HomeAKDA: The Asian Journal of Literature, Culture, Performancevol. 1 no. 1 (2016)

Examining Flow through Auto-ethnography and Performance Studies: The Sinulog Festival in Cebu, Philippines

Reagan Romero Maiquez

Discipline: Philippine myths



The Sinulog Festival is a fiesta that happens annually in the city and island-province of Cebu, Philippines every December-January. It is a massive pilgrimage to the Santo Niño or the religious image of Christ figured as a child king and a tourist event full of dancing and festive performances. In this essay, I examine a small portion of this festival or the parade to interpret flow. The concept of flow in academic terms is fluid and multifaceted, having been construed in a number of ways in the social sciences and the humanities. Various studies have also cited flow as an explanation of mobility between transnational places. In this paper, I examine and locate flow not through global and transnational perspectives but within a localized and micro-perspective of performance studies and auto-ethnography. I suggest that flow in the Sinulog parade is an engaged participation and witnessing of people emplaced and performing in this event. This form of engaged participation and witnessing reveals a complex sociality by a performing public during a sacred and festive event within Cebu, Philippines.