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on
April 6, 2019
When is the best time of the year to visit Cebu? I’m sure this is the first questions we always like to ask ourselves every time we wanted to visit somewhere to make the most of our visit memorable. The winter months are the best time to travel from the US as it is the lowest season in our country. But if you wanted to go around the Festival happens I suggest you book early in advance to get the cheapest airfare and the best flight as I remember a year in advance but during February 3-6 months in advance is fine. The weather in Cebu stays cool and warm all year long, and they only have two seasons in the country. Cebu weather varies from other areas in the Philippines a little bit and some months can be very hot.  March to June is their summer season and it can be sweltering during these months a lot of public schools close and locals enjoys to go to the beach most of the time highs range from 91.6°F (33.1°C) and 87.2°F (30.7°C) with warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat familiar with 4 to 8 days of significant precipitation per month, and during this time of the year, the international tourist is slow and might be the perfect time to visit; however, I want to remind you that it can be sweltering and very humid during this months. July to October is the wet seasons it means you’ll experience more rain during these months but still enjoyable to visit this is the lowest seasons in tourism and finding lodging around the province is easy and cheaper if you happen to visit during this time of year. The most precipitation with 9 to 13 days of rainfall per month and the temperature is quite warm compared to March to June. November to February can be the perfect time to visit as the weather can be warm and cool. The average high during this season is between 87.8°F (31°C) and 84.5°F (29.2°C) On average, it rains a fair amount of 6 to 11 times per month but I might warn others that sometimes the Philippines as a whole usually get typhoons around November and December it’s one thing to consider too. My favorite is the winter months January and February as the weather can be perfect, not rainy and not too hot. I usually go home around this year as it is ideal weather in Cebu while it’s the coldest month in Rochester New York during February. These times of year are the busiest with tourists especially the month of January as the locals celebrate the Sinulog Festival. If you’re interested to know about the festival, read more about it below as I described them on what’s happening during this event.
Cebu is the “Queen City Of The South”  it’s the heart of the Philippines. Cebu has the oldest and second most important city in the country. Is one of the top priority of tourist because of its world-class beach resorts and diving spots? Cebu’s tourist destinations and attraction will be in both north and south of Metro Cebu. They have their own international and shipping port. It also has export processing zones that help boost up the economy of the country.

 

Tourism Personnel

This is how they welcome everyone at the airport.

One of the biggest festivals in the country is in Cebu. We called it the Sinulog Festival, which is famous because of its colorful costumes and street dancing. They celebrate the Sinulog Festival every third Sunday of January. Different tribes are wearing beautiful, exotic and colorful dresses and celebrating the religious festival with the image infant Jesus. These tribes are singing and dancing in the streets from morning to evening.
Cebu is the first leg of our Asian trip. We arrived in the middle of the night and our place packed with travelers from South Korea. The immigration process went well, but we had to wait for our luggage as long as expected.

 

sinulog lei

I got my lei

Our trip didn’t go as well as I expected. That’s probably because my daughter is a perfect traveler,  but my son turned out to be the opposite. I am a Filipina they need to learn to get used to it as they need to see our family in the Philippines too.

 
We stayed in the Philippines for six nights and were able to witness the Sinulog Festival, which is one of the reasons why I went home during this time of year. I’ve been here in the USA since the year 2007, and I was afraid I wouldn’t get back home to the Philippines to witness the miraculous image of the Sto. Nino.
Sinulog Presentation

We’re trying to keep ourselves awake just for Sinulog!

I was also thinking, it would be perfect for us to go home. While my children are still young and missing a few weeks of school won’t be as serious as when they are older. My children were only 4-year-old and 1-year-old. I’m delighted that I was able to fulfill my promise to Sto. Nino to bring my whole family to the festival.

Why should you visit Cebu during the Sinulog Festival?
  • It will make you understand the history, culture, and tradition.
  • You’ll be able to witness one of the biggest festivals in the country.
  • As a traveler, you’ll be able to celebrate and enjoy it with the local.
  • If you love to party and enjoy the crowd, this is the best time to visit Cebu. Although you still experience some other calendar years as every month, there is always a fiesta.
  • Sinulog is one of the most enjoyable celebrations in Cebu aside from Christmas and New Year.
Sinulog Mascaras

Sinulog Mascara’s picture credit to Gale Capuno

What it’s like to visit during the Sinulog Festival? Please see the Sinulog Festival 2019
  • They do have Novena or mass in honor of the Sto Nino daily before the Festival
  •  We have a fluvial parade and Solemn procession
  • Watch talented Cebuanos and or Filipinos perform
  • My family watched street dancing wearing their colorful cultural costumes
  • There is a street party anywhere in Cebu City. Some smaller towns celebrate Sinulog if they have the same fiesta.
  • The Department of Tourism welcomes the Balikbayans or Filipinos right at the airport. The Tourism personnel wears their beautiful Filipiniana costume showing their pride.
  • Visitors who visit the place will enjoy their visit from the moment they land in Cebu. They welcome and offer lei and delicious drinks sometimes.
  • It’s a religious devotion to us Cebuanos but all Filipinos.
  • There are performances, puppets, giants, face paints, and tattoos, celebrity viewing and fireworks.
  • Food party is part of the celebration too. Filipinos are one of the people around the world who always offer food to their visitors. So yes! It can’t be amiss.

