9 January 2021 – Consul General Evelyn D. Austria-Garcia today joined the Filipino-German Community of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart who highlighted the 500th Year Anniversary of the Arrival of the Image of Sto. Nino in the Philippines during their virtual celebration of the 27th Sto. Niño de Cebu Sinulog Festival, which was streamed live via the Facebook page of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart (@pmgstuttgart).
In her remarks, Consul General Austria-Garcia commended the devotion among the Filipino Catholic Community in Germany to the Sto. Niño and how it has taken root within the Filipino culture and how the Sinulog Festival has become an expression of our Catholic faith. “This year’s festivity is particularly special as the country celebrates the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the image of the Señor Santo Niño in the Philippines. We remember the story of how Ferdinand Magellan and his crew were able to indoctrinate the natives in 1521, some 500 years ago and underscored that though some may see the image of the Sto. Nino as one of colonialism, it can also be argued that Filipino natives at that time were baptized of their own free will,” the Consul General said.
Among those who delivered messages during the online event were Ambassador Ma. Theresa Dizon de Vega and Philippine Honorary Consul in Stuttgart, Dr. Axel Neumahr, as well as Filipino and German religious and community leaders including the Most Reverend Archbishop Jose S. Palma D.D. of Cebu, Reverend Father Eligio Suico of Archdiocesan Shrine of Guadalupe, Cebu, Brother Roy Paraiso of Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany, Reverend Father Jonathan Ramose of Filipino Chaplaincy in Stuttgart, and Mr. Alfredo Silacan, President of the Sto Nino Group Rottenburg-Stuttgart.
The Sinulog Festival also featured musical numbers from members of the Manila-based Imusicapella Chamber Choir and Sinulog song and dance performances by members of the Filipino-German Community in Stuttgart. Due to the expanded COVID-19 restrictions mandated by German authorities until 31 January 2021, this year’s celebration of the Holy Eucharist in honor of the Sto. Nino was cancelled. END
In her remarks, Consul General Evelyn D. Austria-Garcia conveyed that “despite the Christmas celebration this year being different, Filipinos abroad should still be joyful as the true meaning of Christmas remains within us.” She added that the holidays enables us to welcome the Child Jesus and the joy, love, hope and peace He brings us year after year.” The Consul General also emphasized that the Consulate is trying to do what it can to support the Filipino performing artists at this difficult time and encouraged Filipinos abroad to do their share and support them as well.
Prior to the virtual Christmas presentation, Post also hosted the first night of the Simbang Gabi at the St. Ignatius Church in Frankfurt on 16 December. Post’s personnel attended the Holy Mass and offered a monetary donation to benefit the victims of typhoon in Catanduanes. A 10-minute preview of the “Pamaskong Alay” virtual event was shown after the Mass. END