I’ve checked my travel history and guess what!? I need to tick off Basilan off my list of provinces that I haven’t visited yet. And that includes seven others before I can complete all provinces visited in the Philippines. I’m planning of striking all off the list before the year ends.

The Sinulog Mardi Gras in Cebu is considered one of the biggest and grandest of festivals in the month of January. It is one of three that is marked with street dancing coinciding with the feast of the Holy Child that occurs in the Visayas.

If you’re looking for religious significance, you can’t find it here. But enjoy the colors and the festive atmosphere.

One God, two different ways of honoring the Christ. The devotion to the Sto. Niño is done in honor of the child Jesus while the Black Nazarene is of the suffering adult. Both is said to be two of the three biggest religious devotions in the Philippines, the third is the Virgin of Antipolo.

It was a Friday and for devout pilgrims of the Sto. Niño, the Basilica is the place to be, just like in the Black Nazarene Basilica in Manila. I had to squeeze through the throng and gaze at the sea of people just outside the church participating at one of the hourly masses. After the masses are done, the number of devotees dimish and one could see some interesting rituals and practices come alive.