Monday, January 19, 2009

Sinulog Saturday 2009 is family time

If Sinulog Sunday were meant for the biggest streetdancing of Cebu (and arguably in the Philippines as well), Sinulog Saturday is for family. It is the day devoted for the solemn procession, set apart from the commercialization and revelry of the Sinulog fiesta. Traditions tend to ground us in a world of changes and our family keeps religious observances close to heart.

We skipped the daybreak fluvial parade this year as the early morning schedule was too disruptive for our daughter Cacing. Instead, we headed to the city only during lunch for a mini-reunion with relatives on my mom’s side.

Ying2 and Aneka
the 2-way MJ Cuenco St was filled with procession-goers along the 5 km circular route
Canon EOS 5D, 1/200s, f/1.8, 50mm, ISO 50

The route this year was quite long. At about 5 kilometers, this was more than double last year’s. Instead of our usual camp-out at the Metropolitan Cebu Cathedral parking area, my aunts found an old house of a relative at the juncture of T. Padilla St and MJ Cuenco. We considered ourselves lucky to have a convenient place to stay as we opted out of the procession this year. Cacing doesn’t really enjoy the stroller and we could not carry her all throughout the procession. Indeed, while the procession started at around 1 PM, it took about 2 hours for the head of procession to pass by us. Some 30 minutes later, at past 3:30, the Sto Niño carroza arrived. The church obviously made it a mission to usher the Sto Niño back to the Basilica early. About a million people was estimated to have joined the procession and it wasn’t until about 5PM when we saw the tailend of the procession.

Sto Nino passes by
people waving to the Sto Niño
Canon EOS 5D, 1/200s, f/1.8, 50mm, ISO 50

As reunions go, ties were renewed and tales were swapped. I had idle time with my camera. My nieces and nephews became willing models and I enjoyed photographing them. I am sharing here few of the shots.

Canon EOS 5D, 1/200s, f/2.8, 100mm, ISO 100

Canon EOS 5D, 1/1250s, f/2.8, 100 mm, ISO 1600

Canon EOS 5D, 1/50s, f/2.8, 100mm, ISO 640

To cap the day, we proceeded to the SM Mall and had dinner with old flickr friends Maning and Tet. At 8PM, we went up to the SM roof deck to watch the 1st Sinulog Pyrotechnics Competition.

my aunt’s Sto Niño which she brought for the procession
Canon EOS 5D, 1/400s, f/2.8, 100mm, ISO 3200

As pyrotechnics go, I’ve seen more impressive fireworks but then, I really wasn’t expecting anything grand, what with the current economic crunch. Too bad, I was ready with my tripod as I’ve never photographed fireworks before.

close encounters
a captive audience before a fireworks-lit night sky
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 2.0s, f/3.5, 18mm, ISO 800

After the presentation of the third contestant, I decided to go home. It was getting late and Cacing already was asleep. We left SM just before traffic turned horrendous and made it home at 9:30 PM.

tearing up the sky
part of the pyrotechnic display at SM
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 3.2s, f/4, 18mm, ISO 800

My colds were also getting terrible so sleep was much welcomed. The street parade the next day would be big and I wasn’t about to miss that.

the Sinulog 2009 series includes
the Sinulog Saturday procession and fireworks
Sinulog 2009 grand street parade part 1 (winners),
part 2 (the Sinulog-based contingents)
part 3 (the Free Interpretation contingents), and
the Sinulog beauties

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