Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cebu: Witnessing Cebuano's Devotion to the Santo Niño

The noontime heat swelters as the throng of chruchgoers, including us, move snail-paced and inch-to-inch going inside the Basilica del Santo Niño. It was the morning of Sinulog sa Kabataan, exactly a week before the grand Sinulog Festival celebration. Not being used to Cebu's hot weather, I was already sweating when we reached the walkway in-between the Basilica and the pilgrim center where the Holy Mass is being celebrated.

I was with my couple hosts Doel and Tina Pacana and their kids. After running 21K in the Cebu City Marathon earlier that morning, I joined them in attending the mass, held in celebration of the Child Jesus, more popularly known as the Santo Niño. There, I became a witness to Cebuano's deep devotion to their faith.

Despite the scorching heat, the devotees remain unperturbed. Most of the crowd stood the whole duration of the mass, protected only by umbrellas from the harsh rays of the midday sun. The myriad of colors created by the red and yellow buntings hanging above and the umbrellas used by the crowd lent the celebration a grand festive mode. 

After the mass, my hosts then took me to Ayala Mall where we had lunch at Bon Chon, the original double-fried chicken from Korea. The resto's soy-garlic flavored, semi-sweet and crispy fried specialty was a filling treat to my hungry stomach just hours before I flew back home.


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