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Reflection for the Feast of Santo Nino C2013

posted Jan 21, 2013, 12:49 PM by Alberto dela Cruz


Five Augustinian priests were with the group of Conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi when he landed in central Philippines during his 1565 expedition.  The group rediscovered the image of Senor Santo Nino which was given as Baptismal gift to the natives in 1521 by Magellan’s team.  On the same spot where the image was miraculously found, a chapel (now a Basilica of Senor Santo Nino) was ordered by Legazpi to be built and made the Augustinian priests as its custodians.

The natives’ closeness to nature and their cultural bent to belief in spirits provided a convenient access for European Catholic mission.  Another significant factor was the natives’ family centeredness which was naturally valuing children as precious and priceless gifts.   Thus, an image of the Child Jesus, the Santo Nino, played a major role in Christianity’s taking roots in the values and culture of Filipinos.

That’s somehow, somewhere SINULOG evolved.  SINULOG came from a Cebuano word ‘sulog’ which means “like water current movement.”  It became the native’s way of prayer of worship, petition, thanksgiving and protection offered in bodily movement or dance assimilating the water’s current flow.   Filipino natives’ love of nature was the very foundation of faith; their closeness to creation expressed their piety and devotion.  They danced their faith, they acted their prayer, and they claimed for themselves the life and power of nature and offered it to their ‘god.’

Jesus as a Child won the hearts of Filipino people. 

In keeping Jesus as a child in the hearts of Filipino adults, tenderness, gentleness, care, and love are brought to maturity.  The presence of the child in every Filipino family brings the spirit of joy and communion.  The presence of Jesus who became a child in their hearts transforms their family and communal orientation.  It gears towards an establishment of a happy and loving family and community.

Viva Senor Santo Nino!  Viva Filipinos!

fr ambet