Contingents to join celebration of Sto. Niño discovery

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol April 12,2016 - 03:06 PM

CONTINGENTS representing three of the country’s biggest festivals will come together in Cebu City in celebration of the 451st anniversary of the discovery of the image of the Sto. Niño on April 28.

Fr. Harold Rentoria, executive director of the grand Kaplag celebrations, said they invited representatives of the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City, and the Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan to offer dance presentations in honor of the Child Jesus.

They will be joined by contingents from Carcar City, Apas National High School, and the renowned Lumad Basakanon who will dance the Sinulog.

The festival will be held at Basilica del Sto Niño’s pilgrim center after the 5:30 p.m. Kaplag Fiesta Mass to be presided over by Fr. Alejandro Moral, the prior general of the Augustinian fathers—the caretakers of the original image of the Sto. Niño and the centuries-old basilica.

“This is going to be historic because the three biggest festivals in the country gather in one place to honor the Sto. Niño,” said Rentoria in a press conference at the basilica’s Aula Magna yesterday.

Ricky Ballesteros, executive director of the Sinulog Foundation, said he’s planning to have a mini parade of all the contingents before the grand presentations at the basilica.

“This is a ‘once in a lifetime’ event. This is big. And we want Cebuanos to see the concepts of other festivals,” he said.

The event will formally end the three-year grand celebration of the 450th anniversary of the discovery of the image of the Sto. Niño—the oldest religious icon and the symbol of Catholicism in the country.

Last year also marked two other milestones: the 450th anniversary of the Augustinian presence in the country, and the 50th anniversary of the church’s title as a minor basilica.

CONCERT

Aside from the dance presentations, the Augustinian fathers will also stage a concert at the New Cebu Coliseum at 7:30 p.m. on April 27.

The 450 Kaplag Konsyerto will feature Fr. Jonas Mejares, rector of the basilica, along with Cebuana singing divas Sheryn Regis, Eva Santos, Donna Cruz, and Anna Fegi.

Also to perform during the concert are Filipina-American Kirby Asunto, the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño Grand Choir, and the Primus Band which Fr. Mejares created when he served as dean of the Conservatory of Music of the University of San Agustin in Iloilo.

Ticket prices range from P100 to P500. The concert may be Mejares’ last performance as rector of the basilica. He said the Order of Saint Augustine (OSA) is set to convene next month to discuss about the new assignment of priests.

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TAGS: Basilica del Sto. Niño, Cebu, Kaplag, Sr. Sto. Nino

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