Sunday, January 27, 2008

Grand Sto. Nino Procession Highlights January Festivities

The Philippines, being the major Roman Catholic country in Southeast Asia, (with East Timor as the other), was granted by the Holy See a proper feast every third Sunday of January in honor of the Child Jesus popularlt known as the Sto. Nino. Practically, the whole of January is designated as Sto. Nino month with local images having its own local feast day. The titular image of the Congregacion del Stmo. Nombre del Nino Jesus, the "Nombre" has his feast day observed at the last Sunday of January preceded by a novena of Masses and various images exhibit (around 500) at the Philippine National Bank Headquarters.
Yesterday, the feast was observed with the participation of the 200 carrozas or floats depicting the different images of the Holy Child. The procession, starting from the Philtrade grounds at the corner of Buendia and Roxas Blvd., and ends at the Luneta Grandstand (a 3 kilometer stretch more or less), usually takes 5 hours. However the 2008 procession for the 1st time took more than 6 hours due to the participation of thousands of people watching or joining the procession and the insertion of other unofficial floats. While waiting for the arrival and completion of the carrozas at the grandstand, various ati-atihan groups made their presentations as offering to the Child Jesus. There were also other groups who presented a Filipinana dance and a Lyre band exhibition.
After awarding the best in theme, best carroza, best in group effort and best in ati-tihan presentaion, the celebration was capped by a prayer dance known as the "Bati" dance rendered by young boys and girls while a fireworks display was on-going. The festivities however created an enormous traffick jam which lasted until 10pm since half of Roxas blvd. was closed for the procession. This year's overall Fiesta del Senor Sto. Nino 2008 Chairman was Deo Pamilar together with other committee chairmen. I was designated as head of the Liturgical Committee.

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