An estimated 4,000 Filipinos live in Malta. The Filipino Catholic community is being given the opportunity to keep its religious traditions alive even in Malta.
The Parish Priest of the Marsascala Parish, Fr Roderick Camilleri, together with Fr Victor Agius, invited them to organize the feast of Santo Nino who represents the sanctity of baby Jesus.
On Sunday morning, along the Marsascala shoreline, Filipinos sang and danced before the statue of Santo Nino which was surrounded by flowers which are then taken home as as a sign of devotion.
Fr Victor Agius who is familiar with the Filipino culture having spent 30 years working as a missionary in the country, said that in the Philippines this was a great holiday celebrated on the third Sunday of the year.
“Santo Niño in the Philippines is a great feast which is celebrated in Manila, in Cebu which is an island in central Philippines, and even in Panai where they have their own version of Santo Nino, which is the patron saint of everybody in the Philippines, where a statue can be found in everyone’s home. ”
Dasey Castro who has lived in Malta for three years, and Dante Sarita who has been here six years, say that it is a feast of great devotion.
“It is a celebration we usually make it extravagant so that every body enjoys the feast, it is our way to say thanks to our lord Jesus Christ because all the blessings come from Jesus Christ, viva Santo Nino!”
“Santip in our dialect means call u signor is calling to god, Santo Nino the holy child. it means to me a lot because it brings the people together especially in Malta we bring unity in diversity.”
At the church of Sant’Anna mass was celebrated with the participation of a choir from the Filipino community followed by a traditional meal typical of the country (roast pork) to which everyone was invited.