“Hubo” Ritual at the end of the Sinulog Festival

Sto. Nino Image without dressA few days after the feast of the Sto. Niño de Cebu every Third Sunday of January, the so-called “Hubo” (a Cebuano term meaning “naked”) ritual takes place during the early morning celebration of the Holy Mass, marking the end of the Sinulog Festival in Cebu. Seen from the outside, it appears as a simple rite of undressing, bathing and redressing the image of the Holy Child. The icon is stripped of its elaborate festive garments, washed, and dressed with a simpler garb.

Perhaps for many devotees flocking to the city of Cebu for the Sinulog Festivel, Hubo is only a symbolic re-enactment of something which takes place in their home every single day: a mother or a father or some adult bathing a child either at the start of the day so as to prepare  him/her for the day’s activities or at the end of it to wash away all the dirt that the child’s body has accumulated throughout the day. And we surmise and muse on thinking that the Sto. Niño image must have accumulated a similar amount of dirt during the almost two-week long celebration in his honor and, thus, needs such a washing up!

Continue reading ““Hubo” Ritual at the end of the Sinulog Festival”

450 YEARS OF PRESENCE OF THE AUGUSTINIANS IN THE PHILIPPINES

Santo Niño and the Dawn of Christian Faith in the Philippines
(the 450thYEAR OF THE FINDING OF THE IMAGE OF THE SANTO NIÑO DE CEBU [1565-2015], the 450 YEARS OF PRESENCE OF THE AUGUSTINIANS IN THE PHILIPPINES [1565-2015], and the 50TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE SANTO NIÑO CHURCH AS BASILICA MINORE [1965-2015])

Backgrounder

450th Official Logo
450th Official Logo

        The Santo Niño icon of Cebu is historically recognized as the oldest religious relic in the Philippines. Itsorigin is traced from the celebrated voyage of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 which accidentally “discovered” and claimed the islands for the Spanish Monarchy. The historic arrival was purely uncalculated for the fleet did not intend to sail directly to the Philippines. The land of the spices, particularly the highly-contested Moluccas, was the expedition’s targetdestination. The armada reached the islands after it was driven away by strong winds from the original routewhich eventually brought them to the island of Cebu. The preliminary encounters that followed forged conditional alliancesand the accompanying ceremonials took place including the introduction of the Christian faith. Initial attempt to evangelize the indigenous people of Cebu was accomplished with the hasty acceptance of the Christian faith by King Humabon and his subjects numbering around 800. The Santo Niño image was given to Queen Juana upon her ardent wish to have it in place of her local deities. The baptized indigenous people did not flourish in their practice of faith mainly due to the untimely demise of Magellan (including the chaplain Fr. Pedro Valderrama) and the eventual return of the surviving contingent to Spain. Also attributable to the absence of deeper instruction, the baptismal rite was misconstrued by the locals as a customary ritual of friendship rather than a spiritual initiation. After the interruption of forty-four (44) years, the Legazpi-Urdaneta Expedition arrived in Cebu. On April 28, 1565, the dramatic yet providential discovery (pagkakaplag) of the same wooden image in a partially scorched hut started the distinctive Christian heritage of the Philippines. The Augustinians who accompanied the journey commenced the systematic evangelization and Christianization of the islands. The subsequent foundation of the Church and Convent of the Augustinians rose on the actual site where the statuette was found. It became the central house of the Augustinians, the mother church in the Philippine Islands. The establishment of organic settlements and mission areas followed instantaneously and the pioneering evangelization gradually prospered in geographical reach and ecclesial organization despite the scarcity of missionaries. Additional religious orders were commissioned to the Philippines in successive intervals: Franciscans (1578), Jesuits (1581), Dominicans (1587), and Augustinian Recollects (1606). Their ground-breaking missionary endeavours contributed to the Philippine identity as a predominantly Christian nation.

