My First Sinulog in Auckland 2009

I say that Christmas is not over until the Sinulog celebration is over. The Sinulog had always been a part of our family tradition ever since it started in Cebu. We actively participate in the Sto Nino Village fiesta celebration and the city activities. I remember the time when people would bring charcoal and smudge the faces of people on the street. It was fun but turned maddening when some used grease instead of charcoal.

The Sto Nino Village novenas would start as soon as the Christmas masses were over. We would have late night practices in hidden corners of the village because the other tribes might out do our choreography. It was controversial more than competitive.

The Sto Nino Village fiesta culminating activity would be on the 2nd sunday of January, a week before the Cebu City one. Yellow, Blue, Red, Orange and Green tribes would stop being neighbors for one day and turn into fierce competitors. We had floats, Sinulog princesses and queens and props that were always better than the year before.

Relatives from Bohol always fill our rooms and sala. It is an extension of Christmas reunions.

This year, I am happy to find that Auckland had been celebrating Sinulog yearly as well.  It is now on its 15th year. And for the first time, they will hold a Sinulog dance contest. I am excited more than ever to be a part of the festivities. And even more excited to see the Sto Nino don his new clothes direct from Cebu.

I have no doubt that Devotees of the Senyor Sto Nino in Auckland will be able to continue with the tradition of PRAYER and THANKSGIVING. And yes, we are singing the Gozos. Bato Balani sa Gugma…

To Senyor Sto Nino — Thank you for blessing all of us.

Chichi Abadingo