Baumgart: Sinulog Notes

Elisabeth Baumgart

Prititit!

Pit Senyor, guys!

As has been our tradition for years, our celebrations continue straight from Christmas holidays all the way up to Sinulog. Without break for a quick breather, the Christmas and New Year’s decorations go down and the Sinulog décor goes up.

As this little piece sees print and goes up online, we’re sure a whole lot of you are already out on the streets taking in the sights and sounds of Sinulog 2020. Or watching Sinulog from the comforts of your homes.

The Sinulog celebration has always been one of my favorite events to cover as a reporter. I’d leave before the sun even started to rise to cover the Mañanita Mass and the Misa Pontifical de la “Fiesta Señor” at the Basilica del Sto. Niño. I remember being in awe by the sheer mass of devotees at the Basilica at 4 a.m.

I remember arriving at the Basilica a little past 3 a.m. I was told to make sure I’d arrive early so I could squeeze myself to the front and get a good spot. As a reporter assigned to the church beat, it was important to hear the priests’ homilies and catch them after mass for a quick interview. I wasn’t prepared by the throng of people at 3 a.m. but I somehow squeezed myself to the front and pressed myself against the iron gates of the Basilica. When the gates finally opened, we all rushed into the Pilgrim Center and tried to find the best spots.

For many of us, memories of Sinulog are those of getting crushed in the crowds of Mango Ave. where random people smear paint on you and music assaults you from all corners; or of the nights leading up to Sinulog and the insane rave parties with top artists.

But, as I think of Sinulog, and this can be the case of many, I have memories of the Basilica and my time spent there. I thoroughly enjoyed my time drinking in the rich history and traditions of Sinulog and writing about our devotions to the Child Jesus.

Sinulog at the Basilica is enthralling and the energy inspires–-the devotees, some who have traveled far and make it a tradition, are inspiring.

Sinulog has always been special. There’s something about the annual celebration that energizes you–-despite how tiring it can be at times.

For whatever reason it may be that brings you out on the streets today, I hope you have a meaningful time. Stay hydrated, find meaning in the celebration, don’t harass people on the streets (if you don’t like random people smearing paint on your face, we don’t either) and don’t get wasted. Keep the rowdy, club behavior at the clubs--and help make the celebration more meaningful.

Pit Senyor, everybody!