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'It signifies that there is hope': Omaha Filipino community celebrates the 44th Sinulog Fiesta

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jan 21, 2024
  • The Confradia del Santo Nino de Cebu of Greater Omaha gathered at Saint Cecilia's Cathedral Sunday for a special celebration honoring their faith.
  • Members of the community share the importance of the event and what it means for their culture.
  • Video shows Filipino traditions associated with the holiday including the statue of Santo Nino, a special mass, and dancing.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Traditional dancing, drums, food and prayer, at Saint Cecilia's Cathedral, members of the Filipino community came together to celebrate the infant Jesus of Cebu for the 44th Sinulog Fiesta celebration.

The celebration began with a special mass, honoring the history of Santo Nino and it’s significance to the Catholic Filippino community.

"Santo Nino was the first image of christ that came to the Philippines and that started Christianity in the Philippines,” said Ben Gonzales, Treasurer for the Confradia del Santa Nino de Cebu of Greater Omaha.

The statue of the infant Jesus, or Santo Nino, is the oldest Philippine symbol of Christianity.

In 1521, King Philip of Spain had this statue delivered to the queen of Cebu, a city in the Philippines, as a gift for her baptism.

Now, the anniversary of this moment is celebrated in Philippine communities around the world.

Here, the Confradia del Santo Nino de Cebu of Greater Omaha has been preparing for this celebration for the past nine Fridays at what the call novenas.

Ina Louie has been attending the event for almost 30 years and is happy to now share it with her family.

"Being a mom myself, I am very grateful to have passed it on to my kids and my nieces and nephews so,” said Ina, a member of the Confradia. "It signifies that there is hope and that there's faith and there's love and with the holy infant Jesus, it signifies you know their innocence and that through sharing that and that purity of love is something we value and can learn from."

The event helps Philippine children learn about their culture, while also inviting anyone who’s willing to share in that culture as well.

"After the mass we have this big celebration for all our members and devotees and like I said everybody is welcome to join,” said Grace Rodriguez, Secretary for the Confradia.

The celebration occurs every January on the third Sunday of the month.