Health, Fitness & You| Pit Señor! Viva Santo Niño!

O MIRACULOUS Santo Niño prostrate before your sacred Image,
we beseech you to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let Your tender love, so inclined to pity, be softened at our prayers, and grant us that grace for which we ardently implore you. Take from us all unbearable affliction and despair. For your sacred infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid that we may praise you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

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It was as Child King that the first image of the little Jesus came to the Philippines, a gift given to Queen Juana of Cebu, who was later baptized into the Catholic faith along with her husband, Rajah Humabon, and their people, from the navigator Magellan, who landed on the island in 1521. The image of the Sto. Niño of Cebu with its decorations, including the chains of old Spanish gold coins, the toisonne of emeralds, garmets, rubies, and diamonds.

            During the period between the departure of Magellan’s fleet in 1521, the Niño was revered by the natives as “Bathala.” They anointed it with oil, offered sacrifices to it, and invoked it to defend them against their enemies, to cure them of sickness, for a plentiful harvest, and for rain when the fields were dry. Tales of its favors traveled to neighboring islands and people sailed to Cebu to see for themselves this wondrous icon.

            Such tradition has lived through centuries until present times. Popular piety is shown in an annual merrymaking Cebu festival called Sinulog. It is a dance ritual in honor of the miraculous image of the Sto. Niño. The dance evolves from the elder’s rhythmic movements while playing at the image’s sanctuary. The rhythmic pattern resembles the current (sulog) of Cebu’s Pahina river. Thus, in Cebuano, they call it Sinulog. Pit Señor! Viva Señor!

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