – Screening of Finalist Sinulog Short Film Festival at Robinsons Galleria Cebu
    • 6:00PM – Awarding Ceremonies Photo Contest, Short Film and Video Documentary Contest at Robinsons Galleria Cebu
  • February 1-10, 2021: Photo Exhibit Winning Photos Sinulog 2021 at Robinsons Galleria Cebu

Source: Sinulog Festival Facebook Page

Main Highlights

  • Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of the Santo Niño
  • Sinulog Festival Grand Parade

Sinulog Festival 2021 Guide: Tips for Attending the Festival

sinulog festival cebu

From heart-pounding tribal beats and crazy bar parties to the amazing Cebuano spirit, Sinulog Festival is an absolute feast for the senses. Here are some tips to make your Sinulog experience safe and more fun:

1. Bring water
The walking, dancing, and partying during Sinulog Festival will surely tire you so be sure to bring water. This will keep you hydrated throughout the day. 

2. Wear appropriate clothes
By appropriate clothes, we mean light and comfortable clothing. This is to keep you at ease while moving around because 99% of the time, you’ll be walking and dancing with the crowd. Wear also a comfortable but tough pair of shoes to keep your feet clean and safe.

3. Wear sunscreen
Expect the weather to be hot during the day so wear sunblock to protect your skin from the scorching heat of the sun. 

4. Go with the flow
Sinulog’s massive crowd can be overwhelming. Be ready to get your face smeared with paint or water for the umpteenth time! Don’t take everything too seriously, just good vibes, have fun, and enjoy.

5. Find a Cebu hotel near the parade route
Public transportation in Cebu during Sinulog might be limited or slow to a standstill. You may also find yourself stranded in the middle of the party zone. We suggest you find a hotel within walking distance of the places where the main events will happen. Check out the Cebu budget hotels here.

6. Book your accommodations in Cebu early
Sinulog is one of the country’s biggest festivals. That means it draws millions of visitors from across the world. So the hotels in Cebu will most likely be fully booked on Sinulog season. That’s why we strongly suggest that you book your accommodations in Cebu as early as today.

What began as a revival of an old dance, brought everyone— the government, business establishments, schools, pilgrims, artists, and private individuals— together. The Sinulog festival surely gave the Cebuanos a shared passion, an identity, a culture, and a name.


Cebu Tourist Spots

And since you’re in Cebu already, the Sinulog Festival place of origin, make the most of your trip by exploring the best of the province. Here are some of the top attractions in Cebu.

  1. Oslob – For swimming with whale sharks
  2. Bantayan Island – The paradise of the North Cebu
  3. Malapascua Island – Magnificent marine life
  4. Kawasan Falls – For canyoneering
  5. Simala Shrine – A castle-like shrine
  6. Pescador Island – For swimming with millions of sardines
  7. Sirao Flower Garden – The Netherlands of Cebu

For the complete list, read this blog: 15 Amazingly Beautiful Cebu Tourist Spots to Include in Your Itinerary


Cebu Tourism Guidelines 2021 | COVID-19 Updates

As of writing, Cebu has reopened its doors to local tourists. The province has set new guidelines for entering Cebu. See the details below:

  • All passengers and personnel should wear face masks and face shields when accessing Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal premises and during their flight.
  • Persons with incomplete documents shall not be allowed to board the aircraft.
  • Confirmed Round Trip Plane Ticket must also be presented (except for LSI and ROF)
  • Fill-out Province of Cebu Public Health Passenger Locator Form

For Tourists

  1. Authority To Enter (ATE)
  2. Negative RT-PCR Test  taken within 3 days prior to the travel date
  3. Round trip flight booking  
  4. Confirmed accredited hotel reservation
  5. Travel itinerary
  6. Travel Authority issued by PNP JTF COVID Shield

For Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFS)

  1. Negative RT-PCR swab test result
  2. Valid Identification Card
  3. Quarantine certificate (proof of completion of the 14-day quarantine)

For Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIS)

  1. Authority to enter
  2. Valid I.D.
  3. Letter of Coordination (LOC) from the Barangay residence in Cebu City
  4. Medical Certificate, issued within 48 hours before departure

Authorized Persons Outside Of Residence (APORS)

  1. Authority to enter
  2. Company ID / Valid Identification Card
  3. Certificate of Employment or proof of business or profession
  4. Proof of reason for travel or intent to visit (or Appointment of visit in Cebu City)
  5. Letter of Coordination (LOC) from the Barangay residence in Cebu City
  6. Medical clearance certificate
  7. Travel clearance from the Office of the Cebu City Mayor

Frequently Asked Questions About Sinulog Festival

Q: What is the Sinulog Festival description?
A: The description of Sinulog Festival is “like water current” and is actually the name of the dance ritual in honor of the Santo Niño. The dance moves to the beat of the drums and this resembles the current of a river in Cebu. Thus, calling it the Sinulog Dance. Now let’s trace back and revive the Sinulog festival history.

Q: Is Sinulog Festival a religious festival?
A: Yes Sinulog is a religious festival. Apart from being a religious festival, Sinulog has also served as a venue to showcase the unique Cebuano artistry and creativity as participants offer stunning performances and a remarkable celebration that continues to capture the hearts of local and foreign tourists.

Q: What can I expect at the Sinulog Festival?
A: Many travelers all over the world visit Cebu to experience the grand Sinulog Festival in Cebu. Make sure you wouldn’t miss these fun activities for an amazing festival experience!

  1. Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of the Santo Niño
  2. Sinulog Grand Parade
  3. Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan
  4. Sinulog sa Barangay (Dakbayan)
  5. Search for Sinulog Festival Queen

Q: What does Pit Senyor mean?
A: “Pit Señor” is the short form of “Sangpit sa Señor,” a Cebuano phrase that means “to call, ask, and plead to the king.” 

Q: Where is Sinulog Festival celebrated?
A: It is celebrated in Cebu because it is the Sinulog Festival place of origin.

Q: When is Sinulog Festival celebrated?
A: Sinulog Festival in Cebu is celebrated every January.

Q: Where is Sinulog Festival place of origin?
A: The Sinulog Festival place of origin is Cebu province.

Q: Who is the Patron Saint celebrated in the Sinulog Festival?  
A: Santo Niño is the patron saint celebrated in the Sinulog Festival. For years, millions of devotees of the miraculous image of the Child Jesus, Santo Niño, have been coming to Cebu City from all over the world to show their gratitude to the Holy Child in the week-long Sinulog festival.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.