Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma formally opened the art exhibit “Sagrada Familia: The Child Christ in the Filipino Family” at the SM City Cebu Sunday (April 17).
Assisting Palma in opening the exhibit were Fr. Eusebio Berdon, OSA, prior provincial of the Filipino Augustinians, and Fr. Harold Rentoria, OSA, commissioner of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
The exhibit was in connection with the annual celebration every April of the “Kaplag,” or the finding of the Santo Nino Jesus image by the Legazpi expedition in 1565.
Exhibit also is part of the formal closing of the yearlong observance of the 450th anniversary of the Kaplag (1565-2015).
Coincidentally the Legazpi expedition also brought with it the first missionaries to the Philippines—the Augustinians. So Kaplag this year also closes the observance of the 450th anniversary of the arrival of the Augustinians 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).
Highlight of exhibition is the “Niño Sugbuanon” by artist Wilfredo Offemaria Jr., a limited-edition sculpture series for the 450th anniversary.
The artwork will be given to the prior general of the Order of Saint Augustine (or Augustinians) based in Rome, to Archbishop Palma, and to other institutions and individuals who contributed to the success of the events surrounding the 450 Kaplag.
The “Kristo Niño” 2016 exhibition is just one of the many activities to close the 450th Kaplag celebrations.
Among the events to watch out for are the Triduum Masses from April 25-27 at Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu; the opening of the Kaplag photo exhibit on April 24 at the Mountain Wing of SM Seaside; the “Kaplag Konsyerto” at New Cebu Coliseum on April 27 featuring Fr. Jonas Mejares, the singing rector of the basilica with Cebuana singing divas Donna Cruz, Anna Fegi, Sheryn Regis and Eva Santos; 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.