By Erwin M. Mascariñas
Butuan City — Amid the storm warning no.1 brought by Tropical Depression Amang, thousands of people from different parts of Caraga region and Northern Mindanao flock the streets here to celebrate and witness the annual Kahimunan Festival commemorating the feast of Sr Sto Niño.
“Rain and storm will not steal the celebration, pilgrims with faithful hearts we gather, today to celebrate the feast day of our beloved Sto Niño, the child Jesus, this gathering is a testament of our faith as we pray and offer our praise and thanksgiving of what we have received,” said Monsignor Roel Lasco of the Sto Niño Diocesan Shrine of Barangay Libertad, this city on Saturday.
Lasco reminded those present during the street dancing competition that highlighted the festival’s weeklong events that, “the image of the Sto Niño, the child Jesus, reminds us to remain small, stay humble and simple to witness the greatness of God.”
As rain poured on the streets of Butuan, the competing team of dancers from Gingoog City, Surigao City, Agusan del Sur, and Butuan City together with different government agencies, non-government organizations, and groups as well as religious sector representatives danced and marched the three-kilometer stretched of the national highway.
Church officials at the Sto Niño Diocesan Shrine estimated that more than 300,000 people would flock the church grounds for the weeklong Kahimunan Festival celebration commemorating the annual feast of the child Jesus.