Captured Moments

By: Linnor Marie

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Saturday, 15-Jan-2005 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
The Feast of the (Mischievous) Santo Nino

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**Miraculous Wood **

It is told that one day, long before the coming of the Spaniards, a native went out into the sea to fish. He did not catch anything for the better part of the day until finally, he felt a weight at the end of his line. He brought it in only to discover that it was nothing but a piece of wood. This occurred several times until, tired and angry, he decided to keep the stubborn piece of wood in his boat. And voila! Like magic, all the fish swum towards his boat and he went home with a bountiful catch.

The natives of Cebu soon discovered that this piece of wood had other magical powers. They could use it as a scarecrow to keep animals away from their dying crops. In times of drought, they only had to immerse it in the sea and the rains would come. Apparently, this same piece of wood was fashioned into the image of the Santo Niño.

**Home Sweet Home?**

The legend continues that long after the Spanish conquest, the King of Spain decided that the image of the Santo Niño be brought to Spain as a proof of its conquest of the islands.

The image was placed in a locked box that was in turn placed in a locked metal casket and shipped to Spain, heavily guarded. Imagine the consternation of the King when the boxes were opened in his presence and revealed nothing!

The image had mysteriously disappeared and guess what! It reappeared miraculously the following day on the altar of San Agustin Church in Cebu!

The story goes on to say that another attempt was made to ship the image to Spain-this time in a third box locked inside two other boxes. Again the image was nowhere to be found when the boxes were opened in Spain. It had seemingly returned to the San Agustin Church by its own accord.

There were further attempts but each time, the image kept disappearing and reappearing in Cebu.

**Mischievous Niño? **

One version of the story says that the image was brought to Manila but it kept coming back to Cebu. Another version says it was brought to Vatican but not even the Pope himself could keep the Child from returning to his home in Cebu.

Still, another version relates that the exasperated priests amputated one of the Santo Niño's legs to prevent him from going back to Cebu. Some people point to the uneven stance of the Santo Niño as proof of this amputation.


The tales above were swiped from different internet sites (the original source is unknown) about the Senor Santo Nino. Folklore or not, the icon is for real and it clearly stands for the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines.

My very own mischievous ninos (boys) with their Pa.

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