I’ve heard about the Sinukwan Festival of Pampanga in the past years, but this is just the first time that I got the chance to experience it.
Sinukwan Festival is a weeklong festival that truly captures the Kapampangan spirit. The main highlight is the street dance competition where students from different municipalities of the province battle it out with its colorful costumes and headdresses to the tune of the famous Kapampangan song, Atin Cu Pung Singsing.
This is an old tradition that honors Aring Sinukwan or King Sinukwan, an ancient Kapampangan god, by street dancing and celebration. Over the years, Sinukwan Festival has transformed from an old custom to a festivity that has helped many Kapampangans overcome the adversities in the past decades such as the Mount Pinatubo eruption and lahar in the ’90s. Truly, Sinukwan Festival captures the Kapampangan resiliency. Nowadays, it binds and unifies the Kapampangan people in different sectors of society through activities and colorful celebrations.
Sinukwan Festival is also a much-awaited event prior to the famous Giant Lantern Festival of Pampanga.
Sinukwan Festival Experience
It was early morning when we arrived at the Pampanga Provincial Capitol to witness the preparation of the participants for the street dance parade.
Then after spending a few minutes there, we decided to have our breakfast at The Heritage Cafe, and wait for the parade. It started at the capitol until reaching the San Fernando City Hall.
We had a nice coffee and breakfast at The Heritage Cafe. What a good way to pump up our day for the activities lined up for us. Then, we all heard it, the drums and the band, as a signal that the parade was about to pass by our location.
Armed with quick reflexes, we were able to catch photos of the participants’ colorful costumes. The students were all in the festive mode and always ready to strike a pose. It was a nice coverage with high energy.
Here are some of the photos during the street dance parade.
By the time the students arrived in front of the San Fernando City Hall, they performed their high-energy dance numbers one by one in front of the waiting crowd and judges. I was able to witness three dance numbers.
Too bad that we were late to realize that once the participants arrived at the City Hall, the performance will come next. It was my bad that I wasn’t able to witness all the performances. But still, what we’ve experienced was a true expression of talent and proud Kapampangan identity.
Sinukwan Festival has a lot more activities lined up. Remember that the Street dance is just one of the many highlights. There are more activities such as some cultural shows, pageants, and exhibits. After experiencing the street dance, we were treated with more of Kapampangan history and delicious food throughout the day.
Sinukwan Festival 2019 Schedule
Sinukwan Festival is usually celebrated in the first week or second week of December. But this year in 2019, it was celebrated in the last week of November. Sinukwan Festival has become a popular event prior to the much-awaited, Giant Lantern Festival of Pampanga. Here’s the calendar of events.
Note: This travel to Pampanga is in partnership with the City of San Fernando, Pampanga Tourism Office and the Pampanga Digital Influencers. Thank you and more blog posts to come about Pampanga.