WE RECEIVED COMPLAINTS FROM FRIENDS THAT AN ARTICLE IN YAHOO NEWS.PHILIPPINES HAS OFFENSIVELY REFERRED TO THE STO. NIÑO AS PAGAN OF ORIGIN. WELL, OF COURSE THIS IS VERY INSULTING TO CATHOLICS ESPECIALLY TO FILIPINO CATHOLICS WHO ARE SO DEEPLY INLOVED WITH THE CHILD JESUS WHO IS THE DECLARED KING OF THE PHILIPPINES.
SO I READ THE ARTICLE AND INSTEAD OF GETTING ANGRY I FOUND IT A VERY NICE PRESENTATION OF THE FEAST AND THE HISTORY OF THE BIRTH OF CHRISTIANITY IN OUR COUNTRY. THE AUTHOR CATEGORICALLY REFERS TO OUR FAITH AS CHRISTIANITY AND REFERRED TO THE SACRED IMAGE WE VENERATE AS THE IMAGE OF THE CHILD JESUS.
I THINK THE ROOF OF THE NEGATIVE REACTION IS THIS: “Today, Sinulog commemorates the Filipino’s pagan origin, the highly revered image of the Santo Niño and the acceptance of Christianity.” BUT, CAREFUL READING OF THE TEXT AND ITS CONTEXT IT ACTUALLY DOESN’T SAY THAT THE STO. NIÑO IS PAGAN IN ORIGIN. WHAT HE WAS SAYING IS THAT THE PHILIPPINES WAS ORIGINALLY A PAGAN NATION, WE WERE PAGAN PEOPLE UNTIL THE COMING OF CHRISTIANITY THROUGH THE CONVERSION OF KING HUMABON. WE CANNOT INTERPRET IT AS AN INSULT TO THE STO. NIÑO BECAUSE IT IS ALREADY CATEGORICALLY DECLARED THAT THE HOLY CHILD IS THE LORD JESUS HIMSELF: “He introduced Christianity and presented the image of the Santo Niño (Child Jesus) as a gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Cebu’s Rajah Humabon who was later named Queen Juana.”
SO REST YOUR HEARTS DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. YOU MERELY MISINTERPRETED THE ARTICLE OR MAYBE THE AUTHOR WAS NOT ABLE TO PUT THAT PARTICULAR STATEMENT IN A MORE APPROPRIATE MANNER OF EXPRESSION. BUT I DON’T SEE ANY REASON TO PROTEST IT. INSTEAD OF GETTING ANGRY ENJOY THE BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS CONTAINED IN THE ARTICLE.
Sinulog Solemn Procession 2015
Pinay Solo Backpacker – Sun, Jan 18, 2015
Despite the overcast weather and sporadic rain because of tropical storm Amang, the Cebuanos remained intact and dedicated during the Solemn Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño (Child Jesus) from the Basilica del Sto. Niño in Cebu City, Philippines held last Saturday January 17.
Devotees filled the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu Pilgrim Center last January 17.
At past noon, I watched the crowd gathered at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu Pilgrim Center, fronting the Basilica del Sto. Niño Church, where the original Image of the Sto. Niño is enshrined. A touching scene greeted me – people were waving their hands, most of them carrying images of the Child Jesus as they praise.
Devotees carry varied images of the Sto. Niño at the solemn procession.
Rowena Fuentes, a mother of two boys from Lapu-Lapu, has been joining the Solemn Procession carrying the image of the Sto. Niño for 12 years now.“This was a wedding gift to us back in 2002. The next year, I decided to join the Sinulog Solemn Procession as thanksgiving and praise to the Child Jesus. He then blessed me with two healthy boys”, she recounted.
A sea of Sinulog devotees.
Traffic was rerouted by 10:00 A.M. for the procession. The route was different from last year’s course. The solemn procession, attended by millions, commenced at Basilica del Sto. Niño along Osmeña Boulevard. The procession followed Fuente Rotunda and turned right at General Maxilom Avenue. The procession then proceeded to Carreta Junction, turned right to New Imus Road and left turn to M.J Cuenco Avenue. It then followed the right turn to Osmeña Boulevard and turned left to P.Burgos Street before returning to Basilica del Sto. Niño.
A replica of the original image of the Child Jesus.
Sinulog is deeply rooted in history and faith. It has grown into the country’s grandest festival, attracting the biggest crowd each year. In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu to plant the cross on its shore. He introduced Christianity and presented the image of the Santo Niño (Child Jesus) as a gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Cebu’s Rajah Humabon who was later named Queen Juana. Today, Sinulog commemorates the Filipino’s pagan origin, the highly revered image of the Santo Niño and the acceptance of Christianity. After the Solemn Procession, a mass was held at Basilica del Sto. Niño. The church was filled with devotees; some even heard the mass at the nearby government building. The crowd cheered as impressive fireworks was displayed after the mass.
The infectious Sinulog vibe. Crowd gathers at a souvenir shop playing Sinulog music.
Meanwhile, loud drum beats, trumpets blowing and crowd singing to the tune of Sinulog music at the nearby souvenir shop turned infectious. People started to flock near the performers; cheering, dancing and raising the images of Santo Niño as they shout Pit Senyor! The Sinulog fever has indeed started, casting a jovial spell around the bustling Cebu City.
Gael Hilotin is the blogger behind www.thepinaysolobackpacker.com. Follow her on Instagram: @thepinaysolobackpacker.