EVEN amid a pandemic, Her Majesty’s light shines brighter, illuminating Asia and the rest of the world. The Queen City of the Philippines has once again revealed her grace and beauty—and perhaps, some of her dance steps.

This Sinulog Festival—dubbed the “Mother of All Festivals” and held every third week of January in Cebu City—has been chosen by the International Events and Festivals Association (IFEA) Korea as one of the Top Three Ocean Cities’ Festivals.

The Sinulog is a cultural, religious event in Cebu that is centered on honoring the Child Jesus through a dance ritual representing the current (sulog) of a river.

IFEA Korea is recognized as an authority on Asian festivals specializing in research and the collection of practical knowledge on cultural celebrations. This March 25, the award will be conferred during the Ocean Tourism Festival City Forum in Tongyeong City, Korea.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Korea Office Director Ma. Corazon Jorda-Apo, through the invitation of IFEA Asia President Gang Hoan Jeong, will have a short presentation about the Sinulog during the forum. Tongyeong City expressed its interest in a cooperative arrangement with Cebu City in terms of developing both destinations as tourist hotspots through knowledge-sharing.

Tongyeong shares similarities with Cebu, as the former is known for its coastal views of the sea and neighboring islands. It is also popular for its local culture and delicious food.

The Sinulog Festival shares its recognition with two other festivals, the Pattaya Fireworks Festival of Thailand and Hansan Battle Festival of Tongyeong. Last year’s honors went to the Boryeong Mud Festival of Korea, Songkran Festival in Thailand and Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in China.

DOT7 Regional Director Shahlimar Hofer Tamano describes the award as “recognition of the grandeur that is Sinulog.” It is an acknowledgment of the role that the festival plays in enhancing the lives of the Cebuanos and tourists, he said.