‘Sto. Niño feast in Manila peaceful’

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
�Sto. Niño feast in Manila peaceful�
Devotees hold on to their images of Sto. Nino during the feast day procession around the Sto. Nino de Tondo Parish in Manila the morning of January 15, 2023.
Philstar.com / Jose Monsieur Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The celebration of the Feast of the Sto. Niño in Tondo and Pandacan yesterday was generally peaceful, according to the Manila Police District (MPD).

In a text message to The STAR, MPD director Brig. Gen. Andre Dizon said 2,000 people have participated in the festivities in Tondo since Saturday.

At least 1,000 people joined the motorcade of the Sto. Niño image in Tondo that started before dawn yesterday, Dizon added.

Hundreds attended the “Buling Buling” Festival marked by cultural dances for the revered image in Pandacan on Saturday.

Police estimated that 6,000 residents joined yesterday’s mass for the feast in Pandacan.

Construction is still ongoing for a new Pandacan church after a fire in July 2020 gutted the Sto. Niño Parish and its religious relics, including a 300-year-old Sto. Niño image.

A new Sto. Niño image was later sculpted from a wooden beam that survived the fire. It also contained in its chest the original left hand finger that held the orb with a cross in the lost image.

Street parties and festivities for the Sto. Niño image were suspended in the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sto. Niño feast in 2021 was held according to strict social distancing restrictions.

In 2022, the festivities were suspended and masses were held online after a holiday surge in COVID infections.

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