Sinulog History

Basilica del Sto NinoOn April 7, 1521, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived and planted the cross on the shores of Cebu, claiming the land  for Spain. Ferdinand showed an  image of  Jesus Christ known as the  Santo Niño. This was a baptismal gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Rajah Humabon. Hara Amihan was later renowned as, Queen Juana in honor of Juana, mother of Carlos the first.


Along with the rulers of the island, many of the  800 natives were also baptized in  the Roman Catholic Church. At the time of this land recieving   the holy image, it was said that Queen Juana danced with joy holding this image of the Jesus Christ. With many other natives following her leadingful example, this moment was regarded as the first ever Sinulog.


Sto Nino ChurchThis event is frequently used as the inspiration for most Sinulog dances, which dramatize the coming of the Spaniards and the gift  of the Santo Niño to the Queen Juana. The wellknown theme among Sinulog dances is Queen Juana holding the Santo Niño in her arms and using it to bless the people of her land who are often afflicted by sickness caused by demons and other evil spirits.