Street smarts for Sinulog

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

THERE are many things you can get away with on Sinulog day.

For one, it’s the time of year when you have an excuse to roam around the city wearing what is typically considered as beach attire, in shorts and in flip-flops, with colorful, feathery headgear and henna tattoos to boot. Some, however, get carried away as they put together the cutest ensemble possible and do away with an important element: comfort.

Remember that this is not any regular city walkathon to dress up for. It’s Sinulog, inarguably the biggest festival in the city, where thousands of locals and tourists fill up the main streets to take part in the revelry. If not careful, you just might head home with your favorite blouse stained or perhaps with one slipper missing.


Needless to say, for this kind of excitement, it’s best to be prepared.

There are two things to consider when choosing the kind of top to wear. Number one, it’s going to be crowded, humid and hot. Ideally cotton and linen are the best options for that kind of environment, as these fabrics allow skin to breathe.

Light-colored tops will also help because unlike dark material, these ones reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it. Go for tops in fresh, soothing hues like cerulean, turquoise, lime green, pink, mauve or even the Pantone color of the year, radiant orchid—and enjoy the day away in relative comfort.

The next to consider is that during Sinulog, stray paint balls and paint-filled water guns lurk in street parties. It’ll be a bummer to miss out in this iconic activity but do you really want to risk getting your favorite signature-brand top stained?

Shirt designers online and souvenir shops usually offer themed shirts with the sole purpose of getting marked, literally, in the festivity. Some will also be sold on the day itself, along the sidewalks or at the entrance of street parties. You can then differentiate yourself in the crowd of wearers by getting creative and pairing it with loud, eye-catching accessories or by sporting youthful hair braids.

Flip-flops top the list of favorite footwear for the season. Stay away from regular styles, though, since it may not be a good pair to brave the streets in. Choose a pair of flip-flops or sandals with ankle straps so it can be securely fastened as you journey through the wilderness that is the Sinulog crowd. Other options are comfy espadrilles, which usually come in funky colors and also complement the laidback, jovial aura of the festival.

Lastly, the head cover. It’s advisable not to leave the house without it, especially if you plan on walking around the streets the entire day. You can opt for the traditional beachcomber style Sinulog hats, or if you want to make your ensemble stand out, why not replace it with a fabulous floppy beach hat, or how about a chic panama hat?

Of course, these are just tips. The bottom line is your attire should be comfortable enough to last you until 4 a.m. the following day.

If you plan on going by the festival’s spirit of spontaneity and fun and wear something bright and outrageous, then that should be fine too. It is, after all, Sinulog and there are a lot of things you can get away with.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2014.


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