MANILA—The Philippine Postal Corp. (PHLPost) recently unveiled commemorative stamps to mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the image of Santo Niño and the first baptism that both took place in Cebu.
"The Post Office pays its homage to the image of Señor Sto. Niño of Cebu, the source of hope and faith of the people, who is historically recognized as the oldest religious relic in the Philippines," Postmaster Norman Fulgencio said in a statement.
PHLPost launched the stamps at Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in Cebu City last April 14. The basilica was also declared as part of National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum of the Philippines.
"Santo Niño (Holy Child Jesus) is known for his miracles and people's devotions that transcend religions . . . This oldest religious icon of the country has been enshrined and widely venerated at the Basilica del Minore del Sto. Nino in Cebu City," PHLPost said.
The popular image of the Santo Niño was given by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan to the local queen Humamay (later named Juana), after her baptism on April 14, 1521.
On April 28, 1565, when Miguel Lopez de Legaspi’s expedition landed in Cebu, one of his soldiers found an image of the Child Jesus in a hut believed to be the same image Magellan had given to the queen of the island 44 years earlier.
The commemorative stamps are now available at the following postal offices:
- Philatelic Counter, Manila Central Post Office
- All Mega Manila Post Offices
- Postal Area 1, Tuguegarao
- Postal Area 2, San Fernando, La Union
- Postal Area 4, San Pablo
- Postal Area 5, Mandaue
- Postal Area 6, Iloilo
- Postal Area 7, Davao
- Postal Area 8, Cagayan de Oro
- Postal Area 9, Zamboanga.