PIT SENYOR ( a work in progress )
oil on canvas panel 2009
In April 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, in the service of Charles I of Spain, arrived in Cebu during his voyage to find a westward route to the Spice Islands . He persuaded Rajah Humabon and his wife Hara Amihan, to pledge their allegiance with Spain. They were later baptized into the Catholic faith, taking the Christian names Carlos and Juana. Magellan gave Juana the Santo Nino as a symbol of the alliance. However, Magellan died during the Battle of Mactan later that month, and the alliance became more or less moot.
The Spanish returned to the Philippines in February 1565. Cebu was the first stop of Basque explorer Miguel López de Legazpi, who would later found Manila. He defeated Rajah Tupas (nephew to Humabon) on April 27, destroying the village in the process. The Santo Nino was found relatively unscathed in a burnt-out dwelling. This event was quickly acknowledged as miraculous, and a church was later constructed on the purported site of the discovery. Today, the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño is an important historical and religious landmark in Cebu, with devotees forming long line up to pay their respects to the Holy Child.