The Sinulog Festival in Cebu is one of the happiest celebrations and days in the entire province. It honors the image of the Santo Niño or Child Jesus— a baptismal gift of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Hara Amihan, the wife of Rajah Humabon, chieftain of Zebu (now Cebu).
The Sinulog Festival also commemorates the Cebuanos’ conversion to Roman Catholicism after Magellan arrived on Philippine shores. (Read: The 500-Year History of Catholicism in the Philippines) Pre-pandemic, this colorful feast would have showcased art through exhibits, dancers on the streets in colorful costumes, held contests and beauty pageants, and celebrated Masses in honor of the Child Jesus. But because of the novel coronavirus, celebrations had to be postponed this year.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the spirit of Sinulog at home! My Pope lists some delicacies of the festival that you can serve at home with your family.
Sinulog Staples: Popcorn
While it’s unusual to hear that popcorn is a ‘staple’ for a festival, it rings true for Sinulog. Every year, popcorn vendors line up on the streets so that they can attract young children who are getting hungry watching the festivities. Popcorn offered has various flavors like strawberry, caramel, and cheese— some of the ‘signature’ flavors of street popcorn. (Read: 3 Movie Night Snacks That Can Replace Your Popcorn)
Sinulog Staples: Barbecue
Ihaw-ihaw is for sure a staple at Filipino parties— including festivals. It’s delicious, easy to eat, and relatively cheap! An authentic barbecue is just the thing to satisfy your hunger and cravings as you enjoy watching the contests and dances that Sinulog has to offer. (Read: Diet Plans for Weight Loss? A Nutritionist-Dietician Gave Us Tips!)
Sinulog Staples: Lechon Kawali or Porkchop
Everyone loves a good fried meat dish every so often, and a party is a good excuse to indulge in the putok batok goodness of lechon kawali and porkchop. And during Sinulog, these two dishes are available at every corner so you wouldn’t have any difficulty looking for a place that has it on their menu. The porkchop is also sold at tusok tusok stands together with fishballs, squidball, and kikiam! (Read: Wow, This Plant-Based Lechon Belly Is Worth Trying!)
Sinulog Staples: Empanada
Empanada is one of those dishes that are filling even if it’s relatively small in size. It has meat, vegetables, and sometimes even egg inside— a complete meal if you ask us! The dough also acts as the carbs for it so you’re definitely eating a bite-sized full meal. The empanada is available in both restaurants and stalls during Sinulog festivities which means you have no excuse not to try it!