PAGTUO: An exhibit of the different images of Sto. Niño!

Fr. Raymund Alcayaga giving a brief history of the displayed images of Sto. Niño.
Fr. Raymund Alcayaga giving a brief history of the displayed images of Sto. Niño.

If there’s anything that revellers’ should do first this Dinagyang 2019 is to make time to pray and thank the Lord for protection and abundant blessings received every day. For people to be reminded of this obligation, Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo has officially opened PAGTUO, an exhibit displaying different images of the Sto. Niño owned by different local parishes and devotees who have dedicated their daily lives in adoration of the baby Jesus. The entire ensemble is a collection of 11 images varying in sizes and origins all bringing with them a story of faith tested through time.

General Manager Cleofe Albiso and Fr. Raymund Alcayaga during the cutting of the ribbon to officially open PAGTUO, an exhibit of the different images of the Sto. Niño.
General Manager Cleofe Albiso and Fr. Raymund Alcayaga during the cutting of the ribbon to officially open PAGTUO, an exhibit of the different images of the Sto. Niño.
General Manager Cleofe Albiso welcomes and reminds everyone about the value of prayer and nourishing the gift of faith this Dinagyang 2019.
General Manager Cleofe Albiso welcomes and reminds everyone about the value of prayer and nourishing the gift of faith this Dinagyang 2019.

The entire exhibit will be available to the public starting January 21 until January 27, 2019 and will be located at the lobby of Iloilo’s first and only international hotel.  Ms.Cleofe Albiso, general manager of Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo, says that “Prayer should always be part of our day to day for us to open our hearts to the many miracles that are happening all around us.” She further ads that “seeing the images of the sweet baby Jesus at the lobby in celebration of the entire festival will help remind everyone to offer all joys and sacrifices back to Him who has made everything possible for us.”

Featured Images of the Sto. Niño: 

Image of the Holy Child blessed by Pope John Paul II owned by Kenny Santiago
Image of the Holy Child blessed by Pope John Paul II owned by Kenny Santiago

The Holy Child
Owned by: Kenny Santiago

Formed by the late Joaquin “Boy” A. Santiago Jr. and family, they clothe the image with indigenous materials such as bamboo strips, ropes, bagacay and other materials. The Sto. Niño was blessed by the late Pope John Paul II with his holy water and gave stampetas as well for the image last November 1981, ever since then, this was the only relic that the Santiago Family treasured.

Sto. Niño de Arevalo owned by Mark Clinton Jaro Layson
Sto. Niño de Arevalo owned by Mark Clinton Jaro Layson

Santo Niño de Arevalo 1581 (Replica)
Owned by:  Mark Clinton JaroLayson

This image of the Sto. Niño De Arevalo is considered to be the third oldest in the Philippines after the StoNiños of Cebu (1521) and Tondo (1572), is humbly venerated at the simple yet beautiful church at Villa Arevalo, Iloilo City. The image of Sto. Niño de Arevalo was said to be brought by the Augustinians upon the establishment of La Villa Rica de Arevalo (today’s Villa Arevalo) as a Spanish settlement and as the capital of Oton province in 1581. The Sto. Niño de Arevalo is an image made of wood, and may have been consecrated at the same time the new pueblo of Arevalo was established. It had survived many crisis like the transfer of people to Punta de Iloilo, Dutch and Moro raids, fires and earthquakes strong enough to topple His belfries and church. The image of Sto. Niño de Arevalo has much deeper meaning for His devotees. Testimonies of miracles are well known to the people of the parish like sick people recovering from terminal diseases such as cancer or serious injuries, childless couples having offspring, or saving the town from famine or lack of rain.

San Jose de Placer's original Image of the Sto. Niño (at the middle) gracing the opening of PAGTUO, an exhibit of the different images of the Sto. Niño
San Jose de Placer’s original Image of the Sto. Niño (at the middle) gracing the opening of PAGTUO, an exhibit of the different images of the Sto. Niño
Replica of Sto. Niño De Cebu owned by San Jose Parish de Placer
Replica of Sto. Niño De Cebu owned by San Jose Parish de Placer

Sto. Niño de Cebu (Replica)
Owned by: San Jose Parish Placer

The Image of Sto. Niño de Cebu arrived in San Jose Parish Placer in 1968 and was welcomed by the parishioners with a merry-making. Such merry making evolved later on to become a grandiose festival which we now call the Dinagyang Festival. 

Santo Niño el Capitan General
Owned by: Aliejah de los Reyes

This Niño used to be my grandmother’s Santo Niño at our farm and was the little guard of her house, he used to be dressed in a red sando type vestment and was barefoot reminiscent of street children hence the name “palaboy”.  In some accounts, according to caretakers of the farm, the image would be found in a mango tree during harvest season like a child would play around when unattended. When my grandmother died, he languished atop his altar, gathering dust. For a few years he stayed that way until I decided to take him home to the city.Now in my possession the little child received a pair of boots, a new set of vestments, and a total makeover. This was done to simulate the image of the holy child under the title of  “el Capitan General” found in the minor basilica of our Lady of Mount Carmel of San Sebastian in Manila as I had devotion to that title of the little child. The original image of the “el capitan general de lasislas Filipinas” was a gift from Spain and was venerated by mostly the elite members of the society in the spanish era. Devotion to him was so prestigious that Madrid, Spain granted him the said title. For those who are wondering what “Capitan General” means, it is the ruler of the Spanish colony in representation of the King of Spain and the highest government position. With this in mind, it seems that the Child Jesus is the Ruler of All Nations in representation of Our God Almighty, given the prerogative of being the only begotten Son of Our Creator. At home he is loved by my family, fondly called “angbatangagamay” by my aunt and mother, he became our family’s little baby and my personal patron for my Santo Talyer. He is not only the cute little boy who brings you joyfully to prayer, he is also the little ruler of our hearts.

