by Myrna Aquitania
This past weekend, The Feast of the Santo Niño was celebrated by various Catholic parishes here in the Southland, in conjunction with our Santo Nino celebration back home.
In the City of Buena Park in Orange County, the FILCOM group celebrated their Santo Nino Feast along with the Sinulog Festival on Saturday, January 18th at the St. Pius Catholic Church. Their celebration started with a Mass officiated by the Most Rev. Oscar Solis, followed by a procession of the Virgin Mary and the Santo Nino, attended by more than five hundred parishioners, devotees and guests headed by Consul General Maria Hellen Barber-Dela Vega. The festival was highlighted by the presentation of the colorful “Sinulog” dancers.
On Sunday, January 19th, the Santo Nino Feast was also celebrated at the 3:30 PM Mass of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, sponsored by the Santo Nino Cruzada group who celebrated their 27th Anniversary since they were established in 1988, at the former St. Vibiana’s Cathedral in Los Angeles.
In San Gabriel Valley, at the All Soul’s Catholic Church in Alhambra, the annual feast of Santo Nino was celebrated with a procession of the Santo Nino in the streets surrounding the church grounds. Unlike last year, aside from the statue of the Santo Nino, there was a little girl named Marynina Therese Gella who was dressed depicting the Santo Nino. She tirelessly walked with the parishioners during the procession which was done an hour before the 5:30 pm Mass. The Mass was officiated by Rev. Pastor Joseph Kim Dang Nguyen and the celebration was sponsored by the Filipino Ministry of All Souls Parish headed by Jun Cabaccang. After Mass, all the Santo Nino images were likewise blessed by Father Nguyen and a sumptuous dinner was served at the Community Hall prepared by kitchen helpers Jean O Ng,, Ma. Fe Gan, Lucy and Emma. The menu included warm arroz caldo cooked by Alan Rivera, delicious sotanghon by Venus Rivera, puto, kutsinta and fruit salad.
Some friends of mine, Baby Gonzales and Evelyn Enriquez mentioned that they too, attended the Feast of Santo Nino celebration at St. Linus Catholic Church in Norwalk.
I’m almost certain that numerous other Catholic parishes in the Southland had similar Santo Nino celebrations because back home, we have a large number of devotees to the Infant Jesus and the annual Santo Nino festival has been one of the highly-attended Feasts.
Catholic Filipinos celebrate the Feast of the Santo Nino not only as a tradition, but also as a devotion to the Infant Jesus whose birth on Christmas gives all of us peaceful blessings as we go through another year full of hope for a better future.