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Sightseeing is plentiful with so many Islands to visit, there is a lot to be seen and done. The Philippines has a multitude of reminders of a colorful and exotic past. These Houses, forts and other buildings of the Spanish era have survived the ravages of time in places such as Vigan, Intramuros, Taal, Dumaguete, Bohol and Cebu. The heroic deeds of the revolutionary leaders are commemorated with monuments, shrines and markers throughout the nation. The tragic battles of World War II are similarly remembered.
The religious devotion and spirituality of the Philippine people are without peer in the modern world and religion is an integral part of their daily lives. One lasting legacy of the Spanish colonial era is a myriad of historical churches stretching from Northern Luzon to Southern Mindanao. Dating back to the 16th Century, the Churches utilize a wide variety of architectural styles and ornate facades, belfries, and alters. The natural skills of Filipino artisans have been employed to create stirring works of art. The presence of numerous shrines is a testament to the profound spirituality of the people, their veneration of sacred objects and images and their steadfast belief in miracles and divine intervention.
An inherent part of the Filipino spirit is the joy of life and there are few, if any, races on the planet that can match them in their fervour to celebrate their blessings, commemorate their past or observe solemn religious rituals. Every town, village, city, province and barangay in the nation has its own Fiesta or Festival Day. Celebrations may take the form of music, dancing, feasting, beauty contests, balls, processions, sports challenges or a host of other events. Spanish evidence is evident in the elaborate masks, Makeup, headdresses and costumes worn by the revelers; outfits that often take months of preparation. Visitors are always cordially welcomed and invited to share in the Festivities.
Sinulog Cebu is the Philippines BIG Fiesta - a bit like Rio's Carnival, or New Orleans Mardi Gras, but with more sanity and cultural orientation. Be sure you are in Cebu in January, when the weather is cool and the street dancing is HOT, as performers vie for prizes for their cities and towns with their native costumes. Sinulog Cebu is my favorite Fiesta, but I enjoy them all.