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Sto. Niño Festival 2015 at STP

Published by Kristian Villaruz Dumalaos in News Update · 4/2/2015 01:21:23

Sta. Teresita Parish commemorated the annual festival of Señor Sto.Niño last January 25, 2015.  Although this feast is already outside the liturgical Christmas season, the Church in the Philippines was permitted to celebrate this as a feast every third Sunday of January. However, the third Sunday this year coincided with the Papal Visit in the Philippines. There were two big events on that Sunday, the Encounter of the youth with the Pope at the University of Sto. Tomas in the morning and the concluding Mass at the Luneta Park.  For these reasons, the Parish Pastoral Council decided to move the festival on the following Sunday, January 25, 2015.
This festival was introduced in the Parish three years ago and was inspired by the Sinulog Festival of Cebu. This year, the Parish Youth Ministry spearheaded the celebration and made it a competition among religious organizations and ministries.  However, some of them withdrew since they didn’t have enough members who have the gift of dancing.  At the end there were only four contingents who made it, namely;  The PREX (Parish Renewal Experience) group, Music Ministry, Ministry on Ecology and Ministry of Greeters and Collectors (Combined group), the Catechists, Mother Butler’s Guild and El Shaddai (another Combined group).  
The different groups assembled at around 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon in front of the Barangay Hall. The chose official shirt for the festival this year was red printed with “Viva Sto Niño.”  Each contingent had complemented it with a head dress and other accessories. The program began with a prayer led by Bro. Rodel Jadie followed by the opening remarks of Fr. Richard Magararu.  The youth animators demonstrated first the steps of the dance for the procession to all the participants.  After everybody had familiarized the steps and the order of the procession was announced, the procession began.  It was accompanied by two sets of Drum and Lyre Bands. The street dance around the major streets of the parish took more than an hour.
After the procession, the participants gathered again in front of the Barangay Hall for the Sinulog contest proper.  The criteria for judging was then explained and the members of the Board of Judges were introduced.  The Youth group performed an exhibition Sinulog dance before the four contingents were called.  After the performances of each competing groups, certificates of participation were distributed to all organizations and ministries.  Although not all of them joined the contest they were present in the festival to represent their respective groups.  All those carrying statues of Sto Niño were then called in front and while dancing to the beat of the sinulog music the statues were blessed and sprinkled with holy water.
Finally, the winners were announced as follows; Third place: Music Ministry, Second place: Cathechists, Mother Butler’s Guild and El Shaddai, and First place: Parish Renewal Experience (PREX) group.  Each winner received trophies donated by the Barangay Council of West Rembo and cash prize coming from the Youth Finance Committee.  The festival was concluded with a Eucharistic Celebration presided by Fr.Richard Magararu, SMM with by Fr. Rene Bustillo, SMM as concelebrant and they were assisted by Rev. Benjie Notarte, SMM. It was a very successful event that marked another year of celebrating the feast of Señor Santo Niño.

-Kristian Villaruz Dumalaos

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