Location: Cebu and Moalboal, The Philippines
Highlight: Dancing in the middle of the parade at Sinulog Festival and being a celebrity for a short time
Back to Cebu for the Sinulog festival. We didn’t know quite what to expect, except that there would be lots of music and dancing and people lining the streets.
We weren’t far off:
What we hadn’t planned for, however, was that our hostel would put on a big old party for us…
…and we would be invited to join the parade with the dancers!
The streets were lined with thousands, nay, millions of people, all getting in the mood for a party.
There was a slightly hairy moment just after we joined the parade where the police pulled one of our shirtless gents aside and told them that if they didn’t put a shirt on soon then they would be taken to jail.
So we quickly found a shirt vendor at a stall who could have named us any price and we would have bought from them. Fortunately for us they were very reasonable.
Everywhere we went, people wanted photos of/with us. It was like being a celebrity but just for a day, which is probably the best way to be a celebrity. When we danced in the street, a crowd of people with cameras formed around us, and groups would nervously nudge one person forwards to ask for a selfie:
It was a party that went on long into the night, the streets were full of music and dancing, and everyone would greet each other with a cry of “Pit Senor” and a high five/handshake. I had a 100% strike rate and easily made over 1,000 successful Pit Senor handshakes during the festival. I’ve never seen a group of people so happy to celebrate and talk to complete strangers – you could barely move on the streets for the crowds, yet everyone still made room to say “Pit Senor” to each other.
The Filipinos had always been incredibly friendly during our trip, but it was exemplified on Sinulog day, and this time we didn’t feel like it may have been because we were tourists… they just are genuinely nice people in our experience of being there for a month.
We had time to squeeze in one final stop before leaving this magnificent country, but I’ll keep it quick because the weather was terrible and stopped us from doing all that much, but we did visit some waterfalls, and it does have a funny name:
It rained hard almost the whole time we were there.
… and we enjoyed being driven around in tricycles again:
Back to Cebu to fly out of the Philippines. It was a brilliant way to spend a month, we saw some of the most beautiful views I’ve been fortunate enough to see and barely feel like we scratched the surface of the country, so many more islands to explore and oceans to scuba dive in – I’ll be back with a Padi licence next time!
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