THE humble dried fish or buwad is sharing center stage with the 447th year of the discovery of the Sto. Niño, Philippine Christianity’s most important icon.
“We are celebrating our discovery of faith,” said Msgr. Trinidad Silva, team moderator of the San Nicholas Parish for the Kaplag Festival.
Buwad, a major product of Cebu, will also be celebrated as it signifies blessings alongside the Kaplag Festival on Saturday.
The Kaplag Festival celebrates the discovery of the image of the Sto. Niño about 40 years after Magellan’s defeat in Mactan and during the arrival of Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.
According to history accounts, the image was found by Spanish soliders in a box in a burned nipa hut located in what is now the site of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in downtown Cebu City.
Kaplag in Cebuano means “discovery.”
“It is a symbolic moment for us,” said Msgr. Raul Go, team member of the San Nicholas Parish.
“The finding of the Sto. Niño helped us discover our faith, and through the efforts of Legazpi, the people’s devotion for the Sto. Niño returned.”
Unlike the lively Sinulog mardi gras, the Kaplag festival focuses on history and culture.
“This is what makes it different from the Kadaugan sa Mactan Festival and the Sinulog Festival of Cebu,” said Msgr. Silva.
“The Kadaugan sa Mactan focuses on the triumph of Lapu-Lapu over Magellan at the Battle of Mactan. The Sinulog Festival celebrates the arrival of the Sto. Niño here Cebu.”
The Buwad Festival will feature free tasting of buwad and a 10 percent discount on the purchase of buwad on the whole day of Saturday.
The Kaplag Festival is also known as the “little Sinulog.”/UP MassCom Intern Caryl Baylon