CEBU CITY, Philippines – The grandest Festival in the Philippines this year officially opened on Friday afternoon January 12 after a Solemn Mass at the Pilgrim Center of the Basilica Minore del Sto Niño.

Now on its 38th year, the Sinulog Festival bears the original slogan, “One Beat, One Dance, One Vision,” and the 453rd Fiesta Señor celebration center on the theme this year, “Sto. Niño: Inspiration of Renewed Disciples for New Evangelization.”

Msgr. Roberto Alesna, team moderator of the St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Lahug this city who officiated the mass in his homily, reminded the devotees to examine their devotion to the holy child to be accompanied and reflected with the mission as well as action.

“Devotion alone is not sufficient, without mission or action it is empty,” Alesna enthuses, adding that we should have new attitude, goals and values after encountering Señor Sto. Niño.

“Ang atong debosyon kung walay misyon or aksiyon, susama nga basiyo, haw-ang og walay sulod. Kinahanglan adunay tumong ang atong Kristohanong pagkinabuhi,” he said.

Cebu City officials led by Mayor Tomas Osmeña together with Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, other city councilors and officials from the Sinulog Foundation Incorporated attended the Mass and kick-off parade from the Basilica to Cebu City Sports Complex.

Right after the mass, Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Sinulog 2018 over-all chairman, declared the Sinulog Festival officially open.

Sinulog Dancers of the Basilica Minore del Sto Niño were given tokens of appreciation from the officials of the city as well as from the Sinulog Foundation Incorporated before the parade started.

Student performers from different schools in Cebu City didn’t falter to showcase their street dancing finesse.

Thousands of spectators also flocked, watched and enjoyed along the three-kilometer parade leading towards the Cebu City Sports Complex where a program was conducted. (By: Greggy P. Senados/ City of Cebu, Public Information Office)

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