Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Getting Lost With Names – Sto. / Santo Nino

This topic started with this article

Yes this is the baby Jesus and that name is actually spelled as Niño w/ the “ñ” but I opted to write this with the normal letter “n” as some web browsers on earth are still crudely configured not to recognize such a letter. Just remember, it is pronounced as “nin-yo” and not “ni-no”.

Ah there are also 3 towns in this country that sport that name. And what a cute co-incidence, these towns are located one in each of the main island groups – meaning Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Cute eh? Two are officially identified as using the completely spelled “Santo” while one officially uses the abbreviated “Sto.”

First off, we have the town of Santo Nino in the midst of the province of Cagayan (Region 2). This is a farming community and actually still holds its previous name of Faire, still used by quite a lot of local people to refer to it.

Then there is the town of Sto. Nino in the province of Samar (yes, Western Samar, Region 8). This town is comosed of two little islands that lie in between, and nearer to either Calbayog or Biliran Island, than to the provincial capital of Samar that is Catbalogan. This is one lace to experience real remote island life. When there, try looking at the rooftops hehe, most every house of tin or nipa has a high protruding TV antenna that the lace looks surreal.

Then there is the town of Santo Nino in the province of South Cotabato (Region 12). This agricultural town is actually nestled in the Allah Valley area and serves as the province’s rice bowl. Landlocked but crisscrossed by rivers, this town sits by the northwestern border of South Cotabato with Sultan Kudarat.

Now the irony… this saint, the baby Jesus, Santo Nino is more fervently venerated, exulted and celebrated in the middle Visayan islands, right? Yep, like you have the Sinulog, Dinagyang and Ati-atihan all in celebration of the child Jesus. There is also the Sto Nino cathedral in Tacloban. But none in these areas have any town named Sto. Nino. Just don’t let’s include names of brangays, puroks or streets as there will surely be thousands all over the country hehe.

Oh well, let’s go to the female saints? Ah there are a lot too!

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