2 niños offer art as tribute to Sto. Niño

01/05/2011 - COLORFUL floats, higantes and puppeteers never fail to amuse the children every Sinulog, as do the hotdogs, masks and other goodies sold in the streets. But the Sinulog is not all about entertainment and revelry for some children, and there is a lot more to it than just dancing and chanting. For two young artists, it’s a time to thank and show their love to Sto. Niño, and a time to pray for peace and unity.

“Dili lang puro sayaw ang Sinulog, apil sad ang pangadyi na naay peace Earth, ug pagpasalamat sa Santo Niño sa grasya na iyang gihatag sa akong family, sa akong grades and sa akong kamot kay ug wala akong kamot, dili ko makadaog ani (It’s not just about dancing, but also a time to pray for peace and to thank the Niño for the blessings given to my family, my grades and my hands. Without these hands, I would not have won this contest),” said 12-year-old Gusty Ruel Rosario. Rosario was chosen as the grand prize winner out of over 100 entries in the first on-the-spot Sinulog poster-making contest held last Dec. 11, an achievement that he offered to the patron. Using a pencil, crayons and oil pastels, he drew a young girl holding an image of the Sto. Niño while dancing in a fluvial procession, with the Magellan’s Cross in the background. The poster also features other dancers and musicians wearing body paint and masks, which he said was inspired by the things he enjoyed the first time he joined the Sinulog celebration in 2004.

Narrating his first memory of the Sinulog when he was only six years old, Rosario recalled standing in awe as puppets, dancers in masks and higantes passed in front of him. It was the first time he chanted “Viva Pit Señor!”

“Dili ko makalimot ato mao nang ang akong drawing naay nagsayaw kay mao man gyud na pirmi ang atong makitan. Ako sad gipili ang scene sa barko na naa sa dagat kay pirmi man sad na adtoon sa mga tawo (I will always remember that, which is why my drawing features a lot of dancers. I also drew the fluvial procession, because a lot of people always go to see that),” said Rosario, a grade six student of Barrio Luz Elementary School. His artwork will be used as front cover for the Sinulog 2011 program of activities booklet and souvenir program, while runner-up Paul Orland Saavedra’s entry will be featured on the back cover. The Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) will award Rosario and Saavedra a trophy and P10,000 and P7,000 as cash prize, respectively, during the awarding ceremony on Jan. 17.

“In the Sinulog, it’s the grown-ups who enjoy the most, so we decided to hold the contest to find out what Sinulog means to a child. Through the contest, they were able to show what they think of the Sinulog. We want the children to be involved because after all, it’s the feast of the Child Jesus,” SFI executive director Ricky Ballesteros said. Saavedra, for his part, focused his artwork on the “One Beat, One Dance, One Vision” theme of the Sinulog, and said he hopes his abstract design conveys the message of unity. Like Rosario, he offered his poster to the Sto. Niño, along with his prayers for good grades, good health and for the safety of his father who works abroad.

“For me, Sinulog is a time to show our love and faith to the Sto. Niño, and it’s a time to be united… I drew a mask, which symbolizes one vision, and the lady dancing symbolizes the dance that brings us all together. I also drew the earth in God’s hands, which means that God loves us so we should also show our love to Him this Sinulog,” said Saavedra, a grade six student of University of San Carlos-South Campus.

Saavedra plans to give his cash prize to his mother to help pay for his tuition, while Rosario wants to use the money to buy one sack of rice for his family, a cell phone for himself and food for his brother’s birthday party later this month.

“I will also use some of the money to offer a mass for the Sto. Niño,” Rosario added. (Sun Star)

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