Filipino-Australians from as far as Sydney journeyed to Singleton on Sunday to partake in the ‘Fiesta in honour of Senor Santo Nino (Holy Infant Jesus)’.
Worshippers filled St. Patrick’s church for Sunday’s mass before filing out on ceremony to the Civic Centre in what has become a 23-year-old tradition for the town.
The weekend saw over a million gathered on the streets of Cebu City in celebration.
Closer to home, it was the case of quality over quantity.
Yet even the event’s coordinator Frieda King, who has been a resident of Singleton since 1983, admits she is proud to have seen the celebrations evolve from a humble gathering at St Augustine’s to the weekend’s fiesta which seated 400 attendees.
“Our parish fiesta has continued to get bigger and bigger which is good and I’m very proud we’re able to honour the Lord Jesus.”
The traditional thanksgiving song ‘Bato Balani Sa Gugma’ (Magnet Of Love), also known as ‘Gozos Ni Santo Nino’, echoed across the halls as devotees waved their arms to the chorus.
Four elected gentlemen carried a statue of Jesus onto the stage as special guests watched on with intrigue.
“We were welcoming Jesus because this is his day but before the statue enters the room everyone must be in the room to welcome him.”
“This is our traditional culture and our aim is to spread and promote our love and devotion for the Lord Jesus.”
Both ‘Advance Australia Fair’ and the Filipino national anthem ‘Lupang Hinirang’ (Chosen Land) were sung before the Singleton Town Band entertained the congregation.