Sinulog Fluvial Breakfast!


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Sinulog in Cebu is the biggest festival in the Philippines, celebrating the feast of the Child Jesus, Santo Niño de Cebú, with a dance ritual to the beat of the drums. Held every third Sunday of January, it is the largest and most attended fiesta in the country with an all-day-long parade and party.

You can read about my 2006 Sinulog experience here:

One day before the Santo Niño procession, the image of the Child Jesus visits his Mother in Lapu Lapu City via the sea. Early in the morning of Saturday, the Santo Niño returns to Cebu City, reenacting the coming of the Spaniards through a Fluvial Parade on Cebu’s Pahina River. 

This is one of my best Sinulog experiences ever, not only because of the parade, but also because of the great fluvial breakfast I got to taste there!

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The Fluvial Parade starts after the celebration of the Holy Mass. We woke up as early as 4.30am and boarded our Islands Banca boat around 5.30am.

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We were excited for our first early morning Fluvial Parade experience.

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The boats assemble at around 6am, and this is when the party begins…

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You get to listen to the beating of the drums and watch the Sinulog dance from the privacy of your boat.

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The bridges overhead have people yelling “Viva Pit Señor” as they hold on to their Santo Niño images.

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Cebu’s Eye in the Sky covers the Fluvial Parade and also showers the people below with flower petals. 

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Island Banca Cruises and various hotels in Cebu participate in this event. Plan your trip ahead of time.

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Each boat has its own decoration, gimmick and dancing all morning long.

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You can bring your own Santo Niño and join in the dance.

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The image of the Santo Niño is paraded around the river and delivered to the pier, where a carosa waits to bring it to the church.

Over the years, the Fluvial Parade is starting to run the risk of losing its religious meaning because a lot of people join it just to party.

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We were fortunate to experience the Sinulog with Furniture Artist Benji Reyes and his wife Carina…

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National Artist Ben Cab and life partner Annie…

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Aman, Ben Cab’s Assistant Extraordinaire…

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Irwin with his Pacman doll…

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I can’t wait to see Irwin’s Pacman Photo collection in Cebu!

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One of the most enjoyable parts of our fluvial experience was the Cebu Breakfast — with the Cebu Lechon as the centerpiece!

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Cebuanos sure know how to serve and enjoy a hearty breakfast!

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On the table were hard-boiled eggs and Cebuano mangoes.

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I loved the Puto Maya Suman with chunks of mango…

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…and dunking it in a delicious serving of Hot Chocolate!

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This is one of the best hot chocolate dips I’ve ever tasted. It’s rich and not too sweet, with a hint of ginger.

You can also dunk your bananas in it…

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…or pair it with chocolate-filled rolls.

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Thank you to Julie and Vic, the Managing Owners of Bluewater Resorts, for showing us what a Sinulog experience is all about!

Cebuanos really know how to party, eat a grand breakfast and have fun! Sinulog is indeed the festival of FUN in the Philippines! 🙂

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Full Disclosure: This is a personal trip with Julie, Vic and their Manila-based friends (including us), organized to show us a unique Cebu Sinulog Experience.

P.S. Kindly link your own Sinulog stories in the comments section.

13 thoughts on “Sinulog Fluvial Breakfast!

  1. YUM! What fun…Of all things, I am envious of the mangoes. I bought one the other day, here in San Diego, where they are totally out of season and shipped from the other side of the planet. It tasted like crap. I am SO craving summer, and travel…

  2. Hi Anton,
    I’ve heard of Island Banca Cruises before when I was organizing group tour in Cebu. Is the lechon included in their breakfast? How much is it to rent their banca with the food?
    Any feedback about them and their tour is appreciated.
    Apple =)

  3. Hi Apple,
    Island Banca usually have an island tour. Will blog it separately. The Fluvial Parade was a special event in Sinulog. Our host just rented the banca and prepared the breakfast.
    They should have a special Fluvial Parade tour next year…

  4. It’s almost 11pm here in Antipolo and the sight of the lechon with the crispy balat makes me want to go out of the house and search for cebu lechon!

  5. mouth-watering photos! Yummmm…. I was there in CEBU, too! And I did enjoy my days in SINULOG festival. This gives me an idea of a blogpost about my experiences. Thanks a lot! 🙂

  6. Hi anton. Where can we book for this fluvial breakfast for next year? Also do you know the dates already for next year since we want to book flights early. Thanks!

  7. It's always the 3rd Sunday of January so Jan. 19 morning would be the fluvial parade and Jan. 20 is the grand parade. Usually the hotels would have their boat for a fluvial breakfast. Maribago usually has one, and the other hotels also participate.

  8. May I make a correction? It is not “fluvial parade” but “fluvial procession” owing to the religious nature of the event.
    The dancers and feast on board the banca lessened the solemnity of the procession.
    I hope such banca, which caters more to partying tourists, is not part of the official flotilla which accompany the galleon bearing the Sto. Niño.

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