         The first Church and Convent dedicated to Santo Niño developed into a principalhouse of the Augustinian friars mainly in the spiritual and missionary formation, and the promotion of the devotion to the Holy Child – theadored patron, protector and inspiration. As a consequence, the Santo Niño Church grew in popularity throughout the islands both in magnificence and significance as the cradle of Philippine Christianity, and the perpetual sanctuary of the Santo Niño of Cebu. In recognition of the historical, religious and cultural importance of the Santo Niño Church and the sacred relic it keeps, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) petitioned Pope Paul VI in 1964 to confer on the Santo Niño Church the title “Basilica Minore” in time for the Fourth Centennial of the Christianization of the Philippines in 1965.The Santo Niño icon was also canonically crowned by the Papal LegateIldebrando Cardinal Antoniutti – a solemn gesture of singular honor reserved to the beloved Santo Niño. In its entirety, the Fourth Centennial Celebration overwhelmingly succeeded in engaging the entire nation, thus renewing “The Philippines for Christ” in faith, commitment and enthusiasm to live out the Gospel message.
Continue reading “450 YEARS OF PRESENCE OF THE AUGUSTINIANS IN THE PHILIPPINES”

Augustinians: first Catholic missionaries in the Philippines

If the greatest missionary work of the Augustinian Order has been displayed in the Philippines, it is because they were the first Catholic missionaries there.

Father Andres de Urdaneta and four other Augustinians — Fathers Martín de Rada (b. 1533 – d. 1578), Diego de Herrera, Pedro de Gamboa and Andrés de Aguirre — started a successful apostolate in Cebú as soon as they landed in 1565.

Legazpi founded the first Spanish settlement there in a spot where his men had stumbled upon a statue of the Child Jesus in a burnt hut after a skirmish with the native inhabitants to impose Spanish sovereignty. He named the place Villa del Santísimo Nombre de Jésus in honor of the Holy Child. The Spaniards considered it miraculous to have found the statue, a gift from Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of the chieftain of Cebu after her conversion to Catholicism in 1521. Father Urdaneta returned to Mexico and decided to stay after being dissuaded by his family and friends.

Meanwhile, hardships brought about by lack of food, harsh living conditions and probing attacks mounted by the Portuguese from the Moluccas forced Legazpi to set sail for Panay island, where he replenished his supplies and planned for a definitive voyage to Luzon that would eventually lead to over 300 years of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines with the establishment of Manila on June 24, 1571 as the capital of the new Spanish colony.

Fray Lorenzo de Leon, OSA

Lorenzo de Leon was a native of Granada, and entered the Augustinian Order in Mexico where he made profession in 1578. Four years later, he entered the Philippine mission, and spent twelve years as minister in Indian villages in Luzon. He was then advanced to various high offices in his order among them that of provincial (1596). He was a religious of exceptional abilities, and the general of the order, as  a recognition of his great endowments in virtue and knowledge, appointed him master and president of provincial chapters. After his second election as provincial (1605) he was at the intermediate congregation deposed from his dignity by the fathers definitors. Accepting this rude blow with humility and Christian resignation, he withdraw to the convent of San Pablo del los Montes where he spent the following year in prayer and pious works. Returning to Mexico in 1606, he died in that city in 1623. This account is condensed from Perez’s Catalogo, p. 29.

Fray Juan de Medina, OSA

Fray Juan de Medina was born at Sevilla, and entered the Augustinian convent of that city. On reaching the Philippines he was assigned to the Bisayan group, and was known to those natives by the name of the “apostle of Panay.” A zealous worker, he was wont on feast days to preach to his flock in three languages – Bisayan, Chinese, and Spanish. He was minister at Laglag in 1613, at Mambusao in 1615, at Dumangas in 1618, at Panay in 1619, and at Passi in 1623; prior of the convent at Cebu in 1626; and definitor in 1629. After twenty years of missionary labors, being soul-tormented, he asked and secured reluctant permission to return to Spain; but the exigencies of the weather prevented the ship from making its voyage. Three years later he obtained permission to make some voyage, but died at sea (1635). Diaz, in his Conquistas, says that Medina composed many things in aid of his missionary work; but only the present history and four volumes of manuscript sermons in the Panayana language are known with certainty. See Perez’s Catalogo, pp. 83-85; and Pardo de Tavera’s Biblioteca Filipina, p. 255.

Links of the History of the Augustinians in the Philippines

Below is a list of links that will redirect you to the voluminous work of Blair, Emma Helen, ed.. Specifically this is dedicated to the history of the Augustinians in the Philippines. But page you’re about to scan is in pdf format.


