Santo Niño de Cebú 1521 to 2021 500th Anniversary Commemorative Stamps issued by PHLPOST

Santo Niño de Cebu and the logo of the 500th anniversary ( quincentennial ) logo with this year’s theme Santo Niño , The Abiding Presence Of the Father In Our Journey of Faith were issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation ( PHLPOST) This also includes a first day cover. The stamp had a face value of Php 12.00 each or Php 24.00 for the se-tenant pair.

This coincided with the commemoration of the first baptism in the country which happened on April 14, 1521.

(a se-tenant pair of stamp with face value of Php 12.00 issued by PHLPOST)

Commemorative Stamps and Launching

Postmaster General Norman “Mr. Postman” Fulgencio together with His Excellency Archbishop Jose Palma of Archdiocese of Cebu unveiled the commemorative stamps to mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the image of Señor Santo Niño and the first baptism that both took place in Cebu.

The launching ceremony of the historic commemorative issuance of postage stamp characterized the expression of faith and deeper devotion among the Filipino Catholic Community to the Holy Child Jesus.

Santo Niño is known for his miracles and people’s devotions that transcend religions. In the words of Pope Francis, the Holy Child is the Protector of the Philippines for half a millennium. This oldest religious icon of the country has been enshrined and widely venerated at the Basilica del Minore del Sto. Nino in Cebu City under the care of the Augustinians of the Province of Sto. Nino de Cebu-Philippines.

The popular image of the Sto. Nino was given by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan to the local queen Humamay (later named Juana), after her baptism on April 14, 1521. On April 28, 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi’s expedition landed on the island of Cebu. One of his soldiers found an image of the Child Jesus in a hut believed to be the same image Magellan had given the queen of the island forty-four years earlier.

National Cultural Treasure Proclamation

The Minor Basilica of Santo Niño was proclaimed as National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, exactly 500 years after the first Catholic baptism in the Philippines.

Under the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, or Republic Act 10066, a national cultural treasure refers to a unique cultural property that possesses “outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value which is highly significant and important to the country and nation.”

It was announced on Wednesday that the basilica and the pavilion of the Magellan’s Cross have been declared as NCT.

Dr. Rene Escalante, Chairperson, National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, Philippine Postal Corporation Postmaster General Norman Fulgencio, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and The Most Reverend Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines during the launching of the Commemorative Stamps to mark the 500th Anniversary of the Arrival of Santo Niño which was held at the historic Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu City.

The most familiar religious icon which was featured several times by the postal authorities was also launched by the agency.

Stamps and Official First Day Covers of “Santo Niño at 500 –1521-2021: Santo Niño, the Abiding Presence of the Father in Our Journey of Faith” are now available at the Philatelic Counter, Manila Central Post Office, all Mega Manila Post Offices, Postal Area 1,Tuguegarao, Postal Area 2, San Fernando, La Union, Postal Area 4, San Pablo, Area 5, Mandaue, Postal Area 6, Iloilo, Postal Area 7, Davao, Postal Area 8, Cagayan de Oro, and Postal Area 9, Zamboanga.

Photo credit: Philippine Postal Corporation -office of the media affairs and the author for additional article

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