Monday, April 18, 2016

247. PHILIPPINE SANTO NIÑOS: Stunning, Startling, Surprising!

The Filipino is a child at heart, which explains the widespread devotion to the Holy Child Jesus in the Philippines. It also explains why—on His annual festival in January, owners of Niño images, led by members of the Congregacion del Santisimo Nombre del Niño Jesus, give rein to their unbridled child-like fantasies as they take out their images for procession.

Along Roxas Boulevard, scores of Sto. Niño statues, of all shapes and sizes and bearing various titles and appellations, could be seen on their floats, dressed and decorated in the most wondrous varieties—from regal to riotous, fancy to flamboyant—all guaranteed to dazzle, startle and surprise.

In the 1994 edition, there were Bambinos like these, inspired by Italian-style representations of the Child Jesus..

There were little Niño that came shielded from the elements in spectacular Baldochinos such as these..

This pair of cute pair were dolled up as—the Pope. One was wearing the Papal Miter and the other, a golden Papal Tiara.

Only in the Philippines can one see the Holy Child in the national costume for men—the Barong…

 Attracting extra attention were these Infant Jesus statues attired in Ethnic Regalia…

 Strange as it may seem, there were Niños garbed as Warriors, ready to do battle…

Meanwhile, there were a couple of Sleeping Sto. Niños, oblivious to the noisy, adoring crowds..

A trio of little Jesus figures were borne on Horses—one, carried by a chariot flown by the mythical winged horse, Pegasus, and another, led by kiddie cocheros…

Still others were presented using Musical-Themed backdrops, like the Las Piñas Niño that featured a bamboo organ, and another Holy Child, being serenaded by a guitar-playing figure.

There were overly-decorated floats overflowing with flowers, blooms, petals, leaves and fruity décor, totally overwhelming the poor little Holy Child—you could scarcely see Him!

Thank heavens, there still were a few familiar Santo Niños that many could recognize among those in the procession—like this replica of the much-revered Santo Niño of Cebu whose depiction remains true to the original, thus inspiring true reverence!

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