April 19, 2007
Ever heard the story how the figure of the Holy Child Jesus, or Santo Niño, found its way in the Philippine shores? It was said that the figure was given as a gift to the wife of the local chieftain. Then, when a fire struck it was said that the figure was found unburned and still intact, a miracle that was instrumental in the conversion of the local tribes into Christianity. The said figure is believed to be the same figure that is kept inside the Sto. Niño Basilica. Locals and believers from other towns, islands and countries flock to the Cathedral to visit the Sto, Niño which is also a miraculous one.
During its feast day, usually celebrated with a Sinulog Festival every first month of the year, people would paint themselves black to symbolize the early Filipino aborigines, known as Negritos or Aetas. A figure of the child Jesus is paraded in the main streets of Cebu hyped with some street dancing. Every year the clothes of the original Santo Niño figure is changed and the clothes worn during the past year is placed on the replica that is shown on the altar. So, you want to visit the century-old icon of the Holy Child Jesus? Say Viva Pit Señor Sto. Niño!
From journal Mactan Getaway