Over 30 years ago, I was introduced to a young, beautiful woman, who would change my life as I knew it. This woman I now affectionately refer to as….”the bosslady.”
I still don’t do well in crowds, and I’ll always chose solitude over crowded events given my choice; however, this young lady, who became my wife, has introduced me to a culture rich in traditions, strong in family values, and some very … interesting… food. My wife is from the Philippines, Cebu and Bohol to be exact, both found in the Visayas region.
For those of you who know me, I am just as surprised as you are that I have not been thrown out with the dishwater.
This minor introduction is necessary to develop the backdrop for the theme of today’s topic, the cultural icon of Cebu, the Santo Nino de Cebu.
You may be asking…So, what is a “Santo Nino de Cebu?” The Santo Nino de Cebu is a religious icon presented to the King and Queen of Cebu by Pigafetta, in the year 1521.
The Sto Nino Fiesta is a culmination of nine days of Novenas dedicated to the child Jesus and the patron of the Philippines. Our local fiesta was begun in the early 90’s by three Filipinas who came to Hampton Roads via New York and started the nine day novenas. By 2000, the novenas could no longer be contained in various houses, and was moved to a local venue, the San Lorenzo Spiritual Center, which was large enough to house Hampton Roads’ version of the Sinulog. Novenas and the fiesta (Sinulog) were held there until 2014. Since then, the child Jesus, Sto Nino, travels to other local churches in January for novenas and fiesta. Returning to San Lorenzo after the fiesta.
2019 was a hard year for our local circle of friends. Three good men, whom I’ve had the pleasure to know, and call my friends, passed on to thier greater reward this year, and in the spirit of the Sto Nino fiesta’s theme this year, “In you alone, O Santo Nino.” So I’d like to take a moment to share them with you, may you keep them in your prayers (whomever you pray to):
Thank you for your time, and if you find the time, tell your friends how much they mean to you, before the pass on.
One more thing before I let you go, if you’re interested in a good read, read the book “The Feast of the Santo Nino, an Introduction to the History of a Cebuano Devotion.” ISBN: 9789715391. I couldn’t find a copy to buy online, so if you find it, send me a link.
What say you?