Saturday, 22 August 2015

Charles Fréger | Queens of Cebu (Sinulog)

Photo © Charles Fréger-All Rights Reserved
I chanced on the work of photographer Charles Fréger whose series of various ethnographic exotic (and not so exotic) communities, rituals and festivals are incredibly colorful. 

Choosing a single portfolio from 55 galleries to feature on this blog was not an easy task, but I finally decided on the Queens of Cebu, since it combines a religious tradition with superb fashion in the Philippines. The photographer describes the Sinulong festival as a mix of Christian and pagan traditions, and a fusion of a Latin carnival and a religious procession. 

The Queens of this annual cultural and religious festival, which is held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, hold small replicas of the “Santo Nino de Cebu”.  

The Santo Nino de Cebu is a statue of the infant Child Jesus venerated by many Filipino Catholics who believe it to be miraculous. The original is the oldest religious Christian image in the Philippines, and was originally given in 1521 as a baptismal gift by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Rajah Humabon, the sovereign of Cebu of that time.

One of the main highlights of the festival is the large street parade which lasts for 9 to 12 hours with participants coming from the different towns and cities across the Philippines.  It is these participants that Charles Fréger photographed during a visit to the country.

Charles Fréger is a French based photographer with a Fine Arts photography background. His work is a mixture of contemporary and traditional elements.