CEBU CITY, March 10, 2015—The Augustinian Province today marked on March 9 the start of the 50-day countdown before the 450th anniversary of “Kaplag” or the rediscovery of the image of Santo Niño de Cebu, the oldest Catholic icon in the Philippines.
The Augustinian Province of Santo Niño de Cebu is cooking up grand festivities in the Queen City of the South as the “Kaplag” anniversary on April 28 also coincides with the 450th anniversary of the order’s presence in the country as well as the 50th year of the Santo Niño Church as a “Minor Basilica,” a title conferred in 1965 by Pope Paul VI through his Papal Legate Archbishop Ildebrando Cardinal Antonuitti.
To discuss the historical and cultural significance of these events, Augustinian scholars will hold the “Kaplag International Conference” on April 25 to 28 to promote awareness about the Christian origins of Filipinos. Hosted by the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City, the conference will gather local and international experts who will lecture on the history of Christianization, Filipinos’ devotion to the Child Jesus, and the legacy of the Augustinians, particularly as community builders.
“Kaplag” is a Cebuano term for “finding” or “discovery”. The event refers to the historic finding of the image of the Santo Niño on April 28, 1565. The image is believed to have been brought by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 as a gift to Rajah Humabon and his wife, Amihan, who were converted to the Christian faith. The image was discovered by one of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi’s soldiers, Juan Camus, in a partially burned hut.
More information about the Kaplag anniversary are published online at www.450kaplag.com. (CBCP News)