Sugat Kabanhawan Festival: So much for Cebu

Posted by on April 13, 2010

Sugat Kabanhawan Festvial: Easter in Cebu

I flew into Cebu with the intention of just hanging out for a day or two to relax, and then heading on towards diving and jungles.

sugat kabanhawan parade

Sugat-Kabanhawan!

Fortunately, it being Easter in the very Catholic Philippines, there were celebrations to be found!  The annual “Sugat-Kabanhawan” festival in Manginilla township of Cebu is (according to the people at the festival….) well known throughout the Visayas as the Easter celebration to be at.
Unsure what exactly to expect, I took a cab to the town and hoped for the best.  The day started out with fruitless wandering, until I stumbled across the church and parade route.  A parade of kids in what I can only describe as old-style Spanish-esque costumes, a variety show, judging of the parade groups, and rounded out by meeting a Philippine ex-Army guy who gave me a ride back to Cebu proper and promised to show me around town the next day.

sugat kabanhawan festival dance

Traditional Filipino dance

“Show me around town” ended up meaning meet me after dinner and take me to his favorite bar as an excuse to get out of his house and away from his wife.  The scene was almost the set-up to a joke.  The token foreign traveler, a boatswain, an ex-Corps of Engineers soldier, and a malcontent truck driver turned politician.  The thing that always gets me about the Philippines, though, is how friendly people seem and how willing to approach strangers (is this view tainted by the fact that I’m foreign?) as well.  After no more than a round or two of San Miguel, I was treated as part of the crew.

After a dinner of day-old chicken (…killed after a day and fried, not sitting around a day after it had been cooked) that was pretty tasty, and me alternatively defending or lamenting US foreign policy, Ricardo went home and I ended the night asking his friends about places I should go during my three weeks in the Philippines.

Sugat-Kabanhawan!

Sugat: Witness/ to see/ to meet?
Kabanhawan: Resurrection

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Though I did it independently, the Philippines can be an intense place to visit solo. To find guided tours around Cebu, check out what GetYourGuide has to offer.

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