After the recently concluded Hinugyaw Festival at Koronadal City, I found myself once again venturing into another colorful and vibrant festival, this time in General Santos City – but unique as it is for it includes a fluvial parade.
My First Fluvial Parade Experience
Yes, this is my first fluvial parade. I’ve always wanted to attend one after seeing travel videos and photos in various parts of the country where fluvial parades are celebrated.
I was lucky enough that my travel buddy’s a relative of one of the owners of a fishing company in GenSan, and so I was grateful to be invited to board one of their vessel ships joining the fluvial parade.
Early Morning Start
January 15, 2013, the day of the feast of Sto Nino, the day started early as 4:30am. Almost 300 fishing vessels assembled their selves near their respective ports at Brgy Calumpang, in preparation of the parade.
The Fluvial Parade Tradition
The tradition is that one of these vessels (this year the Safi) will be carrying the Sto Nino and parade it from the Queen Tuna Park (aka Lion’s Beach) to the Fish Port and back ; while all other vessels will sail together with it.
While this is happening, people boarding the vessels (mostly families of fishermen) will be in joyful merriment, eating abundantly, loud talks, jolly music, and of course the Sinulog dance.
The Sinulog Dance
The Sinulog music plays and fills the air while the fluvial parade is going on, with people in the boat where the Sto Nino is held in merry dances while carrying the Sto Nino.
The route continues with Para gliders in the sky joining and daytime fireworks display giving colors to the festivity.
Vessel ships will try to get as close as possible to the boat carrying the Sto Nino in the pursuit of grabbing a flower from the Sto Nino’s decorated floral array.
Why you should grab a ‘Flower’ during the festivity?
It is a belief that a ‘flower’ from the Sto Nino will bless the one who held this for the entire year, fishermen with abundant catch, safe sailing to the sea, households with plentiful blessings, and more.
The Sto. Nino Procession
After the fluvial parade, the Sto Nino is transferred to another decorated boat and transported back to Brgy Bula.
By this time hundreds of people awaits at the shore to welcome the Nino.
Fluvial Parade Video
Here’s a mini clip from GMA News featuring the festivity.
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Indeed, this fluvial parade is a must watch merriment. So if you want to join next year, you know where to head to on the 15th of January! See you there!