Corpus Christi celebrates the Feast of Santo Niño

 On Sunday 20 January, the Parish celebrated the feast of Santo Niño in true Philippino style, with the blessing of Santo Nino statues followed by traditional dance, known as Sinulog.

After Mass, Fr Mervyn blessed the statues presented on the altar by parishioners and then children and adults, dressed in traditional costume, danced up the aisle of the Church in the tradional two-step-forward, one-step-back, dance step that is believed to predate Christianity.  They danced in front of the Altar where Fr Mervyn held the Santo Niño aloft, and then joined the dancing as he swayed back and forth across the altar steps.  Click for video: Santo-Nino-Video2

The story of the Santo Niño, and its celebration today, reminds us that Filipino Catholicism begins with, and is still centred on, The Santo Niño which is a small image of a smiling, European-looking boy Jesus with curly locks, with a hand raised in blessing. During the feast, he is often dressed in a crown and other regal insignia, including a red and gold cape. In central Philippines, statues of Santo Niño are very common in homes, and in January, at the time of his feast, the third Sunday in January, the  Santo Nino image is found all over Cebu in the Philippines; the Parish of Corpus Christi is blessed with a strong Philippino community.  

The name sinulog refers both to a ritual dance (sinulog) inspired by and performed before the Santo Niño, reportedly for centuries, and, since 1980, to the annual citywide festival in Cebu (Sinulog) to celebrate the Santo Niño. Sinulog takes its name from the Cebuano word for the way water laps on the Pahina river, two waves forward, one back.