SUNRISE, Fla. – A vibrant festival in honor of the Philippines’ oldest Christian icon – the Senor Santo Niño or the child Jesus!
“We celebrate our Sinulog here in Florida because we want to share our culture with other races and we must continue our tradition for our youth,” said Sinulog organizer Precy Lim.
Sinulog commemorates the Filipino people’s acceptance of Christianity from Spain in 1521.
“Even though I’m not brought up in the Philippines, I can really feel like the culture is embedded in me,” said Santo Niño devotee Patrick Poblete. “I wish I could experience Sinulog for real though like back home but this is enough.”
Historians say the Sinulog dance steps, two steps forward and one step backward, mimic the current of Cebu’s Pahina River.
And while dancing, people shout petitions and thanksgivings to the Santo Niño.
Filipinos in Sunrise are also praying for Miss Philippines MJ Lastimosa’s success in the Miss Universe pageant in nearby Miami.
“Today, I will pray to the Holy Infant Jesus that Miss Philippines will win again,” said Freda Arzadon.
“Hopefully she will win and will become Miss Universe,” said Bella Simbahon of Del Ray Beach. “Yes, she is really beautiful and she has a really big chance to win.”
The Sinulog in Florida is not just a showcase of the Cebuano tradition of dance rituals and colorful costumes, but also a showcase of the Filipino ingenuity and centuries-old Catholic faith.
You can contact Don Tagala at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @dontagla for more information.