"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 18 years. Sinulog is the biggest gathering of Filipinos in New Zealand who flock to the celebration from all over the country, with more than 10,000 in attendance in 2011 and more expected this year.
Traditionally celebrated for nine days with a novena for each that starts this year on 6 January 2012. Organised by the Devotees of the Senyor Santo Niño Group, the celebration in New Zealand begins with a liturgical dance and parade of images of the Santo Niño and Novena-Mass at the Good Shepherd Parish in Balmoral (27 Telford Ave.), Auckland City.
Sinulog culminates on the actual feast day, 15 January, with a procession at 9:30am, followed by a Mass, lunch, and group dance presentations featuring vibrant displays of ceremony and pageantry, with participants garbed in brightly coloured costumes dancing to the rhythm of drums and native gongs. The dances will portray the historical celebration of Sinulog, as well as the different cultural devotions to the Santo Niño from various parts of the Philippines. Sinulog 2012 in New Zealand will be held at the North Shore Events Centre.
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.
Food for lunch and afternoon tea will be sold on site by several vendors.
Sinulog 2012 in New Zealand is supported by The Cooperative Bank, the NZ Lottery Grants Board, The Lion Foundation, Western Union, and the Community Organisation Grants Scheme.
For more information and updates on the festivities, visit www.santonino-nz.org.