Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Viva, Viva ! Sto. Niño

The festivals have a biggest cohesive and binding force and go to nurture feelings of love and affection towards other fellow beings. These festivals in fact provide an occasion to narrow down differences if any, and bridge the gaps in understanding each others. They provide an occasion for togetherness. They enforce the feeling of joy and happiness. The festivals come and go but the overwhelming message they underline must remain uppermost in our minds, upholding their true spirit. The purpose gets fulfilled, if these festivals are celebrated in their spirits and in the process the people enjoy life to the hilt, civilised society get formed and the nation gets built up based on strong patriotism and nationalism.

 At this time in the Philippines, the month of January is devoted  to Santo Niño, the Holy Child Jesus. There are lots of popular festivals in the country that is celebrating in honor of Santo Nino. There are lots of exciting events and merrymaking in the celebration of Santo Nino Festival. One of this is the street dancing where dancers are dancing in the streets to show their devotion and faith and also of course to compete with other contenders.

Provinces, cities and towns in the Philippines celebrate the festival for Santo Nino prepares months ahead for their upcoming festivities. There are many local and foreign tourist and visitors come to these places also to celebrate the joyous building and see the faith of the people and devotees to the Santo Nino. Visitors also want to witness, explore and experience the historical and cultural specialty in these celebrations and events.

Little boy holding a sto.nino at the festival


One of the popular sto.nino festivals in the Philippines is the Sinulog festival in Cebu.The Sinulog festival is one of the grandest and most colorful festivals in the Philippines with a very rich history.The main festival is held each year on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City to honor the Santo Niño, or the child Jesus, who used to be the patron saint of the whole province of Cebu (since in the Catholic faith Jesus is not a saint, but God). It is essentially a dance ritual which remembers the Filipino people’s pagan past and their acceptance of Christianity.

The festival features some the country’s most colorful displays of pomp and pageantry: participants garbed in bright-colored costumes dance to the rhythm of drums, trumpets, and native gongs. The streets are usually lined with vendors and pedestrians all wanting to witness the street-dancing. Smaller versions of the festival are also held in various parts of the province, also to celebrate and honor the Santo Niño. There is also a Sinulog sa Kabataan, which is performed by the youths of Cebu a week before the Grand Parade.

Aside from the colorful and festive dancing, there is also the SME trade fair where Sinulog features Cebu export quality products and people around the world flock on the treasures that are Cebu.

Recently, the cultural event has been commercialized as a tourist attraction and instead of traditional street-dancing from locals, Sinulog also came to mean a contest featuring contingents from various parts of the country. The Sinulog Contest is traditionally held in the Cebu City Sports Complex, where most of Cebu’s major provincial events are held.

    Sto.nino in Cebu

                                Santo Nino statues paraded during Sinulog Festival,Cebu.

The devotion to the statue shares its worldwide veneration of the infant Jesus of Prague. Coloquially referred to as Santo Nino, it is found in many residential homes, business establishments and public transportation. It is often found two traditional vestment colors, green for the residential home and red for places of business. It is also often found with interchangeable clothing, whereas the devotee may choose to associate their own uniform to the statue, such as physicians, nurses, janitors or teachers. Another popular form of the statue is the Santo Nino de Atochas, but varies as standing pose rather than the seated pose of the Spanish version.



(Sto. Niño.ph)

The feast day of Sto. Niño in Tondo is celebrated in the third Sunday of January. The fiesta in Tondo has the biggest participation in Manila, not only because Tondo is the most populous district in the city and poorest but perhaps because of the many anecdotes connected with the Sto. Niño of Tondo. According to Philippine Historical Commission, the peoples of Tondo celebrated the feast day with a fluvial procession that “attracted thousands of visitors.” Tondo’s terrain at that time consisted of waterways and tributaries which were connected to Manila Bay, a probable reason why the present stone church of Tondo was constructed on elevated ground (several meters above sea level) to prevent sea waters from inundating the Church.

