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Viva Sto. Niño! Pit Senyor!

The queens just came back to Manila from a quick visit to the city of Cebu to join millions of people who celebrated Sinulog over the weekend.  Sinulog is the name of Cebu's festival in honor of its patron - the child Jesus (Sto. Niño).  This festival has a great historical significance for the archipelago.  

The woman at the center carrying the image represents - Queen Juana.  She was the queen of Cebu who was baptized into Christianity.

According to records - the image of the Child Jesus found in Cebu is the oldest Christian relic in the country. It was a gift presented by Ferdinand Magellan to the King and Queen of Cebu when the latter were baptized into Christianity.  The King/Sultan of Cebu is named Humabon.  He became an ally of Magellan when the latter first landed in what was later going to be called the Philippine Archipelago.  Humabon - along with his primary wife - converted to Christianism and changed their name to Carlos ( after the name of Charles V ) and Juana ( after Charles V's mother's name ).  On the day of their baptism, Magellan gave the image of the Child Jesus to Queen Juana.

Through the festival - you will see the baptism and the presentation of the gift of the image dramatized in many different ways.  Each of the participating group presents their own interpretation of the event - and always features a woman beautifully dressed carrying the Senyor Sto. Niño.   This beautiful woman represents the queen Juana.  Sinulog activities start on the second week of January and lasts through the third Sunday of January when the parades happen.  The parade starts in the morning and lasts through the wee hours of the morning.  Presentations are held  at the Cebu Sports Complex and the groups continue to parade around the city - where devotees of the Sto Niño, residents, tourists, visitors can all join into the celebration shouting "Viva Sto. Niño! Pit Senyor".  For those who live in the Americas - you will most probably think of the celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the Carnivale in Brazil as an equivalent.

Giant representations of the image.

We definitely enjoyed the festivities.  Everyone was in a great mood and ready to celebrate.  I have posted pictures in yesterday's post on Sinulog 2012.    Here are some more photos - this time showcasing the man of the hour - Senyor Sto. Nino.

Image of the Holy Child Jesus ( or Sto. Niño)

Another Queen Juana - this time in Red.

Sto. Nino float.

The Child Jesus in another float.

The men and women dress up in formal Filipino attire - Baro at Saya for women and Barong for Men

Floats come in many forms - this time with Dolphins.


  1. Wow. Fascinating. I can't believe that I knew nothing about this until now.

  2. Hi Lisa. I learned about all of these during our visit. It's actually amazing (and embarrassing) how little I know of the Philippines outside of Manila.