Every last Sunday of January, nowhere is the devotion of the Sto. Nino more felt than in Malolos, the capital city of Bulacan Province in Central Philippines. The nationally-renown festivities start with a grand exhibit of "Santo Niño" (Holy Child) and ends in an evening procession of titled Santo Niños, antique and new, led by the Santo Niño de Malolos, the patron saint of the city. The central Niño figure is made of precious antique ivory and is a heirloom piece of the Tantoco Family (Dr. Angel and Leonor Tantoco).
The Santo Niño celebration of Malolos started in the 70s with a handful of devotees who processioned their images of the Christ Child to honor His feast day. Since then, it has grown into a national event, with the Santo Niño Exhibit at the historic Barasoain Church as one of the main highlights. The Grand Procession of Sto. Niños, for instance, drew a record number of about 130 carrozas (decorative floats) in the 2009 edition. The Sto. Nino de Malolos Foundation Inc., now organizes and runs the event while implementing their noteworthy charity and advocacy projects.
Featured here is a selection of Niños that participated in the early years of the annual Santo Niño Fiesta of Malolos, Bulacan.