‘Hubo shows Sto. Niño’s humility’
The traditional Hubo is the Señor Sto. Niño’s message of humility to the Cebuanos.
The ceremony, which marks the end of the Sinulog festivities, was held yesterday dawn in the Pilgrim Center of the centuries-old Basilica del Sto. Niño.
More than 5,000 devotees gathered to witness the undressing of the image from his royal wardrobe to his ordinary garb that he will be wearing for the rest of the year.
“Jesus Christ is a model of humility. The Hubo ceremony shows his humility and great love for us because he chose to be human, and he sacrificed himself for us,” Fr. Rodolfo Bugna, rector of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, told the crowd.
The Hubo involves bathing the image of the Holy Child and replacing its garments with a new set.
“With the Hubo, Christ shows his vulnerability and dependence,” Bugna said.
Bugna referred to the words of St. Augustine who said that pride, the opposite of humility, is the root of all evil and would expand to greed.
The Hubo began with a drum roll with the Sinulog beat.
The ritual, led by Bugna, began with the removing of the crown, followed by the orb and scepter and armlet, the bands, cape, tunic, the inner garments and boots.
For each piece of clothing removed, the congregation sang “Christe, Exaudi Nos” (Christ Graciously Hear Us) to commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
The bare image was raised toward the clapping and waving people, dipped in a barrel of water four times and wiped with a white cloth.
The image was then clothed in the typical red-white-gold garb that it is most associated with, from his boots up to his crown.
The devotees applauded upon the culmination of the ritual.
Housewife Vangie Alcomen, 49, said the Hubo ritual makes her “feel closer to the Sto. Niño.”
Alcomen, who came all the way from Dumaguete just to attend the ritual, has been a Sto. Niño devotee since she was 18 years old, when a chapel was built in their place.
In her 31 years of devotion to the Holy Child, she said she only missed attending the ritual twice, when she gave birth and when she got sick.
The Augustinians made the ritual Hubo public for the first time in 1990.
A replica of the Sto. Niño image given by Ferdinand Magellan to Cebu’s Queen Juana in 1521 was used in the Hubo ceremony./Reporter Candeze R. Mongaya
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