“On March 16, 1521, when Philippines was discovered by Magellan”… This is the first few lyrics of “Magellan”, the song composed by the late Yoyoy Villame.
Yoyoy Villame is a Filipino singer, composer, actor and comedian. He was my father’s favourite singer. Every morning, I can always hear his songs being played on the radio.
As a young girl, I was able to sing the first few lines of the song, not knowing that this is part of the Philippine history. It was only during my elementary years, when we have to study Philippine history, that I realized that the song was indeed our history. Yoyoy Villame made our history easier to remember.
Here is the link to the song, should you want to listen.
Now, why is that the opening of my blog for today?
Yes, because next year will be the 500 years of our Christianity.
When Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu City 500 years ago, he baptized Rajah Humabon, the head of the tribe that welcomed him with open arms and THAT is the beginning of our Catholic life. Magellan, a Portuguese explorer, gifted Queen Juana, Rajah Humabon’s wife, the infant Jesus, Snr. Sto. Niño.
Now, 500 years after, Catholicism is very much alive. Until this very day, the said gift has a special place in the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu.
I made a graph based on my research but I don't know how to save it to be downloadable in read.cash so I will just enumerate here the breakdown.
Catholic - 81%
Protestants - 11%
Muslim - 6%
Others - 2%
Catholics has dominated the religion in the entire Philippines.
All these Catholics worshipped the child Jesus. It’s feast that is being celebrated every 3rd Saturday of January, is being looked upon by the Catholics as the feast of all feast. Its culmination which happens to be the Sunday after, is where the party is. On this day, the Sinulog dance contest is being held.
Please read about Sinulog in my article “Sinulog” for more information about this.
A lot of activities has been cancelled due to the pandemic we are currently facing right now. The big celebration that was prepared is now being simplified and new plans are being sent to the mayor for approval.
One of the plans is to have a province wide motorcade. This is to bring the Holy Infant Jesus near to the devotees instead of them flocking the Basilica.
I think this is a great idea made by the organizers. This will surely qualify for the social distancing rule and prevent the spreading of the virus.
I just hope that there won’t be stubborn devotees who will still flock at the Basilica even if they are informed not to. This is really a bad trait of the Filipinos. As it is a tradition, they follow the tradition amidst warning.
Cheers to 500 years! 🥂