PHITSANULOK, Thailand – Sinulog Festival made its way to Thailand as Filipino devotees in Phitsanulok province expressed their devotion to Sto. Nino on Sunday, January 21 through a traditional Sinulog dance.
The dance, which was choreographed by Shareen Barlomento, president of Saint Nicholas Church Foreign Community (SNCFC), and Letty Comeros, a Sto, Nino devotee from Cebu, served as the opening of the regular English Mass at Saint Nicholas Church.
The prelude of the dance recalled the arrival of the relic to Cebu. Sto Nino is the first religious image that arrived in the Philippines. It was brought by Ferdinand Magellan as a gift to Queen Juana, the wife of the ruler, Rajah Humabon.
In his homily, Rev. Father Ronnie Torres, OMI shared that in the Philippines Sto Nino has different images.
“The image of Sto Nino dressed as a policeman, doctor, nurse, farmer, etc, is a reminder that whatever our occupation is and wherever we are, God is with us,” he said.
Expounding the Liturgy of the Word, Fr. Ronnie pointed out three things adults could learn from children: humility, openness, and innocence.
“When we want to inherit the kingdom of heaven, be like a child,” he said.
Filipinos believe that dancing the Sinulog brings miracles so despite meager resources and limited time for rehearsals, SNCFC members devote time to practice the traditional ‘forward-backward’ Sinulog dance steps.
This year’s dance was highlighted with colorful giant red and yellow paper roses as props.
On Facebook, Carlo Antonio expressed his delight for the Sinulog experience. “Grabe. Second year ko na magpanata. Ilocano by blood, Visaya by heart,” he wrote.
Fedelita Doysabas who is now on her fourth year dancing in SNCFC Sinulog said she thanks Sto. Nino for the blessings He has given her and for the good health of her children – Lala Kristine who is currently in Japan and Andrei in the Philippines.