 

Sinulog Fireworks

We watch fireworks

 

Cebu Street Food

I ate street food ngohiong, steam rice, longganisa ( it’s rice put inside the coconut leaves before they cook it)

We were able to watch them perform at the Cebu City Sports Center, and it was fabulous. It was my first time to experience to watch the performance at the Sports Center. It was lovely, and I was so happy and proud to be able to do it with my own family my children, and hubby.

Cebu has a lot to offer. It is home to some of the world’s best beaches, and it’s less expensive to visit than many other places from cultural and religious attractions to a lot of abundant natural resources. If you’re looking and wondering where to stay? Try to check this fully furnished house and lot located nearby Naga Walk, Minglanilla Snow World, and a drive away to the most prominent SM Mall. Thinking of visiting Cebu and wanted to check other Southeast Asian countries? Read it here Southeast Asia Saving Tips and Itinerary.

 

 

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19 Comments
  1. Reply

    Paula

    April 7, 2019

    Trying to visit during festival times really does add something to your experience, doesn’t it? Great for learning more about the culture. We like to choose low season usually as lower crowds beat good weather for me usually. Still have not made it to the Philippines but based on your advice I think I will try for late October. Thanks for sharing

    • Reply

      April

      April 8, 2019

      You are very welcome!

  2. Reply

    Yara

    April 8, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your tips, I especially enjoyed reading about the best times to visit Cebu and even more so learning about the Sinulog Festival. I have to do better with my travels in locating local events and festivals – I feel like they transform your travel experience and really teach you about the local culture.

    • Reply

      April

      April 8, 2019

      True! Yes, I always love to see festival because it teach us their culture in different ways plus its fun! I’m glad you enjoy reading it.

  3. Reply

    An Indian Traveler

    April 8, 2019

    Philippines is one country which is on my radar since long time. Your post is really tempting me to make my Philippines trip sooner than later. I like visiting a new place/country during off season. So may plan a trip during July-August.

    • Reply

      April

      April 8, 2019

      I’m glad it helps you plan decide when is to visit Philippines.

  4. Reply

    Alison

    April 8, 2019

    I would love to visit the Philippines and Cebu sounds like a sure bet to add to the itinerary. I love to try to plan my travels around local festivals and celebrations. It is a wonderful way to understand a culture and really see it all in action!

    • Reply

      April

      April 8, 2019

      Yes! were the same 🙂

  5. Reply

    Nic

    April 9, 2019

    It’s always hard to judge when to visit certain places and the weather plays a huge part. It’s hard with the Philippines as the rainy season differs slightly to the other countries in SEA with it being more out of the way. We visited a few years back in June and it was so hot and just starting to come into rainy season so it was very humid. We did get lucky mostly with the weather though but it has to be one of the hottest places we’ve visited and we’ve been in Darwin in summer!! ha ha.

    • Reply

      April

      April 9, 2019

      Hahaha! You made me laughed I can agree with you we were there 3 months last year from May to end of August, and honestly, we’re not lucky for our trip to Malapascua on the first week of June as there is a monsoon alert. The best time for me and my favorite time of the year to go in January to March but March to 3rd week of May can be sweltering still. The first week of June can be the start of the rainy season.

  6. Reply

    Candy

    April 9, 2019

    When I lived in Japan, Cebu was a popular destination for Japanese travelers as it isn’t too far away. I wish I would have visited when I lived closer. Good to know that it’s probably best to visit in the Winter if I am stateside. The street food also sounds so delicious!

    • Reply

      April

      April 9, 2019

      Hello Candy, yes it happens to all of us most of the time we always want to visit the farthest ones and will say next time to the neighboring countries. You’re correct for that! Japanese and Americans have been the first one been coming to the Philippines, and now they were the Philippines close allies and friends. I hope you can visit one day, and I’ll try to take note of street foods, so you know where to find and try one that is clean and safe for your tummy. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Reply

    Yukti

    April 11, 2019

    I would love to visit Cebu during Sinulog festival. It is great you share so much information about it and also the costumes are very colorful and vibrant. I loved Sinulog masks and good to know that this is followed by food party too.

  8. Reply

    Joanne

    April 11, 2019

    I’d love to visit Cebu in January or February. The weather seems perfect for anyone hoping to escape the cold winters in Canada. The Sinulog Festival looks amazing and so much fun!

  9. Reply

    Sandy N Vyjay

    April 12, 2019

    The Sinulog festival looks so colourful and vibrant. It would be a great experience to visit around this time. Loved reading about a different aspect of the Philippines. Have always loved the country for its amazing natural beauty with so many pristine and beautiful gems in the form of exotic islands and beaches. Loved reading about the cultural aspects of the lovely country.

  10. Reply

    Carmen Edelson

    April 12, 2019

    I’d love to try all the delicious street food there! Thanks for sharing when the best time to visit is, that’s always good to know. Cebu sounds incredible and it would be so fun to go there during the festival!

    • Reply

      April

      April 12, 2019

      I’m happy to know that you’re considering it Carmen. I can’t wait to hear what your favorite thing to do after your trip there. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Reply

    CHocoviv

    July 26, 2019

    I would love to go!

    • Reply

      April

      July 27, 2019

      Yay! Let’s go!

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April Key Rode
New York, USA

April Key Rode is a Bachelor graduate of Hospitality and Tourism Management. One of the researchers in Tabuelan "As An Eco-Tourism Destination." She loves to do research, writing, cross-stitching and dancing. Her favorite sports are badminton, biking, soccer, basketball, and bowling. She is a mother of two, and she loves traveling with her own family and friends.

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