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Filipinos celebrate Santo Nino festival

Devotion a manifestation of their love for children, says bishop

Filipinos celebrate Santo Nino festival
Dancers perform in the streets of Manila to celebrate the feast of Santo Nino reporters, Manila

January 17, 2011

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Filipinos celebrated the feast of Santo Nino (Child Jesus) on Jan 16 with colorful parades, fluvial processions, street dancing and other festive rites in different parts of the Philippines. In the central Philippine city of Cebu, the faithful held the “Sinulog” in honor of Señor Santo Niño, the oldest festival in the country. Also in central Philippines, the crowds gathered for the “Ati-Atihan” in Aklan province, “Biniray” in Romblon, “Binirayan” and “Handugan” in Antique, and “Dinagyang” in Iloilo. In Southern Philippines it’s the “Pachada Senor” in Cagayan de Oro City, “Kahimunan” in Butuan City and “Zambulawan” in Pagadian City. Similar festivities were also held in the northern provinces of Bulacan, Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan. In Metro Manila, the center of celebration was the Santo Niño de Tondo Parish in Tondo, Manila, where large crowds of devotees attended the hourly Masses, held a procession of Santo Nino images and celebrated the “Lakbayaw” street dancing and festivities. Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila said the devotion of Filipinos to the Santo Nino is a manifestation of their love for children. “This only shows that Filipinos love children,” he said. Meanwhile, Church leaders urged young people in Aklan to become good leaders and inspire the next generation to celebrate the annual “Ati-Atihan” festival according to Catholic tradition and challenged devotees to “find Santo Nino” in the festivity and become aware of the issues surrounding the festival. Related reports Cebu set to welcome two million to festival Cebu shrugs off liquor ban for famous festival Devotees flock to Cebu for ‘Sinulog’ festival PR12885.1637
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