Devotees’ Love to Sñr. Sto. Niño de Cebu: “An Expression of Devotion in Various Ways”
The Fiesta Señor or commonly known as Sinulog, is a prominent event that is celebrated annually on the third Sunday of January. It’s amazing how thousands of devotees and pilgrims across the country gather and unite to celebrate the fiesta. They bring with them miracle and touching stories which reveal the undying love of the Child Jesus, Sto. Niño, to the people.
As Filipinos who are known to have strong compassion and being rooted to our history, it is no surprise how we express our devotion to our Sñr. Sto. Niño de Cebu, to our Lord—in different ways but still, all the same, beautiful.
AS A CANDLE VENDOR
In her five years of selling candles inside the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu, despite the struggle for living, Mia has always taught herself the significant service she can offer to her fellow devotees and to the Child Jesus.
“Pamaagi sa pagpamaligya og kandila, kay nakatabang ko sa mga nanimbahay ari ug nakapadayeg ko sa akong serbisyo ngadto kang Sñr. Sto. Niño,” she said as gratitude shimmered in her eyes. It was as if her current fray—as the only provider in the family and a widow—won’t hinder her steadfast will to do and serve everyone with a good deed.
AS A DEDICATED WIFE AND A MOTHER
One of the greatest blessings that we can always be grateful for is having a loving mother that provides light to our little homes.
Snooky Yrog-Irog, a loving mother and wife, witnessed herself the good grace of Sñr. Sto. Niño. Her heart was moved on how the Child Jesus expresses His powerful love to their family amidst the difficulties that life has thrown at them.
“Ang kanang problema namo nga imposible kayo [masulbad] gihimong possible ni Sñr. Sto. Niño,” she shared as tears fell in recalling the painful memories. (Those problems of ours that were impossible [to solve] was made possible by Sñr. Sto. Niño.)
The unexpected loss of employment of her husband and the almost-bankruptcy of her small business, all of those suddenly disappeared and was replaced with countless blessings. In result, Snooky and her family’s faith strengthen and they visit the Child Jesus every Friday as their expression of deep devotion for almost two years now.
We often see these young men at the altar to assist the priest during masses, and the same with the other devotees, the Child Jesus was able to change their life and guide them in the right path.
“Nausab ko, kay ako sauna, sipat ko. Karon, samtang nagkadugay ko ari, upat na ka-tuig ang nilabay sukad nga nagsugod ko ari, nakat-on ko magbinuotan ug murespeto [sa uban],” admitted by Vince Solatori as he expressed the overwhelming change he had in his life. (I was changed because before, I was a naughty kid. Now, as I spend more time here, four years have passed since I started [serving] here, I learned to be kind and respectful [to others].)
With this, he will forever be grateful to the Child Jesus, and confessed that he will continue serving Him without hesitation, “Hantod mamatay ko,” he said. (Until my death.)
Like any other miracle story, their faith was put into test, challenging them as to how firm and strong their love for the Child Jesus will be. Even if there is a distinct expression of devotion, they all have a common goal—to serve Him with all their might. They’ll never stop showing their love like how Sñr. Sto. Niño didn’t give up on them. After the storm of challenges subsides, the rainbow of hope the Child Jesus showed them is making all the pain and sacrifices worth the fight. /Danica Ulbata, CNU Student Volunteer