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.
The Uncommon Traditions that Mexicans and Filipinos share when celebrating the Day of the Dead.
Dia de los Muertos
By Allain Dumon Fonte
The 2nd of November is All Soul’s Day, a holiday that is very important to many Filipinos to remember our loved ones who passed on. This is also widely celebrated in Mexico as “Dia De los Muertos” or in English, “The Day of the Dead”. And Mexicans celebrate the 2nd of November grander than they celebrate Christmas. Well, you can witness it from the Disney movie, “Coco”.
As All Soul’s Day or Dia de los Muertos is about to end, here are some interesting traditions and superstitions that Filipinos and Mexicans share:
1. IT IS NOT ON THE 31st OF OCTOBER
Dia de los Muertos or All Soul’s Day is not practiced on October 31st or on the Hallow’s Eve as many other western cultures practice; but we celebrate it on the 2nd of November. We celebrate November 1st as All Saint’s Day or the Day of the Holy, while in Mexico they call it Dia de los Innocentes or Dia de los Angelitos to commemorate the children who died too early in life.
2. THE RITUAL
Both in Mexico and in the Philippines, we visit the grave of our loved ones and we clean it well. This is a ritual to honour their resting places and to let them know that they are never forgotten.
3. FLOWERS INVITE SPIRITS
In Mexico, they believe that the scent of flowers attract spirits. So the flower offerings are invitation to their dead loved ones to visit the living families. While in the Philippines, we believe that flowers offered to the dead exalt the souls and somehow fill in the sadness that we feel when missing our dead loved ones.
Most of the time, Filipinos choose all-white flowers to offer because white is the absence of colour, which means the absence of Joy and happiness. White also symbolises purity of soul which we hope our dead loved ones will attain as they journey to heaven. While in Mexico, they have the yellow Mexican marigolds as the official flowers of the dead that will guide them in their journey to the afterlife.
4. THE LEGEND OF THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES
Both cultures believe that monarch butterflies are dead loved ones who visit us and show their appreciation that we have not forgotten them. A presence of monarch butterflies also means that our dead loved ones are always there guiding us and looking after us.
5. A PICNIC IN THE GRAVEYARD
Spending a night at the graveyard and picnicking with the rest of the family may sound very creepy to many; but to both Filipino and Mexican cultures, picnicking and spending a night at the cemetery is a must to show our love to our dearly departed. It is the only time in the year that families gather and tell stories of the dead loved ones and how colourful or how great their lives were.
6. FOOD FOR THE DEAD
In Mexico, they have what they call “ofrendas” or an altar where the pictures of their dead loved ones are displayed and offered with flowers, candles, and their favourite food. Very similar to the Filipino culture of cooking the favourite food of our dead loved ones and everyone in the family enjoys the food for dinner.
My family tradition involves me driving all the way to Colon street and buy that famous Snow Sheen’s “pancit canton”. This is my granddad’s favourite snack. Sadly, the old Visayan Restaurant is no longer there. My late uncle and my late grandpa love their sweet ad and sour fish. We also set up an “ofrenda” on their graveyard and eat their favourite food while picnicking in the cemetery. We do not spend a night in the cemetery; but while we are picnicking there, we usually play the songs of Pilita Corrales and Susan Fuentes that my late grandpa used to listen every afternoon while enjoying his coffee, pan de sal, and pancit canton.
What about your family traditions? Share your thoughts by commenting to this article.
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Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+
Rating: *****/ *****
The multi award–winning comedy series airing on Apple TV+ is one of my favorite shows. Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis is about a fun good-natured American football coached hired by a British soccer club (AFC Richmond in London) to become their new coach. In spite of the fact that Ted has no experience or knowledge about British football/soccer, his positive demeanor and charm helps him overcome the animosity of the team’s players, staff and fans. Eventually Ted wins over the team and the locals as they fight for position in the English Premier League.
The show won the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and 7 Emmy Awards in its 2 seasons and Season 3 is just around the corner. You can catch Seasons 1 & 2 of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+
PANDEMIC DIARIES: Twelve Months Later
Photos taken by Pablo Quiza around Cebu City during the months of March, April and May 202
AS WE APPROACH ONE YEAR under pandemic times, we look back at March 2020 with fascination. And awe. We had 12 months of lockdown and survived the so called new normal. We lived with masks and alcohol even today. Carless roads and dark malls. Those were the early days of March, April and May.
It stretched to October and past Christmas. No Sinulog. Virtual parties on Zoom and virtual mass on You Tube and FB Live. We debated on the best meds to take if we get sick and whether to wear masks (please do!). We scampered for face shields and anti-viral sprays. Vitamins C and D and zinc. Later, we survived being swabbed and we learned the difference between a PCR and an anti-gene test. The latter cost less.
We dreaded the declarations of IATF mandated from Manila. And we got mad at the police chief who had a birthday party while his people were busy locking up everyone violating the lockdown. Most horrifying of all, we needed to produce IDs! Are you a resident of Barangay Lahug or Banilad? Are you employed and why are you still working? Everyone suffered thru endless checkpoints. Most sad of all are those using motorbikes, they seem to get the raw end of the deal since those with cars are not as scrutinized. We managed to trick the system by putting a big handwritten note in front of the car: COMPANY CAR, and zipped tru the police desks in the middle of the road. Don’t even think of travelling, by plane, boat or bus. The collection of the required documents is enough for one to get exposed to Covid.
We learned to shop online, order groceries and necessities thru delivery. We slowly moved towards cashless payments. Gcash and banks like Union Bank and China Bank with friendly apps are heroes for making life easy for most of us to spend what little cash we have to spend on Lazada or pay the VECO bill. Oh and we binged on K dramas on Netflix and You Tube, kamsaminada.
As 2021 enters, there are some good news. For those obsessed with news, you already know that 7,000 vaccines arrived last March 2 in Cebu, with more expected in the next few weeks. The death rate is not as high among those who caught this pesky virus, which tells us that doctors in the hospitals have some proven expertise in dealing with Covid. More cures should be in the horizon.
Meanwhile, lets continue dreaming of the day when we can cross borders again, even if its just Bohol or Boracay, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Ready those luggages and bags bought during the 3/3 sale in Shopee in preparation for the day when we can take the ferry or the plane for new adventures.