The Augustinian Province of Santo Niño de Cebu is having a three-fold celebration this year: the 450th anniversaries of the order’s presence in the country and of the rediscovery (Kaplag) of Santo Niño’s image in Cebu, and the 50th year of the Santo Niño Church as a Minor Basilica.
To discuss the historical and cultural significance of these events, scholars will hold the “Kaplag International Conference,” slated April 25–28 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City.
The conference aims to bring awareness about the Christian origins of Filipinos. A roster of local and international experts is expected to deliver lectures on the history of Christianization, Filipinos’ devotion to the Child Jesus and the legacy of the Augustinians, particularly as community builders.
In 1521, a Spanish armada reached the archipelago’s shores under the command of Ferdinand Magellan. The event led to the introduction of the Christian faith to the islands. History has it that some natives in Cebu went on to be baptized, and an image of the Child Jesus was gifted to Queen Juana of Cebu.
However, the Spaniards had to leave, only to return 44 years later in 1565 under Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. This marked the start of Augustinian missions in the Philippines, which continue to this day.
Contact the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu City at (032)2556698 loc. 400; text 0917-8622450/0939-9353218, or visit www.450kaplag.com.
Santo Niño photo exhibit
The executive committee of the 450th anniversary of Kaplag (or the finding of the image of the Santo Niño), with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, SM City Cebu and Colours Digital Foto, presents “Santo Niño: Hope of the People,” a photo exhibition by multi-awarded young photographers Angelo Bacani and Paul Quiambao.
The exhibit reflects the Cebuanos’ undying faith in the Santo Niño. It also shows the photographers’ journeys in faith as they strengthen their devotions to the Pit Señor via the Sinulog and Kaplag festivals.
The fund-raising photo exhibit opens at 3 p.m. on April 21 at the ground floor, Northwing, SM City Cebu, Juan Luna Avenue and Cabahug and Kaoshiung Streets, North Reclamation Area, Cebu Port Center, Mabolo, Cebu City.
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The International Conference on Interreligious Dialogue will be held at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) from April 29 to 30. Theme is “The Approach of Islam and Christianity Towards Religious Extremism and Violence.”
The conference is organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue, the Cultural Section of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Professional Advancement and Research Committee of the UST Institute of Religion.
Speakers include Iranian Ambassador Ali Bishop; Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop and CBCP president Socrates Villegas; Bishop Angelito R. Lampon, OMI, chair of the Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue; Professor Bagher Talebi of Iran’s University of the Religions of Qom; Professor Rasul Rasulipour of Iran’s Council of the Center for Interreligious Dialogue; Professor Julkipli Wadi of the Institute of Islamic Studies of the University of the Philippines; Professor Sayed Hashem Mosavi of the Qom Seminary; Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ, of Ateneo de Zamboanga University; Fr. Hermel O. Pama, OP, of the UST Ecclesiastical Faculties; and former UST Graduate School dean Lilian J. Sison, executive secretary of Religions for Peace, Philippines.
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