    Different Replicas of Santo Nino

As early as the first week of January, traditional fairs are set up along Tondo’s side streets, most of the time occupying even half of the two-way traffic lanes. Hanging over practically all streets are banderitas which residents have painstakingly cut, trimmed, and pieced together months earlier. In some streets, where the procession is expected to pass the banderitas are more intricately made and more meticulously laid-out in-between houses complete with bamboo archways and steamers proclaiming “Viva El Sto. Niño.” The annual fiesta processions are held twice, one in the morning and the other just before the sunset. They pass the major streets, stopping occasionally as the participants in the procession watch a display of fireworks, a couple of doves set loose from the hanging gilded cage or a shower of residents stay in their homes to receive guests both invited and uninvited. At North Harbor waits the great pagoda with turreted altar. The Sto. Niño embarks, along with everybody who can squeeze abroad and the pagoda moves through the flaming hues of the sunset escorted by fishing fleets bedecked with banners the smaller boats racing each other round and round the pagoda. Dusk falls as the flotilla sails northward along the bay. On the pagoda the dancing continues but the trip has also become a picnic as the good old custom of caridad showers forth bags of biscuits and baskets of native oranges. The Sto. Niño moves in a blaze of light on the waters of his city. The voyage ends at the landing in the Velasquez and Pritil, densest tenement of Tondo is even livelier because folks back from school or works join in the merriment and besides, it’s always more fun to dance under the stars than under the sun. Parents not only from Tondo or Manila but also from the province come to dance before the Sto. Niño to pray for a sick child or give thanks for a child’s recovery.

Here's the List of Festivals in the Philippines from January to March

January | Nationwide
A grand procession of over two hundred well-dressed images of the Child Jesus.

January 1 | Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila
Annual procession, parade of flowers and costumes

January 2 | Gasan, Marinduque
A feast honoring the three kings who are visiting houses around the Poblacion of Gasan

January 3- January 16 | Kalibo, Aklan
Scene of a yearly celebration in honor of Sto. Nino held every third week of January, popularly known worldwide as Ati-Atihan. So called because Aklanons, domestic and foreign tourists, wipe soot on their faces and done ethnic paraphernalia and masquerade around town as Negritos and make merry and dance in the streets to the beat of ambulant ethnic troubadours.

January 5 | La Castellana, Negros Occicental
The town’s celebration of Charter Day and a befitting culmination of the Christmas season, the festival is conceptualized as a festival of hope and thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for all the blessings received in the year that was and hope for a prosperous new year. Its unique feature is the use of lights or “luces” as props
and adornment and its nocturnal festivities and streetdancing

January 9 | Lingayen, Pangasinan
Lingayen, Pangasinan (6 hours from Manila by land) Commemoration of the liberation of Pangasinan from the Japanese invasion led by Gen. Douglas McArthur of the US Pacific Command on Jan. 9, 1945


January 9 | Quiapo, Manila
An intense, day-long festival highlighted by a mammoth procession through the streets. 

BINIRAY FESTIVAL (Fluvial procession) 
January 9 | Romblon
Sto. Niño-inspired revelry and fluvial procession.

January 10- January 13 | San Pablo City, Laguna
A grand mardi-gras celebration which pays homage to Laguna Province''s most ubiquitous crop.

January 10 | Koronadal
Translated literally, it means "Day of Koronadal" and indeed it is. Hinugyaw Festival, dubbed as the "Festival of Festivals", is a celebration of the different cultures that has dwelled on the fertile valley of Koronadal for many years now.

January 10- January 16 | Lambunao, Iloilo
Binanog is a yearly festivities celebrated by the Lambunaonos every January in honor of infant Jesus. Binanog means a pool of dance by the people in hinterland of Lambunao. The following are the Binanugan, the dance depicting the movement of the birds, the Inagong sayaw-sayaw, a celebration dances and the Dinagmay, the courtship dance. The dance movement is accompanied by lively drum beatings. 

January 10- January 16 | Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental
Revelers garbed in distinctively colorful costumes with bare bodies painted in black soot take to the streets to the riotous and frenzied beats of drums celebrating the feast of El Señor Sto. Niño. 

January 15 | Poblacion Makato, Aklan
The ati-atihan festival of Makato dates back before the Spaniards came to sow the seeds of Christianity into this land. During the celebration, thousands of Catholic devotees from all over the country and those from abroad felt the urge to come and join in the wholesome, frolic and religious fervor of thanksgiving to the Holy Child, Sto. Niño. 

January 15 | San Joaquin, Iloilo
Celebrated every 3rd Saturday of January. This spectacular & exciting event find its origin on a hillside in one of the inland barangays of the municipality when resting farmers witness for the first time the fight between the two raging bulls, set loose by their herdsmen. It caught the fancy of the barangay folks and soon it became a popular entertainment in most barangay fiestas. During the municipal fiesta, the best bulls from different barangays are pitted against each other by weight category in a "Bull Derby".

January 16 | Libertad, Butuan City
Butuan''s version of the Sinulog of Cebu which has an equally lively and spectacular street dancing.

January 16 | Brgy. Tangos, Navotas
One of the highlights of the Navotas Day celebration featuring a street dancing and float competition focusing on the fishing industry.

