I had no plans of going to Sinulog this year. After ranting about the crowd in Vigan, I thought there was no way that I was going to go through that number of people again.
But I had to be in Cebu. My friend Anne who was coming home from Canada was going to be in Cebu on January 18, the last day of Sinulog. I didn’t have enough funds to go to Camotes, which was my original plan before heading to Cebu City, so I decided to just watch the parade with my friend Jersie.
I was supposed to be traveling to Cebu on Saturday, January 17. But the weather wasn’t good and I was just a little tired, so I decided not to risk it. I decided to just book a plane ticket for next day. Good thing Cebu Pacific still had regularly priced tickets and the no-fuel-surcharge thing really helped.
So I arrived in Cebu on Sunday. We first had a heavy breakfast to make sure we were not going to faint amid the crowds in the city. Jersie and I had experienced the chaos in Sinulog before so we weren’t taking any chances. My no-rice diet had to be on hold.
We rode a jeepney from Mactan to Mandaue Hi-way and then from there to Ayala Center. Then we started walking until we reached Mango Square. I was surprised that we could walk freely without encountering too much resistance from the crowd. We were there from 10am to 1pm so we must have been too early. I would hear later on from other friends the difficulties they faced in going from one place to another. I know how that feels but hey it’s Sinulog.
The parade had barely started when we got to Mango and there was not much merriment yet. But there were enough music and people in costumes to be happy about.
Of course, there were local celebrities, much to Jersie’s delight.
The parade stopped at 12noon. After a few minutes, we realized this was not going to move any time soon. We tried our luck first to go to Jones Avenue but there was a bottleneck of people in front of the Robinson’s Mall, so we headed back.
Again, the entire Mango Avenue was not as chaotic as we expected. People, and I mean the spectators and tourists, were freely walking in the middle of the road, while the performers were having lunch.
Then we started posing with the performers. I have never done this before. My previous Sinulog experiences were all about braving through the crowd and just watching. I never realized how nice these performers were.
Despite the blistering sun which stressed me out big time (and I wasn’t performing), these men and women in costumes were all smiles and welcoming when you approach them to take pictures with them. I know how dirty Cebu can get and I have experienced the worst of people here having lived here for almost three years, so this was really new to me. It’s not easy to be nice when you’re sweating all over.
We went back to Ayala to have lunch. I wasn’t particularly hungry, I was just tired. I wasn’t wearing the right shoes I guess because my feet were no longer in the mood to walk any farther. I should have worn my running shoes instead.
I wanted to meet other friends who were also watching the parade in the afternoon but Jersie and I did not have enough energy left to go back to Mango, plus my phone’s battery was almost empty, so it would be really difficult to find anyone in that crowd.
We decided to just kill time in Ayala and proceeded to IT Park after to meet my Convergys NACS Wave 15 friends. We were celebrating our eighth anniversary (yes, coincidentally with Sinulog) and they were the reason why I was in Cebu.
I drink fast nowadays so I got drunk pretty fast too. By the end of the night, I was wasted. But I had fun with these friends of mine.
I slept at Eden and Marc’s house where I played with Basti the next day. Really, really cute kid!
I was planning to go to Bantayan but I canceled it for a few reasons. I was just lazy, I wasn’t exactly comfortable with the money I had left, the two resorts I contacted were not responding and it would be a good time to see my other friend Shiela.
So I had lunch at Shiela and her husband Eric’s house and got to see my goddaughter Nash and her tooth doctor brother Yuri. Really, really adorable kids and they never seem to run out of energy. I love kids! Shiela’s younger sister, Cheng, who’s also my dear friend, came for lunch too so it was really great seeing them.
I was able to catch the bus going back to Negros in the afternoon. I was glad I came too early at the terminal so I was able to get a priority number so I didn’t have to stand the entire trip.