‘Hubo’ ends Sto. Nino fest in Cebu
CEBU CITY–While the 453rd Fiesta Señor is over, devotees are called to continue making God known to others, and to become His true disciples.
“Usually, when the feast is done, we usually forget everything, including the good things we learned and ought to practice,” said Fr. Pacifico “Jun” Nohara Jr. in his homily during the 4 a.m. “Hubo” Mass that capped the religious activities in honor of the Holy Child Jesus.
“Let us remember that our mission of propagating the faith continues. Our mission to proclaim the good news remains, and is always burning in our hearts. Let us set a good example of a true devotee, inspired by the Sto. Niño, not only in words, but most importantly in what we do,” he added.
On Friday dawn, Nohara, the rector of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, led the annual “Hubo,” a Cebuano word for undress.
A replica of the original Sto. Niño image was stripped of its fiesta clothes, given a ritual bath, and fitted with simpler garments.
At least 4,000 devotees packed the courtyard of the basilica’s outdoor Pilgrim Center, many of them bringing their own icons of the Sto. Niño to be blessed.
“The Hubo is not merely a ceremony of divesting the image of his fiesta vestments. Rather, it also reminds us to strip ourselves of the robes of sin especially pride, self-centeredness, hatred, corruption, and indifference,” Nohara said.
The traditional Hubo, he added, highlights the message of renewal and spiritual transformation as a means to prepare oneself for evangelization. “Evangelization should start within ourselves. I hope we will be able to change ourselves through the devotion to Sto. Nino,” Nohara said.
“The Señor Sto. Niño serves as our inspiration in doing our missionary tasks. Let us humbly offer to Him our prayers so that we may be strong in faith and become true witnesses of God,” he added.
Concelebrating with Nohara were about 40 priests from the Archdiocese of Cebu and different religious congregations.
The San Diego Dance Troupe also danced the Sinulog during the Mass and Hubo ritual.
A replica of the image of the Sto. Niño was used in the “Hubo” ceremony.
The ritual began with the removal of the crown, followed by the orb and scepter and armlet, the bands, cape, tunic, inner garments and boots.
As pieces of the clothing were removed, Nohara and the congregation sang “Christe exaudi nos (Christ graciously hear us),” to commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
After the undressing, the Holy Child’s image was dipped in water, wiped with a towel and dressed in his ordinary garb, starting from his boots up to his crown.
The Hubo ritual ended with a drum roll of the Sinulog beat as the devotees applauded.
The original Sto. Niño image, which was given by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan as baptismal gift to Cebu’s Queen Juana in 1521, remains in the marble chapel inside the basilica where pilgrims line up to pay homage. The changing of the dress of the original image was made in a private ceremony before the feast last Sunday.
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