Arts & Leisure

Exhibit closes Cebu’s 450th Kaplag anniversary

Posted on April 27, 2016

THE FOCUS of this year’s Kristo Niño exhibition in Cebu City is “Sagrada Familia: The Child Christ in the Filipino Family.” Now on its second year, Kristo Niño is an offshoot of Kristo Manila, the annual exhibition that gives viewers a chance at Lenten meditation through the visual arts. It is on view at the Art Center of SM City Cebu.

Last year marked three important historical events for the Augustinian Province of the Santo Niño de Cebu: the 450th anniversary of the Finding (Kaplag) of the Image of the Santo Niño de Cebu (1565-2015), the 450 years of Augustinian presence in the Philippines (1565-2015), and the 50th anniversary of the elevation of the Santo Niño Church -- the church that houses the Santo Niño icon of Cebu -- to the rank of Basilica Minore (1965-2015).

Because of this, the 450th Kaplag Executive Committee requested the Kristo Manila organizers to mount a similar exhibit in Cebu highlighting the oldest religious relic in the Philippines, the Santo Niño de Cebu. Thus, the Art & Soul project and the first Kristo Niño were born.

The Kristo Niño 2016 exhibit is not only meant to be a venue for the exploration of Christian iconography, it is also intent on promoting the fading tradition of Philippine ecclesiastical art. Artists from Bacolod, Batanes, Capiz, Cebu, Iloilo, Saranggani, Siquijor, and Manila joining the exhibit.

The highlight of the exhibit was the unveiling of the Niño Sugbuanon by artist Wilfredo Offemaria, Jr., a limited edition sculpture series for the 450th anniversary of the Kaplag. The commissioned religious sculpture is based on the historical account of Kaplag -- that the image of the Santo Niño de Cebu was found in a box by a Spanish soldier named Juan Camus inside a burning hut on April 28, 1565.

Aside from the exhibit, among the other activities closing the 450th Kaplag celebrations are a series of Triduum Masses at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu , the last one of which will be held today; the Kaplag photo exhibit on April 24 at the Mountain Wing of SM Seaside; today’s Kaplag Konsyerto at the New Cebu Coliseum featuring the singing rector of the basilica Fr. Jonas Mejares, and Cebuana singers Donna Cruz, Anna Fegi, Sheryn Regis, and Eva Santos; and the convergence and dance presentations of Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival, Aklan’s Ati-Atihan Festival, and Cebu’s Sinulog at the Basilica’s Pilgrim Center on April 28 in honor of the Child Christ.