Pandacan church gets new image of Sto. Niño
The new image of Sto. Nin?o de Pandacan is on display at the Manila Cathedral after being vested and blessed by Manila Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo on Saturday.

Pandacan church gets new image of Sto. Niño

(The Philippine Star) - January 18, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A new Sto. Niño image sculpted from a wooden beam that survived the fire that struck Pandacan church in July last year was unveiled yesterday as the Catholic faithful joined the feast of the Child Jesus in Manila.

The image also contains in its chest the original left hand finger that held the orb with a cross in the lost image.

The Sto. Niño’s finger was spared from the fire because it was under the care of a “recamadero” at the time, lay person and historical artifact expert Robert Fabro Tomas told The STAR.

The image is sculpted from the yakal wooden beam that survived the fire that razed the 300-year-old convent, Tomas said.

“The image is sculpted from the oldest structure in Pandacan. That is the story of the Sto. Niño and of the town and its people,” he said.

The fire that destroyed the church and the religious relic did not dampen the faith of devotees who joined the feast, Tomas said.

The new wooden image of Sto. Niño is made of endemic Philippine wood. The lost image was said to be made of Mexican wood.

According to folklore, the wooden image was first discovered by a group of children among pandan reeds near a carabao wallow. Its mahogany was similar to the dark wood of the Black Nazarene image.

The Sto. Niño image was enshrined in folk knowledge through the Tagalog folk song “Sitsiritsit, alibangbang,” which sang of a puto seco store near the Pandacan church.

The celebration of the Sto. Niño feast in Tondo and Pandacan was orderly and compliant with health protocols, according to the Manila Police District (MPD).

Around 1,000 markers were distributed around Tondo Church for people to comply with physical distancing measures, MPD director Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco said.

At least 650 devotees attended mass at the Pandacan church. Some 1,500 people joined mass at the Tondo church, according to figures from the MPD.

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