The Feast of the Sto. Niño is in the heart of many Filipino families. When the Spaniards arrived in Cebu in 1521, an image of the Sto. Niño was presented to Humanay, wife of Rajah Humabon, after they pledged their allegiance to Spain and were baptized into the Roman Catholic faith.
Since then, the festival of the Sto. Niño has been celebrated as a special feast in the Philippines every third Sunday of January or earlier in some regions, becoming a symbol of the beginning of Catholic evangelization in the country. Celebrated a few weeks after Christmas, the event has become like an extension of Christmas for most Filipino Catholics.
Devotion to the Sto. Niño in the country is best seen in the image of the Sto. Niño displayed in homes, places for business, and offices. Many towns and cities in the Philippines celebrate His feast with colorful celebrations, notably in Cebu, Iloilo, Aklan, and Manila.
Devotion to the Sto. Niño results in greater care for children, some of whom are malnourished, and lack educational opportunities. Church leaders and the Catholic faithful shall see to it that the celebration is a reminder that we are all God's children and that our attitudes before God should be like those of children - faith and trust in a God who is the source of everything good and beautiful.
There are hundreds of stories about the miracles of the Sto. Niño. As we celebrate the festival of the Holy Child with novenas, processions, and fireworks, we are reminded that despite the resources we have, we feel the need of the providence of God, and like children who need their parents, we cling to Him to see us through every step we take in our lives. MABUHAY!