USPF president, wife named hermano, hermana mayores

(The Freeman) - January 10, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The president of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) and his wife are this year’s hermano and hermana mayores for the 453rd fiesta celebration in honor of Señor Sto. Niño.


Lawyer Paulino Yabao and his wife, Dioscora Yabao, were chosen as fiesta patrons by the selection committee composed of Augustinian priests, and former hermano and hermana mayors, among others.

Part of their responsibilities as hermano and hermana mayores is to raise funds for the religious event.

Rev. Fr. Rick Anthony Reyes, head of the Secretariat Committee for this year's Fiesta Señor, said the selection of fiesta patrons started in June.

He said they have chosen a couple who are devoted to Sto Niño de Cebu and are living a moral life.

The couple will be installed during the liturgical celebration.

This year’s celebration carries the theme “Sto. Niño: Guide of God’s Children to Humility and Service,” which is patterned after the pastoral thrust of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on the Year of the Youth.

The tradition of choosing a hermano mayor and a hermana mayor for the Fiesta Señor dates back to 1565, after Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi rediscovered the island of Cebu and the image of the Santo Niño.

After reviving the devotion to the Santo Niño in Cebu, Legazpi was named as the first hermano mayor.

According to Reyes, there are no records to prove the continuity of the selection of hermano mayor after de Legazpi.

After a 400-year hiatus of the practice, in 1965, in time for the 400th anniversary of Christian evangelization of the Philippines, the Augustinian friars filed a resolution reviving the practice of having a hermano mayor in the person of Jose Yulo, former chief justice of the Philippines.

After Yulo, the practice died again, until in 1982 when hermano and hermana mayores were selected yearly, up until the present. — John Kendrick P. Ceciban, USJ-R Intern, KBQ (FREEMAN)

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