Megawide and Cebu2World (C2W), its subsidiary undertaking the Carbon District Modernization, have completed the 30-foot Sto. Niño installation at Cebu City’s Senior Citizens’ Park. The statue crowns the new chapel, which will be completed this month. The modernization is a joint venture with the Cebu City Government.
“We are proud to unveil the grand statue of the Sto. Nino de Cebu at the Senior Citizens’ Park and Chapel, a symbol of our faith in our patron and a new landmark for Cebu City,” said Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
“Through our discussions with C2W and their consultations with the Church, the figure stays true to the Holy Child as we venerate in Cebu, while the chapel design draws from Sinulog influences. This is a true symbol of Cebuano culture and heritage,” said Mayor Rama, who also chairs the Cebu Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission.
The completion of the icon also coincides with this year’s closing of the country’s 500th Year of Christianity celebration.
“Faith, especially on the Sto. Niño de Cebu, can help uplift spirits. We need to uplift each other right now, after Odette and with the ongoing pandemic,” said Cebu2World Director Cristina Angan.
With faith and religion central to Cebuano culture, Angan said completing the Sto. Niño installation is a reminder that Cebuanos can rise again in the face of adversity, while celebrating an important religious tradition of the region.
Visible inland and from the Mactan Channel, the 30-foot Sto. Niño statue is made of fiberglass resin. The Senior Citizens’ Park, with its new chapel and the statue, is envisioned as a new landmark for Cebu.
A new chapel inspired by Sinulog influences
The Senior Citizens’ chapel covers an area of 300 sq m, while the park around it is at more than 3,700 sq m. Once completed, the chapel can accommodate at least 150 parishioners from the main congregation. The corridors leading to the park are also designed to be an extension of the chapel’s main seating area, that can accommodate more devotees and guests as needed.
The rounded form of the chapel is inspired by the crown of the Señor Sto. Niño, a venerated symbol during the Sinulog. The fluidity of the arcs represent the graceful, flowing motions of the Sinulog Dance, the name of which is derived from the word “sulog,” meaning movements of water currents. These two ideas together gave birth to the unique structure that will serve as another iconic destination in Cebu for years to come.
The new Senior Citizens’ Park
The chapel will be surrounded by a landscaped park to extend the experience of serenity and reflection outside, allowing all guests to continue prayer and reflection even as they enter or exit the structure. The park will be a new and welcome open, green space in Cebu City and will have a tranquil view of the waterfront and the majestic Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX).
WiFi will be provided, and some food and non-food outlets will be set up for the convenience of visitors. Well-maintained public toilets will also be provided.
The project is consistent with Cebu City Hall’s focus on culture, heritage, and faith, especially in light of the milestone celebration of the 500th year of Christianity’s introduction into Cebu, the cradle of the faith in Asia.
“The main goal of the Carbon Modernization is to showcase and embody the culture and identity of Cebu City while improving the infrastructure of the district. Given the rich and deep history of Christianity in Cebu, we wanted a symbol of our faith at heart of the development,” Angan said.
Faith on the Sto. Niño de Cebu is central to the indomitable spirit of the Cebuano, Angan said. As Cebu rises from the devastation of Odette, many will look to that faith to fortify themselves for the challenging tasks ahead.
C2W aims to complete the area, including landscaping, by February of this year. The company will coordinate with the Archdiocese of Cebu and the City Government on the official opening of the chapel. (Press release)