Sinadya Festival is a Christmas, cultural, and religious festival in Roxas City, the capital of the province of Capiz, Philippines every December 8. It is conducted in honor of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, the patroness of the city.
History of Sinadya Festival
The city of Roxas holds the annual Sinadya Festival, which comes from the Hiligaynon term for joy. It is a celebration of the patronal feast of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception.
It was in 1707 that the Augustinians arrived in Capiz and founded a church placed under the advocation of the Immaculate Conception. The colonial-era stone church was built in 1877.
Capiz became a diocese on January 27, 1951 and then an archdiocese on January 17, 1976. And the church became known as Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral or Roxas Cathedral after the name of the city.
The people of the city has been celebrating the feast of its patroness for centuries. And it was in 1988 that former representative Gerardo Roxas Jr. together with Judy Araneta-Roxas who founded the Sinadya Festival. It was organized not only as a religious celebration but also to highlight the joyfulness of its people and bolster tourism efforts.
Activies were brought online during the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021 to limit crowds and prevent the spread of the infection. A year later, health protocols were slackened and gatherings were possible so the festival was again held in public in 2022.
Sinadya sa Halaran
In 1992, the city government of Roxas and the provincial government of Capiz decided to mount a two-in-one celebration in the name of Sinadya sa Halaran, which translates to “Joy of Sharing”. Sinadya, the city’s festival, was fused with Halaran, the festival conducted by the province.
Halaran comes from the Hiligaynon language that means sharing, and the Halaran festival began in 1975 which celebrated the origins of the Panay island and the barter that took place between the Malay settlers and native population before the conquest.
While previously Sinadya and Halaran were conducted separately, they were combined in 1992. The experiment was short-lived because the following year, 1993, these were celebrated independently of each other once more.
It was not until 1998 when these were held as one, a tradition that lasted until 2019.
Sinadya Festival Religious Activities
Activities of the Sinadya Festival are a combination of the religious and the secular. The religious affairs are organized by the cathedral.
Novena prayers and daily masses are heard every day for nine days starting in November 29 at the cathedral. Vespers are conducted in the eve of the fiesta and a pontifical mass on the feast day called Pahimansag kay Maria. There is also a procession of saints through the streets of the city.
Prosesyon sa Suba
Prosesyon sa Suba translates to fluvial procession. It is the journey of the image of the patroness in the Panay River. It is held in the evening of December 7, the eve of the feast. It is marked with lighted water vessels containing the image as it floats through the river and reaches the cathedral.
Additionally, participants light candles and release floaters in the river. The crowning of the image of the Blessed Mother is usually undertaken by the Musa de la Immaculada Concepcion. There will also be a blessing of the religious icons that attendees bringing during the festivity.
Sinadya Festival Secular Activities
The secular activities of Sinadya Festival are organized by the city government of Roxas. These include many Christmas-themed as well as religious-themed competitions, food festival, parties, entertainment, variety shows, beauty pageant, fireworks display, Kiri-Kiti (sparklers), e-sports, parade, street dance, etc.
Kasanag (illumination) is the switching on of the Christmas tree and lanterns in Roxas City Plaza. It occurs on December 7.
How to reach Roxas City, Capiz
Flights are scheduled regularly to Roxas City Airport.
Sinadya Festival Summary
|Church||Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral|
|Founder||Gerardo Roxas Jr., Judy Araneta-Roxas|
|Location||Roxas City, Capiz|
|Organizer||City Government of Capiz|
|Patron||Our Lady of Immaculate Conception|
|Simultaneous event||Christmas, Feast of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception|
- Sinadya. Tourism Promotions Board Philippines. Retrieved December 25, 2022
- Glenda Tayona. Face-to-face ‘Sinadya’ returns to Roxas City. Panay News. December 7, 2022. Retrieved December 25, 2022
- Alex Lumaque. Sinadya 2022 – Bigger, Better, Brighter. Philippine Information Agency. Retrieved December 1, 2022. Retrieved December 25, 2022
- Sinadya sa Halaran. The News Today. November 29, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2022
- Events. Provincial Government of Capiz. Retrieved December 25, 2022
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