Every third Sunday of January, the country looks towards one of the biggest and grandest cultural festivals in the country — Cebu’s Sinulog Festival.

The festival is centered around the arrival of Christianity in the country, starting in the province of Cebu. The story that inspires the festival is the presentation of the image of the Child Jesus — referred to as the Santo Niño — to the Cebuano people. Aside from the religious aspects of the celebration, Sinulog has spurred a large collection of events and shows to ring in the busiest season of the province.

We compiled a list of events you need to check out, starting from the pre-Sinulog celebrations this January 13 to the final day of Sinulog on the 21st.

Bring the house down with AHKA’s pre-Sinulog drag show

Local community space AHKA’s Sari-sari Space, in collaboration with Cebuano drag house Haus of Renaissance, are set to host a pre-Sinulog drag performance featuring the queens of the Haus of Renaissance. The show will happen on January 13 at 9PM with tickets priced at P150. Gear up for this year’s festival by wearing your old Sinulog merch. Check out more details here.

Take a deep dive into the Cebuano indie scene at Subculture Merch’s LATAG 2 show

Get into that Sinulog spirit with another pre-Sinulog show organized by Subculture Merch. It’s slated to be a jam-packed event complete with local musicians, DJs, performance artists, sellers, local businesses and more. Check out the event page here.

Check out 6332 Music’s Pop Up Show

Another pre-Sinulog event to check out is 6332 Music’s pop up show at Draft Punk Craft Cafe this January 13. Local acts KANA, Adrienne, and The Spirals will be in attendance. Keep posted for more updates here.

Feel the groove at the Ayala Center Cebu’s Tribal Beats performances

At the heart of Cebu City is Ayala Center Cebu, and every year they host a number of celebrations and exhibits for the Sinulog season. One of the activities is a series of drum performances from January 15 to 17 and on the 21st at the mall’s West and Cardinal Rosales entrances. Learn more about Ayala’s events on their Facebook.

Ring in Sinulog with performances at the Mactan Cebu International Airport

Philippine Information Agency

With Sinulog being one of the busiest weekends in the province, the Mactan Cebu International Airport has dance and drum performances, re-enactments, and exhibits happening in the departure and arrival areas of the two terminals. The performances start on January 17 and conclude on the 21st.

Rock out with the two-night ‘Bottle City’ gigs

Local production house John Bottles Events will be hosting a two-show Bottle City gig with both Cebuano and Manila acts. Day one features Manila bands Pedicab and Tarsius as well as DJ duo The Diegos (featuring Diego Mapa of Pedicab, Tarsius, and Eggboy and Diego Castillo of Sandwich). Former NU Rock Awards nominee Sheila and the Insects and fellow Cebuano acts Folding Bed, Kubra Commander, The Pervs, and Ala Ahkbar are also on the lineup. The first night will close with DJ sets by Libya Montes and Nina Turtle.

On the second day, Tarsius and The Diegos will perform their second sets together with a DJ set by Jiggawho. The Cebuano acts on the lineup include bedtime television, Hollywood Folk Hogan, She Must Be Dreaming, The Midnight Greetings, and local DJs 2D Echo, The Del Mundos, Future Teenager x Kiim and Stereomafia x Popdaze.

The gigs are set to happen on January 19 and 20 at Draft Punk Craft Cafe and Cebu Making Space respectively. Tickets for the first day cost P650 for the presale and P750 for walk-in while the second day costs P400 for the presale and P500 for walk-ins. Follow John Bottles Events on Facebook for more details.

Party like there’s no tomorrow at Ten Over Ten’s Outdoor Sinulog Party

Club and bar TEN OVER TEN are gearing up to bring that Sinulog party spirit with a two-day outdoor party at 88th Avenue. The event is table reservations only with consumables and freebies priced from P5,000 to P25,000. Check out the full details here.

Watch the Sinulog Idol Grand Finals

Fienes Photography and Films

Every year, the longest running singing competition in the province stages the different stages and grand finals of Sinulog Idol. This year, the grand finals will happen at Fuente Osmeña on January 18 (Thursday), where the finalists will battle it out for the coveted prize. The different elimination rounds start on January 12 and happen everyday until the 18th.

Check out The Sinulog Idol’s Facebook page for more updates.

Cheer on the queens at the Sinulog Festival Queen Coronation Night

Sinulog Queen Festival 2023 Kiara Liane Wellington

Sinulog wouldn’t be complete with the Sinulog Festival Queen, and this year’s edition is no exception. In the culture of the Sinulog festival, the festival queen is the lead dancer leading the rest of the dancers in their tribute to the Santo Niño. It comes from the story of how Christianity arrived in the Philippines, where the image of the Child Jesus was presented to the tribal Queen Juana. Today, the Sinulog Festival Queen re-enacts that story through the traditional dance.

Representatives from the different cities in Cebu battle it out for the Festival Queen title, with this year’s coronation night happening on January 19, 7:30PM, at the SRP Grounds.

Jam at the Globe One Ayala Sinulog concert

This year’s Globe One Ayala concert is billed to bring together some of the country’s top artists. The event is set to happen on Sinulog day at 6PM in Ayala’s garden terraces area. In the past, groups like Lola Amour, Mandaue Nights, I Belong To The Zoo, and more have graced the Globe at Sinulog stage.

Globe has yet to announce this year’s lineup. Keep posted for more updates on Ayala Center Cebu’s socials.

Go all out at the Sinulog Grand Parade

Cebu Provincial Government

The grand parade is the ultimate event of the Sinulog Festival, where dancers and devotees travel through the SRP Grounds with a full marching band and grand costumes. This year’s grand parade happens on Sinulog day at 9AM, with the grand finale and fireworks ceremony at 7PM. Your Sinulog experience would not be complete without the grand parade, so make sure to keep an eye out for more details here.

This list will be updated as more events are announced.