Throng of Pinoys arrive in Cebu from abroad for Sinulog 2023

Throng of Pinoys arrive in Cebu from abroad for Sinulog 2023

CEBU CITY – Scores of “balikbayans” or returning Filipinos arrived on Thursday at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to join devotees of the Sr. Sto. Niño in celebrating Sinulog 2023.

Mayor Michael Rama led city officials in welcoming the overseas Filipinos at the MCIA terminal which was decked with Sinulog-inspired decorations. Music and dances also met the vacationers at the arrival area.

Rama said the city government and the Cebu provincial government headed by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia partnered with the MCIA officials in relaunching the “Balik Cebu,” a program designed to assist visitors who will witness Sinulog events, after two years of hiatus due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“This will encourage more overseas Filipinos to come home and visit Cebu in time with the celebration of the fiesta in honor of Sr. Sto. Niño,” he said.

The city government is hosting a free buffet dinner for around 200 balikbayans through the Balik Cebu Committee.

Edylith Maribojoc, MCIA corporate affairs manager, said the airport prepared to hold festivities for the “Sinulog sa Airport” which started on Jan. 10 to formally welcome both domestic visitors and balikbayans.

“As part of its tradition, MCIA continues its participation in the Balik Cebu Balikbayan welcome activity in partnership with the Balik Cebu Committee, Cebu City Government, and various tourism stakeholders. The Balik Cebu event is a Sinulog tradition that welcomes balikbayans or Filipinos to come home for the Sinulog Festival. The airport welcome activity will consist of rondalla serenade and a traditional Sinulog dance,” Maribojoc said.

According to her, a “Sinug” cultural performance was performed at Terminal 1’s grand departure lobby.

“Sinug” is the traditional dance-prayer offered to Sto. Niño which started way back between the 1940s and 1950s by Estelita “Nang Titang” Diola from Barangay Mabolo, in this capital city.

Apart from the Sinug performance, MCIA is also bringing the Sinulog Dance performance by the Mandaue City School for the Arts Dance Troupe starting Thursday.

The MCIA will likewise be giving Sinulog kits to the arriving tourists and balikbayans, containing a Sinulog headdress, bottle of water, wet wipes, alcohol, hand towel, and a Sinulog 2023 festival guide brochure.

From Thursday to Sunday, the MCIA will have a Jollibee mascot appearance and give away toys for arriving children. (PNA)

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