Mon, Jan 20, 2020 - Page 2 News List

Catholic Filipinos celebrate Sinulog festival in Taipei

Staff writer, with CNA

Filipinos in Taipei yesterday donned colorful costumes to celebrate a Catholic festival, the Sinulog, which is observed annually in their home country on the third Sunday of January.

More than 200 Catholics, mostly Filipinos, gathered at St Christopher’s Church for the festival, which takes the form of a ritual prayer-dance in honor of Senor Santo Nino — the Catholic title of the Child Jesus in the Philippines.

The festival began in Cebu City in the 1980s and has since spread around the world in commemoration of Filipinos’ acceptance of Christianity, said Father Edward Pacquing, the parish priest.

“This is what we try to share with all peoples of the world,” he said.

“Wherever there are Filipinos, there is the Sinulog. I have seen the Sinulog in parishes and chaplaincies for Filipinos in Milan, Rome and Australia,” he added.

The first recorded conversion of Filipinos to Catholicism was in 1521, when the ruler of Cebu Island, Rajah Humabon, his queen, Amihan Humamay, and their subjects were baptized. The rulers then became known as Carlos and Juana of Cebu.

At this year’s festival in Taipei, five St Christopher’s Church groups performed the Sinulog ritual-prayer dance, each portraying Queen Juana holding a statue of the child Jesus as she danced with her subjects.

Sabina Garfillo, a Philippine caretaker who portrayed the queen in her group, was dressed in a white gown with a yellow feathered crown and was said to have given the most outstanding performance.

The church has been hosting the annual festival since 1994.

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