When I learned that the papal visit would be in mid-January, I knew immediately it would coincide with the feast of the Santo Nino — Sinulog.
Celebrated in Cebu City every third Sunday of January, the feast celebrates the royal childhood of Jesus Christ, as seen in the antique image of the Santo Nino. It also commemorates the acceptance of Christianity by Filipinos, particularly Cebuanos. Explorer Ferdinand Magellan gave the image to the king and queen of Cebu (then Zugbu). In her great joy, Queen Amihan danced with the image in her hands, thus starting the Sinulog dance.
And I’ve never attended the Sinulog. So I was hoping I could attend the one for this year and, at the same time, meet Pope Francis there in Cebu. I thought, wouldn’t it be grandest if the Pope could also celebrate Sinulog? But that was not to be.
Instead I read this, talking about the Pope’s concluding Mass on January 18:
As the event falls on the third Sunday of January, the Feast of the Sto. Nino, devotees from the Archdiocese of Cebu will lead people in a Sinulog rhythm before the Mass.
“Those who will attend are requested to bring image of Sto. Nino to join the Sinulog dance,” said Fr. Carmelo Arada Jr., who is in charge of liturgy for the papal visit. (Source)
Looks like we’re about to have six million people dancing the Sinulog in one event! 😀
Photo: At a Sinulog street dancing event in Manila, the girl reenacts Queen Amihan receiving the image of the Sto. Nino. (darylslimshady on Flickr)