Araneta City opened the “Ang Batang Hesus” exhibit in Ali Mall from January 7 to 14, 2023 in time for the feast of Santo Niño.
The exhibit features more than 60 images of the child Jesus from Santo Niño devotees around the country. Among the replicas available for viewing are the three oldest Santo Niño images in the Philippines – Santo Niño de Cebu, Santo Niño de Tondo, and Santo Niño de Arevalo.
Other notable images in the exhibit include the replica of Santo Nino de Tacloban which was flown directly from Leyte, Santo Niño de Aranzazu, and Santo Niño de Malitbog (patron prince of Southern Leyte).
A formal opening and blessing of the exhibit on January 7 was led by Rev. Fr. Diogo D’ Souza of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish.
Aileen Ibay, Property Manager of Ali Mall, sees the exhibit as an opportunity to strengthen the devotees’ faith this new year. “We must start the year with renewed faith and optimism. The exhibit aims to remind the public of the meaning of the feast of Santo Niño to our culture,” she said.
In Philippine history, the very first image of the Santo Niño was given as a baptismal gift to native Filipinos by Spanish explorers. The image was venerated and accepted by the locals but was lost in warfare. It was later on discovered intact and miraculously safe amidst burning debris, a miracle regarded to show that anyone can rise from any tribulation.
The exhibit is open for free public viewing during mall hours.