Santo Niño of Divine Providence
Owned by: Heinrich Clavel Chavez

This image was handed to Mr. Heinrich Clavel Chavez by Ms.TeodoraCañor Temporalities of San Nicolas Chapel and has been said to be under their possession for more than half a century.This image manifested to one of their workers and said that the image came to life that allowed her to feel His presence during her veneration.

Santo Niño muy Glorioso de Padua
Owned by:  Carl Bryan Gelera

“A noble man called Tiso, who always extended a friendly hospitality to the saint on his preaching tours. Around 1229, when St. Anthony accepted an offer to spend a few days at Tiso’s castle. Tiso passed Anthony’s room; he saw rays of light issuing from under the door. Impelled with curiosity, he peeped through the keyhole and saw to his amazement, a child of wondrous beauty standing on an opened book of the gospel on the table, his tiny arms encircling the neck of the smiling Anthony. Tiso also saw a flood of light surrounded the child and unspeakable tenderness with which he caressed the saint and was in turn caressed by him, Tiso’s soul was enraptured, suddenly the beautiful child pointed to the door and seemed to realize that he had been detected, but the charming guest was not offended by his curiosity, until the vision disappeared and darkness replaced the heavenly  brightness, Anthony folded Tiso in his embrace, the saint begged Tiso, for the love of him whom he had just beheld, never speak of his apparition during his lifetime.”

Pledge of Return
Owned by: Heinrich Clavel Chavez

This image was bought during the 450th year of Kaplag festival, which celebrates the discovery of the Holy Child by the Spanish soldier Juan Camus on April 28, 1565. He found the icon in the remains of a burned nipa hut after Spanish forces set the village on fire.

Camus was part of the Spanish expedition led by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi to reclaim the islands after Magellan’s first visit in 1521.The original image of the Holy Child Jesus is housed in a glass-enclosed marble aedicula beside the main altar of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.

Señor Sto. Niño of Iloilo
Owned by: Kenny Santiago

Also known as “Big Brother”, it was formed by the late Joaquin “Boy” A. Santiago Jr., The tribe Operation Manager of Tribu Atub-atub since 1971. The tribe and family are fervent devotees of the Holy Child, who was blessed with numerous achievements as Dinagyang Champions from the year 1978, 1981, 1983, 1991, 2000, 2003, and 2004.It cannot be denied that the Tribu Atub-atub gave honor to the city of Iloilo, earning the first Dinagyang Tribe to win as Champions of the Aliwan Dance Festival in Manila last 2004, and first runner-up in the year 2003. It has opened the doors of tourism nationally and internationally for Iloilo City.

Replica of Sto. Niño De Cebu owned by Heinrich Clavel Chavez
Replica of Sto. Niño De Cebu owned by Heinrich Clavel Chavez

Replica of Sto. Niño de Cebu
Owned by: Heinrich Clavel Chavez

On April 28, 1565, Juan Camus, a sailor in Legaspi’s fleet, found in a modest house of the then village of Cebu the image of Santo Niño which at the time all agreed had been brought from Europe. Deeply impressed by this finding and aware of its significance. Legaspi ordered an official inquiry conducted; the document drawn on May 16 of the same year and still extant in the archives of the Santo Niño Convent of Cebu, tells us from the testimony of eyewitnesses that the Image was found inside a small pine box, preserved in almost perfect condition; it had on a little shirt and a cap; two of its right hand’s fingers were raised in a gesture of blessing, while the left hand held a globe symbolizing the world.

In solemn procession the image was carried to the provisional Church the Augustinian fathers were using at the time; later, another Church was built on the exact location where the image had been found; this is the site of the Santo Niño Church where the Augustinians have cared for the Image and the Filipino people have venerated through the centuries.

An earlier authenticated entry in the Journal of Pigafetta, clerk in the Magellan expedition, explains the origin of Santo Niño; on the day Queen Juana was baptized by Father Pedro Valderrama, chaplain of the expedition, Pigafetta himself presented her with the Image. During the last World War, a bomb fell inside the church but the image was found unscathed. It was one of the numberless miracle and powers attributed to the holy image.

In 1965 the interior of the historic church was renovated for the observance of the fourth centenary of the Christianization of the Philippines held in Cebu city. It was during this centennial celebration that the church, on April 1, 1965, was elevated to the rank of Basilica Minore by the Sacred Congregation of rites with all the rights and privileges accruing to such title.

With the full cooperation and support of the Filipino people and sanctioned by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the Augustinian fathers have built a marble chapel inside the Basilica. Construction of the chapel started on August 1975. This fitting shrine of Santo Niño now serves as the center of devotion of Catholic Philippines. Here the miraculous Image of the comforter of the first missionaries and now patron of the Philippines is being honored and venerated.

To preserve our religious and cultural heritage, President Ferdinand E. Marcos has, since August 1, 1973, declared the basilica and Convent of Santo Niño as National Shrine together with other historical places in the Philippines.

Sr. Sto. Niño de Cebu owned by Romel Flogen
Sr. Sto. Niño de Cebu owned by Romel Flogen

Sto. Niño de Cebu
Owned by: Romel Flogen

This image owned by Mr.Romel Flogen has been in his possession since the early 2000s. Sto. Niño has traveled and performed with him in his numerous Dinagyang Festival street dance and free interpretation competitions. This image has also made it all the way to the Aliwan Festival representing the Dinagyang Festival during the past years.

Niño Travelers
Owned by: RomelFlogen

This beautiful set-up was sponsored by by Ricoy Rubido of “Special Events by Ricoy Rubido” you may contact him through 09198422088 for your styling needs.
For more information about the exhibit and of Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo’s Dinagyang promotions please call (033) 330-7600.