Santo Niño exhibit within the Diocesan Shrine of Santo Niño in Bago Bantay is one of the highlight of the annual festival.
There were 486 Santo Niño mostly owned by the residents of the community were on display for 9 days.
According to the one manning the exhibit, There were a lot of residents who keep the image and statues of the child jesus.
The area is just within 1 to 2 kilometers away from SM North EDSA, DEPED -Quezon City and Trinoma Mall.
History of Santo Niño in Bago Bantay
The devotion of the child jesus can coincide with the establishment of Bago Bantay. Bago-Bantay started as a small visita in the early 1930’s under the jurisdiction of San Pedro de Bautista parish in San Francisco del Monte in Quezon City.
umbrellas at the church yard
After the second world war immigrants from the city of Manila and nearby cities eventually moved in the vicinity.
After thousands of displaced families moved from war ravaged Manila, Caloocan and nearby cities due to the destruction from World War II. The migration came from the late 1940’s and early 1960s.
Sto. Niño de Bago Bantay with new vestment
These new migrants brought more problems to the community, as criminal gangs started carving their territories through the streets of Bago-Bantay and adjacent area.
colorful ati-atihan costumes
Petty crimes, snatching, criminal activities started creating problems within the surrounding area. Bago Bantay area is almost synonymous to Tondo in Manila or Bagong Barrio in Caloocan.
In 1957, the parish became under Santa Rita Parish of Philam Life and in 1961 under the jurisdiction of Christ the King parish in Project 7.
church facade and belfry
On May 3, 1967, Rufino Cardinal Santos decreed the erection of new parish under the patronage of Santo Niño with 25,625 residents.
On May 3, 1967, RT Reverend Miguel P. Nuguid was appointed as the first parish priest and vicar forane.
Santo Niño Parochial School
The local authorities tried their best to remedy the situation, nothing much was achieved until the arrival of Fr. Miguel P. Nuguid as the parish priest in 1967.
Father Miguel Nuguid together with some parishioners started to conduct home visitation.
He also worked with the retired public school teacher, Mrs. Romana Delos Angeles, the Catholic Women’s League and residents to establish the Santo Niño Parochial School in 1968.
The priest also spearheaded for the construction of a new church which is now known as Diocesan Shrine of Sto. Niño de Bago Bantay, Quezon City.
current parish priest
It was in the early 1970’s that a master plan surfaced for construction of a permanent church of the Sto. Niño. On January 14, 1973 the church was consecrated and dedicated to the Holy Infant Jesus. In 1976, the Sto. Niño Church became the seat of the newly created vicariate made up them of seven parishes. This was an important historical event in the life of the parish.
On March 26, 1978, the devotees of the Sto. Niño witnessed the laying and blessing of the cornerstone of the permanent church where the Silver Sto. Niño would be enshrined.
In January 14, 1983 , finally the new shrine was dedicated by Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin.
The grand parade started early after the early dawn mass by the parish priest, there was a street dancing competition were students of the nearby parochial school participated.
firecrackers were lighted prior to the street dancing competition
long lines of well-wishers and residents
street near the church
parishioners in ati-atihan costume ( photo courtesy by Mr. Vladimir Estocado)
There were also several residents who brought their cherished and beloved images and statues of the child jesus during the parade.
References and Sources:
Santo Niño Parish Church
Personal interview of Bago Bantay residents
Roman Catholic Diocese of Cubao website
Photo credits: Vladimir Estocado, Santo Niño Parish and the author