Happy Fiesta Senior Sto. Niño!



Happy Fiesta Senior Sto. Niño!  Every third week of January is the week-long celebration of the Feast of the Child Jesus in Cebu.  The fiesta falls on the 3rd Sunday of January.  It’s a religious as well as a cultural celebration. It commemorates the birth of Christianity in the Philippines.  The Christianity that was brought to us by the Spaniards with their Cross and their Swords. The religiosity of the people developed from these beginnings. We are now in our 449th year.  How have we grown all these years as a Christian nation and a Christian people?

Mass goers receiving communion amidst the rain.

Mass goers receiving communion amidst the rain.

The Center of the Fiesta Celebration is the Basilica del Sto. Niño.  The Eucharistic Celebrations at the Basilica del Sto. Niño are celebrated every hour and a half difference from 4:00am until 8:00pm.  Every mass is packed with people inside and outside the Church areas.  It cannot be a real fiesta without people.  Thousands of people from dawn to evening come for the Eucharistic Celebrations.

“Kanamo, malooy ka unta nga kanimo nanggilaba!”

“Kanamo, malooy ka unta nga kanimo nanggilaba!”



Thousands also go to the cultural shows at Fuente Osmeña and other places.  Prayers, music and dances are the daily expressions of the big feast, rain or shine although at this time, it was often rain! All these are offered to the baby Jesus for thanksgiving and prayer petitions.

I was so touched watching the multitude of people, listening to their prayers said and sang aloud, watching the awkward dance steps with or without the beat, lighting candles, sacrificing the long line to kiss the image of Sto. Niño, and standing in the rain with or without umbrella for the whole duration of the Eucharistic Celebration. These are God’s people asking for God’s compassion and mercy.  I am sure that God listens to them.  God listens to us.

Photos taken during the 5:30 AM mass on Jan. 17, 2014.  It was raining at that time.

Photos taken during the 5:30 AM mass on Jan. 17, 2014. It was raining at that time.

And yet, this God is also waiting to be listened to.  HE is also asking for our compassion and mercy for Mother Nature, for our country, for our families, and for other people who are in most need.  God is asking for our cooperation to take care of our Mother Earth starting at our own vicinities.  It hurts me to see so much garbage just left in the places where people are.  The service umbrellas were nicely placed in large wooden boxes.  People get them for their use during the masses and they are supposed to return them where they got them before they leave the Church. But many just left them in the places where they were seated, together with their trash.

The people were closed to each other due to the large number packed in a limited space.  Pickpockets took advantage of the situation and robbed some people of their belongings.

Foreigners and tourists were among the crowd at mass.  They could have shown some respect of the sacredness of the place and the celebration but they came with their shorty shorts as if they were going to the beach or mountain climbing. Respect is universal – whatever religion, race or culture one belongs.

Respect for elders seemingly have become taboo now.  Young people do not give up the seats to the elderly who may not be able to stand for long for the duration of the mass.

Each one came for a personal reason.  God hears that.

Sinulog Festival 2014 -6Our God wants to be heard too! Let’s listen to Him!  Let’s be conscious of the signs of the times.  Let us understand God’s message for us.  So much need to be done.  Everyone needs to cooperate and do something to improve our situation: environment, politics, religion, culture, and education.  Let us practice the Gospel values. We hear the Word of God and we do not put them into practice. We ask pardon and forgiveness but we do not change our ways. We receive the Lord but we do not honor His presence in our day to day living. The Joy of the Gospel is living it!

Senior Sto. Niño – Hope of our People!  Hope is what we cling on to make our lives better and improve our situations.  We have only one earth and one life.  Let us take care of things for the betterment of both!

May the good Lord bless us all! Pit Senior!


Star del Mar

Cebu Lay Formation Center




Ang sinulog ni last year… natumba ang basilica prop nila… morag nalinog pod.
Karon guba na ang belfry.

Sinulog 2013b


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