It’s that time of the year again where a festive mood just takes over the city or perhaps even the whole island. Sinulog is a dance ritual in honor of the miraculous image of the Santo Niño and is an annual cultural and religious festival here in Cebu, Philippines.
Entrepreneurs share the same joy and excitement to celebrate one of the country’s most anticipated festivals with the market opportunities that overwhelm them once in a year.There is also no better time to witness Filipino entrepreneurship (it is not just Cebuanos but at the same time entrepreneurs as far as Baguio and Zamboanga come here as well).
While many simply want to enjoy the festivities, entrepreneurs see opportunities, specifically the ways to increase income together with a team or sometimes alone; they choose to create something for the event instead of just consuming.
Although it is a religious celebration, the event also gives an economic boost to many small vendors in the city, which includes the likes of candle and religious item vendors to name a few.
I don’t always participate in the celebrations each year, but when I do, I find the urge to make the experience memorable or something different. There was the Sinulog when I was little where my parents took me to see the grand parade, when I got older it became an event to bond with class/workmates and friends; there was a time when I thought of just collecting plastic bottles to sell later; and there was that one time I took a placard and walked the streets giving free hugs; joined a party under some fireworks; and one of the most interesting of all, making money while having fun.
There are many products and services one can sell during the festivities. You can simply walk the streets, and take your pick as to how you want to do business!
You will never go hungry during Sinulog, provided you have enough cash. You can sell your and compete with other food vendors (Fishballs, quekx2, peanuts, barbeque, junk/finger food, fruits..etc..); create your own unique homemade delicacy or perhaps prepare a position for your food franchise.
Hydration is also a priority during the celebrations both for tourists, vendors and street dancers. It could be as basic as water, juice or some magic water (alcoholic beverages).
A lot of retail vendors outside Cebu come as early as November (or earlier) to sell already but you can still sell some items if it has a creative and unique design such as: Tshirts, fashion accessories, hats, and so forth.
Note: My parents had 2 ex-businesses (in which I helped out) namely a food services & fashion accessories business and both times earned decently during previous Sinulog.
Also, many service providers are fully engaged even before the scheduled festivities like tour guides, tattoo artists (other artists with gigs too) as well business-to-business service providers.
Those are just the tip of the iceberg; it is truly a wonderful showcase of entrepreneurial Cebuano or Filipino ingenuity in general!
Do you have other business ideas that would be good during this festival? Perhaps it would be good to start setting something up during this festival in Cebu!!
The writer is an RFP® - registered financial planner of RFP PH, Licensed Real Estate Broker and Director of CERTA, Inc., a family estate planning and investment advisory firm. To know more, please visit www.certa.ph