Cebu’s Pride the Senior Santo Nino
Cebu City is the location of the famous landmark of Magellan’s Cross. When Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines, he planted the cross to symbolize the beginning of Christianity. Now it is secured using a tindalo wood as ordered by Bishop Santos Gomez in 1835. This prevented people from totally destroying the cross by taking out small pieces. Today it is properly housed in a chapel near the old church, Basilica Minore del Santo Nino.
Cebuanos have always been known to be religious in nature. Most Cebuanos honor Roman Catholicism as their primary religion. For many years, Cebuanos have looked up to the famous Senior Santo Nino for spiritual guidance. Of course, Senior Santo Nino, considered as “The Holy Child”, never fail the Cebuano community. The oldest relic and image of the Child Jesus can be found at Santo Nino Church.
Cebu City hosts a famous festival called Sinulog that is held every third Sunday of January in honor of “The Holy Child”. Sinulog involves dancing with dance step using two steps forward and one step backward to the sounds of drums. This step is similar to the current (sulog) of the river thus, the term Sinulog began.
Since the Santo Nino Church was built, many devotees started performing Sinulog in front of the church shouting “Pit Senor”. Many years ago, believers started to offer a 9-day novena for Santo Nino that ends with a procession to some streets in Cebu City. Moreover, Cebuanos look forward to the Sinulog mardi gras on the next day. People flock in the streets to witness the street dancing participated not only by Cebuano contingents but also from nearby provinces. This month long celebration has been continuing to grow more fun and exciting every year. Tourists even come to Cebu to witness the special occasion only Cebuanos can offer.