|THE SHRINE OF THE STO. CRISTO DE LONGOS, Binondo, Manila|
In the oldest Chinatown in the world—Binondo—one can find an ancient Sto. Cristo fished out from a well in the barrio of Longos some time in the 16th century. Legend has it that the Chinese deaf-mute who discovered the blackened corpus of Christ in his pail, shouted in surprise—and regained his speech.
After a cross was made for the image, the Sto. Cristo was housed at the Capilla de San Gabriel, until the 1863 earthquake damaged the chapel. The undamaged cross was then transferred to the Binondo Church. The original image of Sto Cristo De Longos was displayed near the side entrance of the church.
A landmark shrine was erected at the corner of Ongpin St and san Nicolas St.—the site of the well where the Sto. Cristo was retrieved. Here, devotees come to see the wooden cross, honoring Christ in a fusion of Filipino-Chinese customs and traditions. The Christian cross is adorned with sampaguita garlands while Buddhist incense sticks are lit and prayers are offered by visitors of the shrine.
A confraternity--Hermandad del Santo Cristo de Longos—founded in 1704, propagates the devotion to the miraculous Holy Cross.
PHOTOS: courtesy of Dr. Raymund Feliciano