The fiesta activities of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu officially started on January 9, 2014. The devotees woke up very early to join Walk With Jesus Penitential Procession.
The assembly time was 4 AM in Fuente Osmeña. It was raining but it did not stop the people to join the procession.
The rain stopped just when it was about to begin.
The march to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu started.
Thousands of people lit their candles and did a solemn procession, while holding their rosaries and images of Santo Niño.
Since thousands joined the procession, not everyone could get inside the Pilgrim Center. Some would have to make do with the LED screen placed outside the Basilica.
They protected their Santo Niño from the rain.
They raised their images every time they move through the crowd.
This woman probably joined the procession because a little wax has been left from her yellow and blue candles.
Some went into deep contemplation while holding their Santo Niño dearly.
They view Santo Niño as the beacon of their faith…
…and treat the image as if it was their own child.
This image was kept dry by its owner.
The left hand embraces the Santo Niño while the right one holds the umbrella.
This kid was having a very difficult time maneuvering through the crowd but he kept his faith and moved on.
The day started out gloomy but the devotees had fire in their hearts.
To keep themselves from being wet, some people found shelter in the sidewalk…
… while those with umbrellas stayed on the street.
There were many kinds of Santo Nino. Some are small.
Some are medium.
Some are big!
There were children, too! Some of them had fun while staying near candles.
Including this kid who was having a ball!
But some kids prefer to behave and carry their Santo Niños that are as big as them.
Adults likewise used candles, but for contemplating.
Some of them placed the candles in the sidewalk fence.
In case people would get hungry, there were something in the streets that could fill their bellies.
There were also flowers that you can offer to Santo Nino or bring at home.
There was an ambulance on standby…
… and lots of police and traffic personnel to keep the safety of everyone.
But of all the things I encountered during this cold Thursday morning, it was Mr. Manuel Pastorial who really caught my attention. He used his bicycle to carry his image of Santo Niño during the parade. In his bicycle were shoe repair paraphernalia at the back and a mini sari-sari store at the front, a true testament to the ingenuity of the Filipinos.
Did you join the procession? What was your experience like?