SPAIN – “Viva Señor Sto. Niño!”
Filipinos in Europe chanted while dancing and carrying the image of Sto. Niño, like it is done in the Philippines.
The colorful festivities in various European cities might not be as grandiose as those in Cebu, nonetheless, Filipinos found a way to continue with the tradition they grew up with and keep their devotions alive.
“Importante para sa atin yun, siya yung kauna-unahang santo na dumating sa Pilipinas. Maraming miracles na nangyayari,” said Helen Cervantes of Asociación Visayas y Mindanao, an association based in Barcelona, Spain.
Not minding below 10 degree temperatures, Filipinos in Barcelona choreographed a mini-Sinulog at the plaza of San Agustin Church. They danced in colorful costumes and dramatized the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
Batangueños also joined the celebration as Sto. Niño is also the patron saint of Batangas, whose name can be traced back to one of the Holy Child’s miracles, explained Barcelona-based Batangueña, Tina de Chavez.
“Dahil nga dun sa original na nakita ng Santo Niño sa batangan ng bahay, nung bumaha nga sa Batangas City, yung batangan ng bahay na lumulutang sa tubig nakita dun yung Santo Niño na nakapatong sa batangan kaya pinangalanang batangan.”
Associations such as Asociación Bisayan Ug Mindanaoan en España, Block Rosary, Hermandad, AFICAT, Immanuel, Amistad, Pastoral Youth Ministry, and Centro Filipino also participated in the celebration.
Paris-based Filipino devotees also expressed their gratitude to the Holy Child by holding Sinulog at Sainte Bernadette Church. And then they went to a restaurant where they crowned the Little Princess of Sto. Niño.
Filipinos from different parts of London, meanwhile, converged and held Sinulog at St. George’s Cathedral in Westminster Bridge.
Fr. Jake Dicto, organizer of the celebration, was very happy with the outcome of the event.
“Viva! Pit Senor!! Napakaganda po ng ating selebrasyon ngayon sa fiesta ng Sto. Nino sa London kaya po tayo nagkakasiyahan lahat ng mga Pilipino.”
Croydon Choral Group offered a serenade while Sydenham Pinoy group presented a Tagalog folk dance.
The Wadon Filipino community did a tribal dance while East London Filipino community had a dancing nuns’ production number.
“Napakasaya po ng selebrasyon ng Sto. Nino festival dito sa Central London sa St. George’s Church. Talaga ang mga Pilipino ay nagkakaisa,” said dance performer Leo Redoban.
Sinulog represents the Philippines’ acceptance of Catholicism brought by Spanish colonizers. This one of a kind Filipino festival is held on the third Sunday of January. – With reports from Bong Agustinez in Paris and Babo Gamboa in London. Daniel Infante Tuaño, ABS-CBNnews.com
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