What Cebu embodies and strengthen their religious endeavour is venerating the Holy Child, Jesus. Since Spanish times, the symbol of Santo Nino de Cebu has been a symbol of hope by the Cebuano people that whenever in trouble, there is always the child Jesus who reminds us that love conquers and hopes all in good things. Reflecting with us Filipinos who also loves children the way we love the image of the Santo Nino.
Golden Prince Hotel, one of the most Cebu culture-focused hotels that promotes only not how Cebuanos be top-tier in hotel accommodation but also how they introduce the richness of Cebuano culture that presents them as one of the unique hotels around town. Last January 11, they gladly hosted Bato Balani sa Gugma: Pasundayag sa Kapistahan sa Sugbu, activity lines up with an exhibit of Santo Nino figures and images collected by equally loving devotees of Santo Nino de Cebu. Bato Balani is a song of “Pasalamat”, which is a Cebuano word meaning: thanksgiving. It was highlighted with an exhibit of different images of the Santo Niño. About 15 images were on display at the hotel lobby owned by 12 collectors from Hijos de Maria, Doxch Tiro, Ruel Manzanares, Kevin Mahusay, Ellis Manuel Mendez, James Donell Guinitaran, John Paul Anore, Jessam Felicano, Mark Steven Go, Alex Cedeno, Alvin Agnes and Alexandre Pierre Pardillo Heyrosa. Images has their own interpretation and style of how they were portrayed as the child Jesus and some of these collections are dated way back in the late 1900s that are well-kept. Unlike collecting toys or in any other hobbies, this group of “collectors” does not only keep these images for the sake of collection but it is also an expression of love for Santo Nino whole year around and not only for Sinulog.
According to Ellis Mendez, the core of these images is always to reincarnate the love of God and one way of expressing devotion since Filipinos has different kinds of showing their love for God, there’s them who keeps Santo Nino images. “It is also part of us being Filipino to be child-loving in a view whenever we see a child or a baby, it is the same joy we feel whenever we see or keep the “Ninos”, Ellis added. It is not only from collecting they stop but also in taking care and dressing them with its intricacy of design from how they should be dressed up to the right materials also matter. Mark Go, who owns 2 oldest pieces of his Ninos, observed that some of the images in Cebu or few of the establishments has alters of how they are dressed up disregarding the sacredness, though it is dressed in many ways, there is always a formal and scriptural correct way of how the clothes are fit for the Child King, emphasizing the regality and beauty of the image.
What strikes among all of the images is the “Sleeping Santo Nino” by Alvin Agnes, the uniqueness of how a very peaceful portrayal of a resting baby Jesus resonating the calmness and love of its face. Alvin started as a devotee of Santo Nino de Cebu and wondered as to how is he going to strengthen his love for God and figured out to keep Santo Nino images till he found a group who collects them as well. The Sleeping Santo Nino came from Manila and was originally part of a “Belen” or the Christmas portrayal of the Holy Family in the manger. “Even though he was born in the manger, nations have already respected this image who said would be the Saviour, despite its vulnerability it still the same Jesus we venerate.” Agnes added.
Another beautifully-dressed and crafted Nino owned by Doxch Tiro, the Festejado: Santo Nino de Cebu which was recognized to by regal colors and very detailed accessories and has been endorsed in a lot of campaign materials for Sinulog. “Because of the love for the Nino, we are always particular to its materials as we want them to present them in its glorious form and something not from the ordinary.” Images are displayed in the lobby for viewing, reminding us that the Sinulog Celebration is not only the parade of dancing colors or the parties that follow it but also how we are reminded of the share of religious faith we had as a Cebuano believing that Santo Nino de Cebu is the reason and should be paid homage to.
As Golden Prince continues their Sinulog kick-off, line-up of activities continues with guests both local and foreign, experience a festive welcoming mood with the theme: Bulawanong Sinulog with the drumbeats of Abyan Ensemble and dance performances by the 10G Troupers.
For guests who want to try local favorites such as Lechon, it will available during lunch and dinner buffets at, Le’Mon Restaurant. Guests can also fully immerse themselves at Cebu’s First Heritage Home in a Hotel: our brand new Kabilin (Heritage Lounge), for some merienda (afternoon snacks) from 2pm onwards.
A special Sinulog room promo is also available for those who won’t make it to the Sinulog weekend. “Yay! It’s Sinulog Friday” is an overnight stay only for January 18, 2019 at a Deluxe room with breakfast for two, Painit sa Kabilin (snack buffet) for two, and Brewed Coffee (at Q Cafe) for two.
To make your Sinulog 2019 memorable, celebrate it with the only hotel in Cebu that provides a Unique Cebuano Royalty Experience! For more details, visit www.goldenprincehotel.com or (032) 230-1500 for room reservations; (032) 230-1555 for banquet inquiries; (032) 230-1588 for dining options.