The 3rd Sunday in January is a special weekend that is observed with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
The Santo Niño Fiesta honors the March 16, 1521 event when the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived and planted the cross on the shores of Cebu, claiming the territory for Spain. He presented the image of the Child Jesus, the Rajah Humabon. Hara Humamay (or Amihan in some versions) was later named, Queen Juana in honor of Juana, mother of Carlos I.
The statue measures approximately twelve inches tall, is made of a dark wood in baroque style and depicts the Child Jesus as a king dressed like Spanish royalty. The expressions, accessories and hand posture of Santo Nino de Cebu are similar to the Infant Jesus of Prague now located in Czech Republic. It is believed that both statues originated from the same European source, with the devotion to Santo Nino starting earlier of the two.
A few days after the baptism, Magellan undertook a war expedition on the behalf of the newly named Carlos, attacked Mactan Island, burning down hamlets who resisted. The residents led by Lapu Lapu defended Magellan’s attack with force, and Magellan died on 27 April 1521 in the Battle of Mactan, about three weeks after he had arrived in Philippines. After Magellan’s death, his Spanish colleagues left.
You can read more than these excerpts from Wikipedia. The children tried telling me about this but lost the connection before they were able to tell me much so I looked it up.
Cebu is the home of the image and there are extensive and elaborate celebrations there. Other areas observe in varying degrees. Where the children’s home is located, the events are less elaborate due to the poverty, but no less enthusiastic.
On Saturday, there was a church service that included people getting into the fishing boats and going out on the water. As I understand it, it has to do with a recognition or reenactment of the Magellan arrival. On Sunday, there were other church observances.
So that is a little history lesson.
You can keep up with the happenings at the children’s home in your Facebook feed by liking and following us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/childrens.hope.90
You may also support the children’s home by going to the following link http://hopehomeandschool.com/index.php/support/
Where your monthly donation of $47 will supply the needs of a child. Slightly more than a dollar a day.
Also, if you share the Facebook postings when you find them interesting, it will help spread the word about our children.
If you would like to hear more about the children’s home, I am available to speak to your church, missions group, or other organization.