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Photos: ‘Pit Senyor!’

Devotees of the image of the Child Jesus, popularly known in the Philippines as the “Santo Niño de Cebu,” would cry on top of their voices “Pit Senyor!”

“Pit Senyor!” is supposed to be short of the Cebuano “Sangpit sa Senyor!” or “Call on the Lord!”

Devotees of the image of the Child Jesus, popularly known in the Philippines as the “Santo Niño de Cebu,” would cry on top of their voices “Pit Senyor!” as they dance in honor of the Child Jesus during its “feast every third Sunday of January.

In the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in the village of Diliman in Quezon City, women wearing traditional Philippine dresses dance to the church with images of the Child Jesus before the celebration of the Holy Eucharist on Jan. 15, 2023.

The devotion of Filipinos, especially people from the central province of Cebu, to the Child Jesus has deep historical roots. The image of the Santo Niño was brought to the country by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan on April 14, 1521, as a gift to Queen Juana of Cebu. She and her husband, Rajah Humabon, and about 800 natives, were baptized, thus establishing Christianity in the country.

In 1565, when Spanish conqueror Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived in Cebu, a Spanish soldier found the image inside a burned house of a native. Legazpi then named Cebu as the “City of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.” Today, the image now known as Santo Nino de Cebu, is considered the oldest Christian relic in the country. (Photos by Jire Carreon)

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