 

Title: The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803; explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the Catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commericial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the beginning of the nineteenth century; [Vol. 1, no. 24]
Author: Blair, Emma Helen, ed. d.1911.

List of all pages | Add to bookbag

Volume II: 1521-1569

Volume XIII: 1604-1605

 

Volume XXIII: 1629-1630

Volume XXIV: 1630-1634

Volume XXVIII: 1637-1638

Volume XXIX: 1638-1640

Volume XXXIV: 1519-1522; 1280-1605

Volume XXXVII: 1669-1676

Volume XXXVIII: 1674-1683

Volume XLII: 1670-1700

Volume XLVIII: 1751-1765

Augustinian Parishes and Missions, 1760

 

 Tondo – Tondo, Passig, Taguiig, Parañaque, Malate, Tambobong,

Bulacan – Bulacan, Guiguinto, Bigaa, Angat, Baliuag, Quingua, Calumpit, Hagonoy, Paombong, Malolos

Balayan – Taal, Bauang, Batangas, Lipa, Tiyauong, San Pablo, Tanauan

Pampanga – Macabebe, Minalin, Sesmoan, Lubao, Uaua, Betis, Santa Rita y Porac, Bacolor, San Fernando, Mexico, Pinpin, Arayat, Magalang, Tarlac, San Jose, Tayug, Santor, Gapang, San Miguel, Candava, Apalit

 

Pangasinan – Agoo, Aringay, Bauang, Balanac, Bacnotan,

 

Ylocos – Namacpacan, Bangar, Candong, Narbacan, Santa Catharina, Bantay, Magsingal, Cabugao, Sinait, Badoc, Pauay, Batac, San Nicolas, Ylauag, Sarrat, Dingras, Bacarra, Bangui,

 

Zebu – San Nicolas, Argao, Bolohon, Opon, Cabcar

Yloylo – Oton, Alimodian, Maasign, Matagub, Tigbauan, Guimbal, Miagiao, Antique, Sibalon, Bugason, Xaro, Dumangas, Anilao, Camando, Cabatuan, Pototan, Laglag, Lambunao, Passi, Ygbarras,

Panay – Panay, Capis, Dumalag, Dumarao

 

Missions of various nations belonging to the province of Pampanga

 

Villages

Tribes

New Christians of both sexes

Catechumens

Mission of Magalang y Tarlac

Zambals

85

82

Mission of Tayug

Igorrots

343

60

Visita of Lupao

Balugas

62

20

Mission of Santor

Balugas

24

40

 

Total

514

148

 

Missions of Igorrots and Tingyans belonging to the province of Ylocos

 

Villages

Tribes

New Christians of Both sexes

Catechumens

Village of Santiago

Tingyans

352

200

Village of San Agustin de Bana

Tingyans

85

50

Territory of Batac

Tingyans

11

20

Territory of Narbacan

Igorrots

5

12

Territory of Candon

Igorrots

35

39

Territory of Bangar

Igorrots

79

33

Territory of Namacpacan

Igorrots

12

30

Territory of Agoo

Igorrots

12

9

Territory of Iringay

Igorrots

0

20

Territory of Bauan

Igorrots

3

5

Territory Magsingal

Tingyans

6

4

Territory of Bacarra

Apayos

5

4

 

Total Summary of the classes included in this table reduced to persons

(notice is given that in the total of tributes it must be understood that each single whole tribute means two persons; and thus it will be noted in the figures. The total is as set forth below.)

 

Tributes                                               156,230

Exempt                                                 24,633

Young men                                          21,926

Young women                                      32,958

Escolapios                                           52,047

Young children                                    82,424

Spaniards, men and women                266

Missions of these islands                    1,693

Mission of China                                  1,480

Total                                                   373,663

 

I, Master Fray Pedro Velasco, provincial of this province of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus of Philipinas of the Order of the Hermits of our father St. Augustine, certify that the lists of villages and souls contained in this table and which are administered by the religious of this said province, are set forth truly; and in order that his may be suitable evident, I have affixed my signature in this convent of Tondo, on April sixteenth, one thousand seven hundred and sixty (1760).

Fray Pedro Velasco, Provincial of St. Augustine

Source: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/p/philamer/afk2830.0001.048/62?didno=AFK2830.0001.048;page=root;rgn=works;size=100;view=image;rgn1=author;q1=blair