Excerpt from an unpublished script “From the Arrival to the Discovery: The Journey of Sto. Niño” written and presented by Fray Ric Anthony A. Reyes, OSA on January 29, 2021 to the “Gabii sa Kabilin 2021 Online Activities” Cebu City, Philippines
The instance of the finding according to the records presented by Gaspar de San Agustin, OSA in the Conquistas and corroborated by the Acta de Hallazgo (the Act of the Finding or others may refer it as Tanto Juridico) of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and notarized by Fernando Riquel, the official notary of the expedition is summarized as follows:
San Agustin, in his narration of the auspicious day of April 28, 1565, Saturday, in his Conquistas, cleared the air of doubt that the finding of the image was already pre-arranged. He said, commenting on the inspection done by the group of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi on some unharmed houses by the conflagration in the native village after their hostile attack to the foreigners: “…while the soldiers investigated the rest of the houses that the fire had spared, not without some great mystery and divine intervention as proof of one of the greatest gifts read in the History of the Indies, serving to aggrandize our own celebrated conquest of the Philippines that included the finding of the image of the Child Jesus, whose marvelous discovery was etched in the memory of various historians.” San Agustin’s purpose is to view that the conquest was gifted with the discovery of the Sto. Niño was all of God’s will — a mystery which is above the comprehension and expectation of everybody.
The finding of the image of the Sto. Niño opened another chapter in the history of the image while it also continues to write the abrupt curtain-call in its history in 1521. As discussed above, the image’s history turns out into obscurity and would even drift to anonymity if the Legazpi expedition did not receive this manifestation of the image in the time they need most heaven’s favor for their mission’s direction.
As it was truly unexpected, the finding was interpreted as a sign of Divine intervention and response first, to Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, whose reaction was truly of religious fervor. He “got into his knees, weeping copiously and displaying singular acts of devotion…” He was a devout Catholic, a member of a Confraternity in Mexico City honoring the Most Holy Name of Jesus. Finding the Sto. Niño image in the midst of a less expected opportunity, seeing any semblance of his faith, Legazpi read this movement of the Divine Hand of God as the right path to undertake the evangelization and Christianization of Cebu and of the whole archipelago starting from the epicenter of the finding. From there, the first acts or the general’s decree were devotional and religious in nature:
The description of the image was also recorded. It was far from the pomp and regality of our present depiction of the image. Here are the characteristics of the image at the time of the finding:
The image has then found shelter where it was venerated by the Spaniards and the native Cebuanos in the Augustinian church and convent known as Sto. Niño. The church, though part of the convent, is properly called as Iglesia de San Agustin because this has been the undisputed first house of the Augustinians in the Philippine archipelago. The Church may have undergone many transformations throughout the years but it always stood on the very epicenter of the finding — on that humble native home.
 San Agustin, Conquistas, Bk. 1, Ch. 26, p. 335
 San Agustin, Conquistas, Bk. 1, Ch. 27, p.347