Brgy. Bula Fluvial Patronal Fiesta: GenSan’s Mini Sinulog Festival Pit Senyor!

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.

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Boats Assemble for the Fluvial Parade

Boats Assemble for the Fluvial Parade

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My Grateful Hosts for the Event.... Thank you!

My Grateful Hosts for the Event…. Thank you!

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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.

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The Vessel Carrying the Sto Nino

The Vessel Carrying the Sto Nino

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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.

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The route continues with Para gliders in the sky joining and daytime fireworks display giving colors to the festivity.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Travelling down Southern Cebu to Dumaguete in Negros

After our spiritual journey to Simala Church, we continued with our adventure travelling down Southern Cebu.

Our destination: the Liloan port going to Sibulan in Negros.

Travelling South Cebu

Although we have just passed, here are some great and must-see nooks and crannies on the Southern part of Cebu that you might wanna check out the next time you’ll be heading there (as I will in my next trip to Cebu!)

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Carcar

I’m sure you have heard about the chicharon and lechon of Carcar. But this municipality definitely has more than that to offer. Also known as the Heritage City because of its rich architectural details – with structures built on various American and Spanish periods.

I’ve had a taste of it’s chicharon during the bus stop through a vendor selling it.

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Sibonga

For the devout Catholics, one of the main destinations of Sibonga is the Simala Shrine. It features the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist. It is popular among devotees because it is believed to be the home of the miraculous Virgin Mary. Read more of my visit to Simala HERE

Boljoon

At first glace, Boljoon may not seem so significant as it usually just come across as a quaint seaside town. But at a closer look, you will soon find out there is definitely more to see. One of the must-visit places is the oldest church in Cebu, which was declared as a National Historical Landmark.

Santander

You have probably heard about the famous beaches of Cebu. One of the accessible diving spots is located in Santander with its close proximity to the famouse Apo Island, Pescador, Sumilon, and Siquijor.

Badian

One of the primary attractions of Badian is its string of breathtaking beaches. Of course, its main attraction would have to be the Kawasan Falls and the Kabokalan Springs. With the different types of flora and fauna, it can be quite a treat to walk along the river canyon.

Moalboal

Moalboal is best known for its beaches and unique underwater configurations. Since the beaches are still not well developed, you can expect considerably cheaper rates.

Arrival at Liloan Port

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How to go to Negros from Cebu?

One option you have is taking the route from Liloan, Cebu to Sibulan, Negros Oriental

  • By Boat: Several times daily with a big outrigger. The last departure is about 8pm. *Luckily we were able to get in to the 2nd to the last trip. (20 minutes travel time)

Arrival at the Sugar Island of the Philippines

It was around 8pm when we arrived at the Sugar Capital of the Philippines, the Island of the Negritos, Negros!

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Immediately we hopped on a public jeepney heading to Dumaguete city to look for an affordable accommodation to spend the night.

Budget Accommodation in Dumaguete City

We even had a difficulty as almost all that we’ve asked for are already fully booked. So we ended up in Negros Oriental Lodging house for our first night.

Negros Lodging House

Vintage Inn Dumaguete

On our second night, we booked (and I recommend this place) at Vintage Inn. The Vintage Inn might well be the best value in Dumaguete for budget travelers. They’re located across the street from the public market, few steps from the Cathedral (since we are also planning to attend the first day of Misa de Gallo, December 16, during our trip here).

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Customer service is also great. They allowed us to leave our baggage early in the morning though we can’t check in yet, since we plan on going somewhere else (in Bais) and don’t want to have our heavy bags with us.

Vintag Inn Contact Details

  • Cell: 0939 8950 982, 0917 7270 305
  • Landline: (035) 225 1076, (035) 422 9106, (35) 422 8822
  • Fax: (035) 225 1076

Vintage Inn Dumaguete

Tomorrow will be another day! Hmm? Time to find out if my stay in the Sugar Capital of the Philippines will be as sweet as its name? What do you think?

Robinsons Dumaguete