Images of the innocent Child
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - January 10, 2019 - 12:00am

Few days from now, the feast of Señor Santo Niño is imminent. The anticipation of the devotees is similarly mounting. And even the small businessmen are busy preparing their merchandise that all the more give hype to the celebration.


Although religious revelries are everywhere in the country, the most rousing—impressive to foreign tourists, some of whom are pilgrims—to the soul of faithful celebrants is that of Cebu. Participants in the devout part of the Cebu Sinulog celebration when asked attest to the deepening of their love for God and their determination to keep their vows of piety and changing themselves to a higher quality of Christian person.

The images of the Señor Santo Niño are on display everywhere. They come in diverse versions: in sizes, from finger to life-sized and even clothed as if the child Jesus is a police, firefighter, farmer, or even a popular living personality. And to some extent, others are adorned with gold and precious stones, and enshrined in glasses.

The Santo Niño is a piece of Philippine history, said essayist Nick Joaquin in a 1980 paper conveyed before Cebuanos. It is such an image of Philippine history “since it accompanied Magellan, turned into a native pagan idol, was restored as a Christian symbol by Legazpi, and has turned out to be Filipino to the point that local legends abrogate its European origin.

The unabated wonders of the Santo Niño are living verification of a supernatural occurrence underlying the devotion, which is transmitted from generation to generation through enculturation or folk education. The complex mixing of supernatural quality and people Catholicism in the Santo Niño dedication contribute towards Filipino Christian culture.

 More than ever, Christians and non-Christians alike usually can agree that Jesus is the best role model to have. From His faith, perseverance and generosity, people see the best qualities that mankind can possess.

Being compassionate, Jesus never turned away from individuals; He always looked upon them and had empathy. At whatever point individuals were around him, Jesus comprehended what their genuine needs were and looked to address them.

He is the ultimate servant. Although Jesus was praised as a great teacher and even had a decent following, He made sure to teach them to be servants by actually doing it himself. In Mark 10:45, Jesus even tells everyone: “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve”.

He had a love for others. If He didn’t, He wouldn’t be compassionate nor a servant. He claimed that there is no greater love than to die for one of your friends—and He did just that.

A standout amongst the most startling things said in Scripture is found in Luke 23:34, when Jesus is on the cross and proclaims: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Even while bleeding and encountering torment, Jesus had His heart set on absolution.

Jesus had each chance and ideal to request acclaim and accolades for His miracles and teachings, yet He never did! Notwithstanding when the crowds to make Him ruler, He hurried far from their grip.

I have understood that at the center of Catholic Cebuano identity is an undying energy for supplication, and love for the Santo Niño. The Sinulog, more than the parade and parties, is the articulation and festivity of Cebu’s communal personality.

The images of the miraculous Child Jesus may vary but the characteristics of being innocent, curious, humble and forgiving remain the same. To the greatest child we have, Viva Señor Santo Niño!

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