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Friday, January 22, 2016

Ipilenos celebrate Feast of Santo Nino
By Rhea Grace A. La Plana

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay, January 22 (PIA) – Ipilenos celebrated the Feast of the Santo Niño on January 17 which marked their deep devotion to the Holy Child believed by Catholics to be the source of many miracles.

For Catholics, it is the oldest religious image in the country. Made of wood, the image is sculptured and carved. The image was one of the religious statues Ferdinand Magellan (who was a devout Catholic) brought with him in his monumental journey in 1521.

During its festivity, it is common to see devotees praying to venerate the image, in supplication for a favor or as an expression for a blessing received.

It’s also an opportunity to watch what the real “Sinulog”is. The “Sinulog” has always been observed by the faithful devotees of Sto. Niño.The colorful   festivity and “Sinulog” celebration was done at a chapel located at TirsoBabiera Street, Barangay Poblacion.

Mrs. Lourdes Babiera and Mrs.LolengAvanzado, both Santo Niño devotees led the solemn prayers and nightly novena at the said chapel. Fr. Arnold Hinggone celebrated a Holy Mass which culminated the 9-day novena.

A grand procession around Ipil town was participated by about 500  devotees, religious groups, choir, ministers of the word, ministers of communion, rosary and novena leaders, students, teachers, residents and many Ipilenos from nearby barangays.

Adding color to the festivity was the participation of  6groups of street dancers:TirsoBabiera group, Tiayon group, Ipil National High School, and 3 groups from Barangay Don Andres.

An Ipileno, Mrs. Lourdes Babiera is a faithful devotee of St. Nino. Her long standing devotion to the Holy Child is reflected in her three granddaughters’ devotion to St. Nino as well. Candice Marie Dano, a Clinical Instructor of Southwestern University in Cebu, CatleyaDano, a nurse and Chloe Dano, a professor at Marian College all participated in the street dance. The three sisters grew up seeing their grandmother’sfervent love for Santo Nino that has molded them to be devotees too.

Residents and different organizing committees were very grateful to some Ipilenos who donated cash and in kind for the flowers, food, snacks, and consolation prices.

For faithful Catholics in Ipil, it is a blessing that they embraced and kept close to their hearts the devotion to Santo Nino. Ipilenos look forward to the annual Santo Nino feast as various beautifully clothed images of the Child Jesus, mounted on carrozas will be in procession. The Feast of the Santo Niño is an occasion of such grand spectacle and month-long festivities of Sinulog and Ati-atihan.