I’m still on a Sinulog high and would probably feel intense longing every time I look back on my past weekend until next January when I go to Cebu again for another paint-laden weekend.

Absolutely blessed to have gone to Sinulog with Smart Communications. They gave me and my fellow bloggers the absolute best Sinulog experience (I’m sure everyone can attest to that) and their thrust is to give everyone a chance to experience Sinulog (and the rest of the festivals) in the best way possible, hence the hashtag #SmartLiveAllOut. So let me give you a quick list of what went down during my Cebu trip, tips that maybe you could use for next year’s festival and just a general peek of how I lived all out in the beautiful city of Cebu – an experience I’m ecstatic to share and relive.

1. Secure the big Amazing 4: Amazing room (1) at an amazing hotel [Marriott] (2) with an amazing roommate [Dani Barretto] (3) with the most amazing company (4). Once that’s done, you’re good to go.



2. Get Your Lechon On.

Cebu has, by far, the best lechon I have ever had and probably the best lechon I will ever have. But Cebu isn’t just known for their lechon but for their food in general. True to form, this trip we ditched some parties (yes, you, yacht party) to go for a food trip in the guise of a “fun spontaneous adventure.” We honestly just wanted to eat. Unfortunately, we couldn’t eat every hour on the hour so other activities had to be included in our otherwise fattening itinerary. My absolute favorite meals were the spicy lechon from Ayers (must try!) and the pork steak from Casa Verde.



3. Let your “Fun Spontaneous Adventure” scare the hell out of you.

In our case, the serenity of the yacht was traded for two activities a little too extreme for my usual self – riding the Edge Coaster (a ride that tilts you on top of a building, Crown Regency to be exact, for “a view” of the city) and the Sky Walk Extreme where you walk on some tiny railing (with glass trails) to again “see the view” of the city with nothing but a harness to keep you safe. If you were wondering, the Edge Coaster is much tamer than the Sky Walk Extreme that made me and a couple others cry. My tears only stopped flowing when I realized someone was even more scared than I was and the way he manifested his fear made me laugh. (Thank you, Tob, for saving me from a nervous breakdown 38 flights up.)



smart live all out

4.  Party like there’s no tomorrow.

Well, in our case, party like there’s no morning plan (because there always was). Had an amazing time at Barcode getting amped up for the Sunday party. You know it’s an awesome party when you have to take drastic measures (and a really long period of time) for you to get from the gate to the actual event entrance.



5. Join the Parade

Somehow. Now, if you have your own float, then that is amazing. Good for you, really. We did have our own float – us Smart Ambassadors were in the Smart float happily and breezily riding our way through the town. Until we decided to walk. If you didn’t know, the Sinulog parade is swarming with people and walking takes a whole lot longer because pushing and shoving gets both tiring and time-consuming. The most interesting (and maybe scariest) part was when we decided to make our way back to the float. Interestingly, this was also the time when Showbiz Wonder Kim Chiu’s float made its appearance and caused what seemed to be the beginnings of a stampede. Imagine us going perpendicular to the flow while the crowd was tugging at us and pushing us from both sides. I would like to dub it as a “Crowd Hurricane” with the force so strong our train of locked elbows was rendered useless and we had to fend through that slur of waves individually.






6. And everyone’s saving grace post-parade – Go to the #SinulogInvasion party at Baseline.

The most awaited party of the festival entailed a lot of paint throwing (I was mostly on the receiving end) and again wiggling our way through the hyped up crowd. The DJs were all so good (shoutout to my favorite DJ Nix Damn P) let’s just say I fist-pumped half a year’s worth of parties that towards the end of the night I could only do about 5 consecutive fist pumps each arm. Though switching arms as often as I ended up doing didn’t look cool at all, I didn’t care. Full disclosure: I enjoyed Sinulog a whole lot more than any Boracay party I’ve ever attended. It was that fun. (Another shoutout this time to Spectrum and Kaz Onozawa for throwing an amazing party and partnering with two brands I absolutely love – Smart and Pormada).




I remember sharing back when I was fresh from Boracay that I loved the mentality that the #LiveAllOut campaign is trying to cultivate.  Honestly, while I know that #SmartLiveAllOut – by tying up with the different festivals complete with a long list of perks and freebies for Smart users – is trying to show you how to get the best festival experience, my takeaway goes a little beyond just festivals.

Let’s talk #YOLO. You Only Live Once is one of the most used and abused statements to sort of make people take the plunge, reminding us that we only have one life to live so we might as well make the most out of it. But personally, I think #YOLO has now been tainted and is now mostly reserved for justifying reckless behavior. #YOLO usually comes right before doing something crazy (in every sense of the word.)

So let me introduce #LAO (LAO pronounced as LAH-OW as opposed to YOLO as YOW-LOW). Because I haven’t really written down any resolutions this year yet (only a bucket list), I would like to make a sweeping statement: this year, and the years thereafter, I would resolve to #LAO instead. Meaning, no matter what I do, no matter the circumstance, I will fully live. That entails fully feeling emotions and giving everything 100%. I despise routine and how it boxes us in keeping us within the corners and limitations of our day-to-day transactions. Constantly remembering to live all out, at least in my experience, tugs at those walls and breaks them. But I’m getting a little too dramatic for a #craziiinulog blog post.

My point is, I hope that the live all out mentality is something we all take to heart, festival or no festival, because it means so much more than just a hashtag.

Meanwhile, I will stuff my face with what’s left of my take-home lechon to alleviate my separation anxiety from Cebu.

I did say I was gonna #LAO. (Can this please be a thing?)

A very special thank you to Smart and the Smart team – Ms. Abbie, Kim and Tob – for a wonderful Cebu trip and for taking such good care of us. Having terrible #sepanx and I honestly can’t wait for our next trip together. Thank you thank you thank you – this was one for the books.