Tonight after holding sacrament meeting in our little apartment, Liz, Terri and I went to see the celebration of the Tinian Tasi Festival: Biba Senor Santo Nino (holy child of Cebu), a festival for the Filipino residents of the island.
According to on-line info, Santo Niño de Cebu is a representation of the Child Jesus, somewhat related to the infant Jesus of Prague. Santo Niño de Cebu literally means "holy child of Cebu". The image was brought to the archipelago that would later become known as the Philippines on Ferdinand Magellan's near-circumnavigation and in 1521 was given to the Queen Juana of Cebu , who was later baptized into the Catholic faith along with her husband, Rajah Humabon, and their people. After the Spaniards turned against the Cebuanos, the Spaniards burned a good part of Cebu, and the image was caught in the blaze.
In 1565 with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the image was found relatively unscathed. The image was quickly acknowledged as miraculous, and a church was later constructed on the site of the discovery. Today, the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino is an important historical and religious landmark in Cebu, with devotees forming long queues to pay their respects to the Holy Child.
The costumes and pageantry was wonderful. A large crowd followed the procession down to the beach, in front of the Mayor's office, and back to the Catholic Church where it began.
After the parade, we walked to the beach to take pictures at sunset. It was a beautiful evening, and the colors on the clouds were bright and ever changing. Just another great day on Tinian!