Feast of Sto. Niño celebrated

The Feast of Sto. Niño was celebrated in Naga City last Sunday, January 20, 2019. At around 1:00pm, representatives from the different Barangays under the jurisdiction of Naga City gather along the roads of Panganiban drive. They carry with them images of the Sto. Niño while other images were placed in carossa. The participants of the ati-atihan competition also lined up at the end of the assembly. When everything was set, the organizers signaled the start of the procession and ati-atihan street dance going towards the JMR Coliseum where the participants proceeded to their locations at the bleachers specifically pre-assigned by the organizers. The presentations of the different ati-atihan competing groups followed. It was started by the Brgy. Abella, Brgy. Concepcion Pequena, Bgy. Lerma, Brgy. Mabolo and Brgy.Sabang. Before the last two competing groups performed their piece, the image of the Sto. Niño was brought inside the Coliseum. It was enthroned beside the altar that was set for the Eucharistic celebration. The performances of the two competing groups were continued - the presentations of Brgy. Tinago and Brgy.Triangulo. All the performances lasted around 4:00 PM. Then followed the Eucharistic celebration presided by Archbishop Rolando Octavus Joven Tria Tirona, OCD, DD. Also present as con-celebrant where Rev. Fr. Domingo Florida, Rev. Fr. Eric Bobis, Rev. Fr. Emil Valeza, and Msgr. Pons Grajeda. The assisting deacon was Rev. Roy Raña and the servers were seminarians from the Holy Rosary Major Seminary and acolytes from the Immaculate Concepcion Parish. The homily of Archbishop Tirona started with the expression of gratitude to Rev. Fr. Domingo Florida, the Parish Priest of the Immaculate Concepcion Parish and to Hon. John G. Bongat, the City Mayor. These two key persons were the collaborators that made the event feasible. Furthermore, in his homily, the Archbishop emphasized that in the entire Philippines there are two popular devotions. First is the devotion to the Black Nazarene and the other is the devotion to the Sto. Niño. The Filipinos identify themselves to the Black Nazarene in the aspect of being able to withstand difficulties and challenges that may arise in life. While the humility, simplicity and pureness of heart showed by the child Jesus inspires them to be like Him. Focusing his message to the parents, he reminded them that they should not let the children forget God. The parents should bring their children to church. He ended his homily by urging everyone to pray to the Sto. Niño, that the child Jesus may protect all children from evil forces.

Before the final blessing, Rev. Fr. Domingo Florida gave his thanksgiving message. He expressed his gratitude to all the people who were behind the planning, organization and execution of the festivity – the City Government of Naga headed by Mayor John G. Bongat and all the offices under his leadership; the different organizations at the Parish of the Immaculate Conception; the Cofradia de San Jose; the Eucharistic Lay Ministers; and the different participating schools. The Sto. Niño festival celebration ended with the announcement of the winner for the Best in Carosa and the winners of the Ati-atihan Competition. The award for the Best in Carosa was won by Brgy. Triangulo. They received a cash prize of 5 thousand pesos. The winners for the Ati-atihan competition and the corresponding cash prizes were are follows: 3rd Place – Brgy. Abella (15 thousand), 2nd Place – Brgy. Concepcion Pequena (20 thousand), and the Champion is Brgy. Sabang (25 thousand). Viva Pit Señor!! Viva Sto. Niño!!!