DEVOTEES witnessed the reenactment of the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, the planting of Magellanâ€™s Cross in 1521 and the first baptism, but a church official said it was more than a colorful drama.
â€œThis is not just a reenactment, but a renewal of our own baptismal vows,â€ said Msgr. Cris Garcia, chairman of the Archdioceseâ€™s Commission on Worship.
Despite the early morningâ€™s chilly weather, thousands of devotees filled the Pilgrim Center at the Basilica del Sto. NiÃ±o long before the images of the Sto. NiÃ±o and Our Lady of Guadalupe arrived from their overnight stay at the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City.
Devotees of all ages, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the sacred images, filled the basilicaâ€™s grounds and stands.
A loud round of firecrackers signaled the arrival.
The ecce homo, the bust of the suffering Christ, arrived first at the Pilgrim Center, followed by Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Sto. NiÃ±o.
At the sight of the images, devotees cheered and raised their hands in praise, waving at the arrival of the beloved tandem.
And as the baptism of Rajah Humabon and Reyna Humahay, who were given their Christian names Carlos and Juana, took place before their eyes, devotees said the baptism also symbolized the cleansing of their bodies and souls.
â€œAnd this is what we are doing right now, this is not just a dramatization. Not like the dramatizations on the radio or in the movies. Because in the church, we do not do dramas, but what we are doing is real. Because the Lord can see into the hearts of the people, and not only their intents,â€ said Msgr. Garcia in his homily.
With their baptismal vows renewed, everybody should hope for a change in their lives, including an end to corrupt systems and a renewal for broken families.
â€œWe should do away with and stay away from evil,â€ said Garcia.
After Rajah Humabon and Reyna Humahay were baptized, as well as six natives, Msgr. Garcia walked around the Pilgrim Center and sprinkled holy water on the devotees as a sign of their renewal of baptismal vows.
Ben Marcojos and Cristina Marcojos-Loquero played this yearâ€™s Rajah Humabon and Reyna Humahay.
Before the mass ended, a concise narration of the history of the images of Sto. NiÃ±o and Our Lady of Guadalupe was shared.
After the reenactment, four different dance contingentsâ€”the Cofradia Sto. NiÃ±o, Mabolo, Guadalupe, and San Diego dancersâ€” performed before the devotees.
The crowd cheered upon seeing the San Diego dancers with Val San Diego as St. Joseph standing on a platform, along with his wife Ophelia as the Blessed Virgin Mary, carrying one of their children dressed as the child Jesus. (EPB/Sun.Star Cebu)