Sinulog in NZ Set

“Pit Senyor,” as chanted by devotees, honours the miraculous Santo Niño, the Holy Child Jesus every third Sunday of January. Such is a pageantry of faith, a celebration of the origin of the island of Cebu, which is located south of the Philippines. This is “Sinulog”, the most illustrious and most resplendent festival in the Philippines that has been also been celebrated in New Zealand for the past 15 years. Sinulog is the biggest gathering of Filipinos in New Zealand who flock to the celebration from all over the country, with more than 7,000 in attendance in 2009 and more expected next year.

Traditionally celebrated for nine days with a novena for each that starts this year on 8 January 2010. Organised by the Devotees of the Senyor Santo Niño Group, the celebration in New Zealand will begin this year with a liturgical dance and parade of images of the Santo Niño and a novena mass at the Good Shepherd Church at Balmoral (27 Telford Ave.), Auckland City.

Sinulog culminates on the actual feast day, 17 January, with a procession at 9:30am, followed by a Mass, lunch, and the group dance competition featuring vibrant displays of ceremony and pageantry, with participants garbed in brightly coloured costumes who dance to the rhythm of drums and native gongs. Such will be held at the Malaeola Samoan Catholic Centre, 16 Waiokouri Place (off Tidal Road), Mangere.

The term “Sinulog” is derived from the Cebuano (one of the nine native Philippine languages) adverb “sulog” that lis literally translated as “like water current movement” that aptly describes the forward-backward movement of the Sinulog dance. The dance traditionally consists of two steps forward and one step backward to the beat of the drums. The dance competition is classified into Sinulog-base and Free-Interpretation.

For more information and updates on the festivities, visit or contact Miriam 027 4875 428 or Joy 021 167 1804.

Cherry Thelmo-Fernandez