In Time and History: The Santo Niño de Malolos Foundation, Inc.
The Santo Niño de Malolos Foundation, Inc. (SNdMFI) is a non-stock non-profit organization that works on the propagation of the devotion to the Holy Child, the Santo Niño de Malolos, through Catholic liturgy, culture, tradition and the arts. Its founding is grounded in the centuries old tradition of celebrating the Santo Niño de Malolos festivity 25th of January, which started in the late 1800s when mestizos of Chinese-Filipino descent settled in a place called Barrio Kamestisuhan (now Barangay Santo Niño) in Malolos, Bulacan.
The aftermath of the Second World War slightly halted the tradition until Dr. Luis Santos proposed to start the festivity once again in the 1960s. Through the concerted efforts of old families in the Kamestisuhan district with historian the late Basildez “Dez” Bautista and Angel “Ulay” Tantoco at its helm, the festivity in honor of the Santo Niño is once again alive. In 1974, the first Santo Niño exhibit in the country was mounted in the convent of the Malolos Cathdral through the suggestion of Fr. Miguel Paez. This activity would eventually propel devotees of the Santo Niño with common goals and interest to form an informal organization dedicated in planning and execution of the annual Santo Niño exhibit and procession of the Santo Niño de Malolos.
In 2003, devotees of the Santo Niño de Malolos since 1974 decided to formalize the organization by promptly registering it to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The formalization of SNdMFI strengthened the primary goal of devotees: the propagation of the devotion to the Santo Niño de Malolos. Aside from this, it also gave a chance to the organization in making concrete steps to realize its vision to become a conduit where Christian virtues of faith, love and charity are observed. In emphasizing these core virtues, the foundation is responsible for the first Holy Communion of 1,000 indigent children in Malolos held annually in December at the Immaculate Conception Minor Basilica. The SNdMFI is also active in giving scholarship grants to deserving students, conducting medical, dental and surgical missions, and in visiting houses of charities annually. These projects are possible through the efforts and determination of the foundation, its trustees, officers, members and most importantly the yearly Hermanos Mayores (sponsors) of the Santo Niño de Malolos festivity. For 46 years, the Santo Niño de Malolos Foundation, Inc. continues its mission to propagate the devotion to the Holy Child and making it relevant in today’s generation and the generations to come. Its future goals envision the preservation of cultural traditions encircling the Santo Niño festivity; educating its members, devotees and the masses regarding appropriate devotion and liturgy to the Santo Niño; and become active locally and internationally in the propagation of the Santo Niño de Malolos devotion.
About the author
Assistant Professorial Lecturer at De La Salle University in Manila; Content Creator on Arte Sacra Ph; and Archivist and Editor-in-Chief of the Sto. Niño de Malolos Foundation, Inc.