January 16 | Buenavista, Guimaras
This cultural festival makes maximum use of the rich cultural tradition of the oldest municipality of the province. The presentation of songs, dances and musical tableau depicts the various influences Buenavista has been subjected to. Celebrated in honor of the town’s patron saint, Sr. Sto. Niño, Kinaradto promises the participant loads of unforgettable positive experiences.

January 16 | Libertad, Butuan City
Butuan''s version of the Sinulog of Cebu which has an equally lively and spectacular street dancing.

January 16 | Buenavista, Guimaras
This cultural festival makes maximum use of the rich cultural tradition of the oldest municipality of the province. The presentation of songs, dances and musical tableau depicts the various influences Buenavista has been subjected to. Celebrated in honor of the town’s patron saint, Sr. Sto. Niño, Kinaradto promises the participant loads of unforgettable positive experiences. 

January 16 | Poblacion Batan, Aklan
The participants celebrating this festival wear masks made up of paper mache and prepared costumes. The festival is celebrated in honor of the Sto. Niño with merry making for a bountiful harvest, peace and prosperity, street dancing along the streets and plaza of the poblacion. A holy mass is celebrated before the start of the contest on Sunday morning proceeded with a parade of participating tribes.

January 16 | Arevalo, Iloilo City
Highlights of this District Fiesta of Arevalo are the multicolor fireworks. The skyline becomes a celebration with the dazzling display of sparkles and blazing lights.

January 16 | Glorietta 4 Park Makati City, Metro Manila
Official Festival of the City of Makati by virtue of resolution No. 251 of Jan. 21, 1991 displaying the call of the local Government for the protection and conservation of our ecology.

January 17 | Bansud, Mindoro Oriental
A thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest which coincides with town fiesta. It features dances and cultural presentations by schools and barangay communities.

January 19 | Janiuay, Iloilo
“Sadsad Sa Kalye” is a dynamic mass presentation expressing the beliefs, views, visions and aspirations of the Janiuaynons based upon tradition, historical experiences, and culture of the people of Janiuay. It is a street-dancing affair buoyed by the kaleidoscopic prism of cultured grace and fineness that reflects the embodiment of all that are beautiful in man’s body and soul. “Sadsad” is a native word meaning dance. 

January 20 | Cebu City
Celebrated every 3rd Sunday of January, is Cebu''s biggest and most popular festival. The feast is in honor of the Holy Image of Senyor Santo Niño de Cebu. Fiesta Senyor, as it is widely known, is the most celebrated among Cebu''s festival where people converge along the routes of a grand solemn procession and partake in the gaiety amidst a mardi gras parade immersed in wild colors and the constant beating of drums.

January 20 | Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
A true to life dramatization depicting the life of Bacoleños during the Spanish times and the life of being a Catholic 

January 20 | Jamindan, Capiz
A cultural and fiesta celebration. 

January 21- January 22 | Poblacion Altavas, Aklan
This day marked the end of the Fil-American war in Altavas. Since then, January 22 is being celebrated as an Annual Thanksgiving and Armistice Day in Altavas. Later, the date was adopted as its municipal town fiesta. This is the continuation of the joyous celebration of peace when Fil-American war ended in this municipality.

January 22- January 23 | Iloilo City
A spectacular street merrymaking in honor of the Holy Child Jesus. 

January 24 | La Carlota City
These features cultural shows and traditional fiesta activities like procession, traditional games and cultural presentation. 

January 24- January 25 | Ibajay, Aklan
A religious feast in honor of its patron saint Sto. Niño, held by transferring the holy image of the patron from Ibajay Cathedral Rectory and enthronement at St. Peter Parish Church, by way of amusing the image from where it was originally discovered and brought to the church. 

January 24- January 30 | Cadiz City, Negros Occidental
A revelry from sunrise to sunset, with ceaseless and rhythmic beating of drums. A sea of humanity in cadence with black soot “ati” performing rituals, all in honor of El Señor Sto. Niño. A spectacular fluvial parade where the Infant Jesus is carried aboard a fishing boat around the river, out to sea and back. “Dinagsa” connotes the sudden surge of good things washed ashore, such as the generous catch of fish and other sea foods, which Cadiz is famous for. Throw all cares to the wind as you street dance with gaily-costumed ati-tribes. Be game however if you find your own face painted black by playful ATIS.

January 28 | Jordan, Guimaras
Primarily a celebration of the economic endeavor that made Jordan what it is today. Sana-aw also pays tribute to the skillful artisans and the enduring workers in an endearing characterization through dance drama. 

January 30 | Malolos, Bulacan
The Malolos Sto. Niño featuring a week long exhibits, a month procession featuring more than a hundred caros of drivers Sto. Niño images.

January 31 | Pateros
One of the highlights of the Pateros Town Fiesta celebration


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