Sinulog is just around the corner! Prititit! And I am sure that there are so many families already planning their daily activities during the festival season because Sinulog afterall is all about honoring the Child Jesus or Señor Santo Niño and what better way to do this than with the family.
I remember a few years back when my husband and I were so excited to walk around the streets with our small children because of course there's the procession, the grand parade, and the vibe all around is just happy! Unfortunately, due to a split second of parenting miscalculation, we lost our son to the sea of Sinulog spectators.
Imagine that. Millions flock to Cebu every yeaar to witness the festival that it becomes a bit hard to maneuover your way around and to lose your 6-year-old in that kind of of crowd? You break down. I know I did, I was crying while screaming his name hoping that he hasn't gotten far while my husband combed the area for him.
Thankfully, years of reminders and instructions on what to do in events like this one paid off. My son, the level-headed kid that he is, went to a police booth not far from where he was and gave his information to a nice policewoman. It so happened that my husband checked that police booth too and that's where he found our little boy calmly talking to the office. Pit Senyor!
Never have I prayed harder that that day. It could have turned for the worst but thankfuly, the Child Jeses protected our young man.
Now to avoid that from happening to others, I have listed down a few reminders for those who plan to take their children to witness the parade.
Tips to Keep your Kids Safe during the Sinulog Festival
What to do
Infants are better off at home. In my humble opinion, the Sinulog crowd is not ideal for very small children and in anyway, they will not remember this event at all and they will have more opportunities to enjoy the celebration when they are older.
Give Instructions before leaving the house on what to do incase you get separated. If your kid is old enough to follow instructions, talk to them beforehand. Give instructions on what they need to do should you get separated and remind not to panic. You can instruct them to look for a police booth/officer, or stay in one place that you and the kid are familiar with so you can easily find him/her.
Take a photo of your kid/s before you leave the house. Should they get separated from you, you can show the photo to police officers and or marshalls. It will make it easier for them to identify your kid in the crowd if they know who they are looking for.
Bring Identification cards. If they have IDs from school with emergency contact numbers, you can let them wear it or put it inside their pockets. If not, you can always write a note on a small piece of cardboard and insert or pin in inside their clothing, make sure it has your mobile number. You can also make them wear cloth bracelets with you contact number written on it.
What to Bring
Bring lots of water. Weather conditions can be unpredictable but due to the large crowd it can get too hot, make sure your kid stays hydrated.
Bring extra clothes. They can get sweaty and you don't want their clothes to dry on their back.
Bring snacks from home to avoid feeding them street food if they get hungry. It's better to be safe than sorry. You don't want them catching stomach bugs during the celebration.
Bring rubbing alcohol/hand sanitizers and baby wipes, too!
Bring an umbrella because it almost always drizzle every Sinulog.
Bring a fan as it can get humid.
Bring eye goggles and masks if you plan on watching fireworks display and let them wear it to protect them from dust and smoke. I remember watching a fireworks display in the past and there were particles and dust falling over our heads!
Bring ear plugs for smaller kids in case the sound gets too much for them. Too much noise can be damaging to kids' ears.
There! I know it sounds too over protective but it's always better to stay safe than sorry. I hope you guys enjoy the celebration. Pit Senyor!
Jhanis V. - Top 10 Blogs Voice Boks Comedy Edition, featured on BlogHer.com, HumorWriters.org, Bloggys 2015 - Finalist, Family and Relationships Category, ESCooped -Cebu's Top Family Blogger 2016. She blogs at The Vanilla Housewife and The Cebu Gazette.
As seen on:
Prefix +6332 for calls outside of Cebu or from mobile phonesPrefix +6332 for calls outside of Cebu or from mobile phones