• Directory of Taiwan

Filipino parade to be held in Taipei Sunday to honor Santo Niño

Parade, dance competition to mark feast of Santo Niño

(Philippines Department of Tourism photo)

(Philippines Department of Tourism photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A parade and dance competition to celebrate the Philippine feast of Santo Niño de Cebú will be held by the local Filipino community in Taipei on Sunday (Feb. 20).

Normally celebrated on the third Sunday of January, the feast day of Santo Niño de Cebu commemorates when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan presented a statue of the baby Jesus as a baptismal present to Hara Amihan, the chief consort of Humabon, rajah of Cebu, in 1521. The statue was one of three gifts Magellan gave to the ruler to mark the latter's baptism and their strategic alliance.

During a later conquering mission by Miguel López de Legazpi., fighting broke out between Spanish conquistadors and indigenous people, and Cebu was set ablaze. However, the statue was found intact in a pine box and has since been believed to have magical powers. It has been celebrated in the annual festival for paving the way for Christianity in the country.

Filipino parade to be held in Taipei Sunday to honor Santo Niño
(Philippines Department of Tourism photo)

This year's festival, titled "Santo Niño Beats for Peace Festival: In My Circular World," will include a parade and dance competition on the streets of Zhongshan District. There will be 14 local groups of Filipinos garbed in vibrant costumes participating in the event, which is jointly sponsored by Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) and the Taipei City government.

They will gather at 1:30 p.m. at St. Christopher‘s Church at No. 51 Zhongshan North Road, Section 3. The parade will then wind its way down Dehui Street, Linsen North Road, and Nong'an Street, where it will turn from Qingguang Market back onto Zhongshan North road and return to St. Christopher's Church.

Parade participants will then head to the Taipei Expo Park at 4 p.m. for an awards ceremony to announce the winners of the dance competition. The event is expected to be the largest Filipino cultural festival in Taiwan since the Taipei Masskara Festival was held in September 2020 and saw 1,200 participants.

Filipino parade to be held in Taipei Sunday to honor Santo Niño
(Philippines Department of Tourism photo)

Filipinos comprise the third-largest group of foreign nationals in Taiwan after Indonesians and Vietnamese, with 141,808 Filipino migrant workers in the country at the end of 2021, according to the Ministry of Labor and Statistics. Approximately 86% of Filipinos are Roman Catholic, and the feast of Santo Niño de Cebú is one of the most well-known festivals in the Philippines, attracting 1 to 2 million visitors to Cebu each year.

The following 14 groups are expected to compete in the dance competition:

- OFW Models and Talents in Taiwan

- LOM “Tribu ni Maria”

- Tribu Bibu

- OFW GME-Northern Taiwan

- Cordillera Organization in Taiwan



- Divine Majesty Choir

- CIASI Sorority Dancers


- MQC Choir Tribu

- Sandigan Choir

- The Migrants

- Ushers Group