MARIKINA City, May 6, 2014— Starting May 9, devotees of the Santo Niño de Cebú (Holy Child of Cebu) in Marikina will have a rare chance to see and venerate the “real thing” right in their backyard during the beloved icon’s weeklong tour of the city.
“I am glad that I won’t have go to Cebu myself anymore to pay my respects to the Santo Niño,” shared civil servant Bobby Advincula, a longtime resident of Marikina, who is also a devout Catholic.
On its arrival on Friday, the sacred image will be solemnly enthroned inside the city’s Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish (Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados) where a mass will be celebrated at 4 p.m.
A mini concert for the “Señor” will take place on the church grounds at 7:30 p.m.
On May 10, Saturday, masses will be held in the morning at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30, and the rest of the day at 12 noon and 4 p.m.
The day will end with a procession billed the “Grand Santo Niño Festival” at 5 p.m. in which parishioners who own replicas of the miraculous icon are encouraged to take part.
May 11, Sunday, marks the feast day of Marikina’s patroness, Our Lady of the Abandoned (OLA), who will temporarily grab the attention of devotees from the visiting Santo Niño.
Special masses will be held for the Blessed Virgin at 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. followed by a procession at 5:00 p.m.
Right after the fiesta, the Santo Niño will resume its tour of the city which is scheduled as follows:
May 12 (Monday)
8:00 a.m. – Visit to Marikina jail
12:00 nn – Visit to Mary, Mother of God Chapel
3:30 p.m. – Visit to its namesake Santo Niño de Marikina Chapel (SNDM)
7:00 p.m. – Mass at SNDM
8:30 p.m. – Return to OLA Parish
May 13 (Tuesday)
5:30/6:30 a.m. – Mass
8:00 a.m. – Visit to San Lorenzo Ruíz Chapel
11:00 a.m. – Visit to San Roque Chapel
2:00 p.m. – Visit to Santa Elena Chapel
5:00 p.m. – Return to OLA Parish
6:00 p.m. – Mass
May 14 (Wednesday)
5:30/6:30 a.m. – Mass
8:00 a.m. – Departure Rites
11:00 a.m. – Departure from OLA to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish
Barring only Quiapo’s Black Nazarene and various statues of the Blessed Virgin, the Santo Niño of Cebu is the most venerated and most popular religious image in the Philippines with replicas of it found in almost every Filipino Catholic household and business establishment.
At over 450 years, it is also the oldest, having been brought to the country by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan as a token of goodwill to Cebu’s then “pagan” natives. (Raymond A. Sebastián)