1. Concept or theme for costume and performance are left to the discretion of the participants based on their own interpretation of what is relevant to Sinulog. Emphasis must be given to the concept of prayer in dance.
2. Dance steps, music, costume, accessories and equipment of the dance should be in the context of the chosen theme or concept.
3. The Sinulog beat must be used all throughout the dance interpretation however, slight variations may be allowed. Any entry that will not use the Sinulog beat shall be disqualified. (Judges should be strict in implementing this rule because it is the “beat” that differentiates the Sinulog from other Philippine Festival particularly Ati-Atihan and Dinagyang.) The beat is the one distinguishing characteristic that should be maintained all through the year or else the Sinulog will lose its identity. A penalty of five (5) points will be deducted from the criteria on musicality for entries who will have more variations than the Sinulog beat.
4. All hand props shall be carried by the dancers all throughout the parade route.
5. Live musical or percussion accompaniment must be used. Canned / taped music is not allowed.
6. A minimum of (30) thirty and a maximum of (50) fifty instrumentalist shall accompany the dancers. As part of the contingent they must be in proper attire consistent to their theme /
7. No contingent shall leave props, backdrops, etc. at the back of the stage and premises of the Cebu City Sports Center.
8. Appropriate footwear consistent to the theme / motif shall be used by all the participants.
9. Ritual presentation at the Cebu City Sports Center stage shall be limited to five (5) minutes only. Three (3) points shall be deducted from the total score against any contingent who violates this provision.
10. Time starts once the dancers move and step on the designated entrance area of the stage likewise the time stops as soon as the first set of dancers step down in the exit area.
11. Music from instruments such as electronic guitars, piano, organ, electronic drum sets, and all other electronic instruments are allowed as long as they can set up within the given time.
12. The use of infants/toddlers (3 years below) and live animal sacrifices are strictly prohibited. A three (3) point deduction from the total score shall be imposed.
13. The use of flammable materials such as fireworks or pyrotechnics as part of the ritual are strictly prohibited. A five (5) point deduction shall be imposed against any contingent who violates this provision.
14. When the concept / theme is purely on transformation, one should register in the FREE INERPRETATION CATEGORY characterized by any of the following:
• Use of dance steps and movements of an indigenous Philippine of a foreign group using the Sinulog Beat without having to portray a religious significance.
• Use of a current concept showing how the Sto. Nino is / can be worshipped in our times.
• The use of foreign influences in the concept, theme or ritual as shown in the choreography, costumes, props and accessories.
15. The decision of the Board of Judges in any contest categories shall be final and unappealable. Questions or clarifications will not be entertained after the announcement of winners.
Theme, Concept / Ritual – 10%
Relevance to Sinulog, choice of material as to musicality, movement qualities and expressions, clarity of message and interpretation to dance movement.
Performance – 25%
precision and coordination, fluency, alignment, balance, focus, projection, rhythmic and spatial interest.
Choreography – 25%
creativity and artistry of steps and formation, style and expression.
Costume – 20%
Artistic choice of color and style, appropriate and relevant to the relevant to the theme/ritual.
Props – 10%
Effective use of props relevant to the interpretation of the theme/ritual.
Musicality – 10%.
Adherence to the use of the Sinulog drumbeats.