Posted on January 19, 2016
We finally concluded last Sunday the Santo Niño celebration, a famous religious celebration in the Philippines about the Holy Child Jesus. This has been a worldwide practice among Filipino Catholics even in the US. The Vatican has set the 3rd Sunday of January as the liturgical feast day of Santo Niño as proclaimed by Pope Innocent XIII.
I’m glad that this tradition has been formed in the minds of future generation whose interest to their culture and devotion to the Child Jesus will never be forgotten through the help of parents, communities, and even schools that encourage cultural performances.
A few blogs ago, I posted my sewing comeback in reference to my daughters’ costumes as Singkil princess and my youngest as one of the maidens. I promised to post the finished dresses including the prince’s outfit. Here they are, done with their performance…
The most challenging for me is making the Prince’s pants and sleeves for the top. Basically, this is my first time to make men’s outfit. The sleeves were painstakingly difficult to assemble. Unlike normal sleeve patterns, this one calls for upper and lower cut two-pattern sleeves; thus, matching the notches was tedious. I had to re-do them twice which explain why the bottom of his top is different in color because I ran out of fabric material due to my mistake. I used the princess’s top fabric instead and I think the golds harmonize well with the blue hue. To make the wrong sleeves useful, I made a Kufi hat out of it as shown in the picture.
The hanging beaded bells added a chiming sound effect to the costume. The making of these hanging beads was time-consuming and so I let the girls do it. I secured them in a gold lace and hand-sewn at the base of her kebaya (blouse) for easy removal in time for hand-wash after use. I found an elastic necklace material at Michael’s and it was perfect to hold the ankle bells.
The colorful combination of the maidens’ costumes complemented well with their magenta sash and striking fuchsia fans. I took the color swatch from their striped skirt in deciding which fabric color to choose for their kebayas. This type of outfit is indigenous in the Southern part of the Philippines with Islāmic communities even today. History tells us that the Royal family of Rajas in Cebu were the first to accept the image of Santo Niño and eventually converted to Christianity. Santo Niño de Cebu has been a huge annual celebration ever since.