AUGUST 22, 2009



"Saturday, August 22, 2009 was a big day for the Sto. Nino devotees in Illinois.  Since 2003, the venue for the fiesta was at St. Genevieve Church at 4835 W. Altgeld, Chicago, IL 60639.  After so many years of having the Fiesta at St. Genevieve, it was a big challenge for the Sto. Nino de Agosto Organization to have the celebration at St. Matthias Church at 2310 W. Ainslie Ave., Chicago, IL 60625.

Rev. John Sanaghan, Administrator of St. Matthias Church welcomed the Sto. Nino de Agosto congregation for the first time in his parish.

An overflow crowd of over 400 attended the affair.  At 9:30 A.M. the Devotional Prayers to the Sto. Nino started.  The Filipino Families of Skokie, IL under the leadership of Asst. Hermana Mayor Lu Alog, took charge of the first part of the celebration.

Presentation of the 18 participating Devotional and Sto. Nino groups were blessed by the Concelebrant, Rev. Tirso Villaverde of St. Bartholomew parish assisted by Deacon Roland Merced of Transfiguration and St. Matthias parishes.  Asst. Hermana Mayores, Lu Alog and Sol Anderson coordinated the presentation.  The celebration of the Eucharist followed the presentation.  The celebrant, Rev. Leoncio Santiago, former Pastor of St. Genevieve Church, came all the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to be with the group he himself started in 2001.

Father Santi as he is affectionately called, is the brain behind the Sto. Nino de Agosto movement.  The primary intention of the Sto. Nino de Agosto is for all Sto. Nino devotees in Illinois and Wisconsin to come together and celebrate our religious heritage in one site and in one common celebration while preserving the autonomy of each devotional group...  The celebration is placed under the patronage of the Sto. Nino, the patron of the Philippines, our Motherland.  The celebration is held in August for two reasons:

     1)  So as not to interfere or compete with the proper celebrations held during the month of   January to honor the Holy Infant Jesus.

     2)  To have a better weather for this occassion.

The angelic voices of the Sto. Nino and Simbang Gabi Choir of South Dupage sang during the mass with their Music Director Alex Simbol and Coordinator Lilia Pendon.  After the Holy Mass, there was an outdoor procession.  Prayerfully, the devotees holding the images of the Holy Infant Jesus joined the procession, singing, praying and dancing their version of the "Sinulog".  The procession culminated at the St. Matthias school gym at Claremont Ave.  The "Sinulog" was danced by the Sto. Nino devotees; locally, they have the so called Tagalog and Visayan versions.  The faithful danced with gusto, some doing their petitions and the others, their thanksgivings. The Marshalls and the Ushers led by Sam Alog, Mike Yraola and Greg Trabanca guided the procession that lasted 30 minutes till it reached the school hall were it ended.

Lunch was served after the "Sinulog".  The food served were donations by the 18 participating groups and other generous donors.  Kudos to the Food Service Committee under the leadership of Romy & Amy Dihiansan, Ed & Charito Eusebio, Rita & Laling Pitos!  While lunch was being served, there were raffle drawings, altares presentation and a short program for entertainment.

Native dances presented were:

     A)  Lawiswis Kawayan   -  performed by Nora Deloso & Tony Merced
     B)  Pandango sa Tapis  -  performed by Nora Deloso & Tony Merced
     C)  Binayugan               -  performed by Nora Deloso & Elvie Ruedas
     D)  Tinikling                  -  performed by the children of St. Peter, Skokie 
     E)   Vocal Solo             -  rendered by Evelyn Francia, guest of Sto. Nino Midwest  

All the dances were performed with such grace and professionalism to the delight of the onlookers.

Sister Lorna Mendoza, VDMF, chaired the judging of the Altares presentation, assisted by Dr. Edith Reyes, Deacon Roland Merced and Rosemarie Honesto. 

The participating groups who has the Judges' votes were:
A)  The Most Artistic Altar   -  Group #4, Society of the Beloved Disciple
B)  The Most  Unique Altar  -  Group #5, St. Peter, Skokie
C)  Most Original Altar         -  Group #10, Sto. Nino / Our Lady of Fatima Group

D)  The Altar with the Best Presentation - Group #13, Sto. Nino Prayer Group of South Dupage

Altares gifts were solicited by the Zamboanga del Norte devotees.  Raffle tickets were drawn and winners were called by our Event Emcee Nora Torcuato of St. Peter, Skokie:

First Prize  -  $100.00 won by Joe Beltran.  Prize donor - San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila Group

Second Prize -  $75.00 won by Corazon de Paz.   Prize donor - Luz Veloria 

Third Prize - $50.00 won by Noel of Life Scan.  Prize donor - Nita Lim

Fourth Prize - $25.00 won by Evelyn Khoshaba.  Prize donor - Fred Navallo

Rev. Leoncio Santiago, Spiritual Director of the Sto. Nino de Agosto Organization; Luz Ong, the Hermana Mayor, Lu Alog and Sol Anderson, the Asst.. Hermana Mayores, participating groups Hermanos/Hermanas and the 2009 Steering Committee extend their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Rev. John Sanaghan, Grayce O'Toole, St. Matthias Secretary, and the parish staff for accomodating the group, all their donors, advertisers, volunteers, liturgy and event participants especially to Nora Turcuato, our vivacious and charming EMCEE, for their unselfish help, generosity and cooperation which contributed to the success of this celebration.  Special thanks to Eddie Artajo of for covering the events of the fiesta.  

Viva Senor Santo Nino!  Mabuhay and Hari ng mga Hari!  Pit Senyor! 

See you next year, our 10th Anniversary!"



The Idea of celebrating the Sto. Niño feast day during the month of August is the brain child of Rev. Fr. Leoncio Santiago, former Pastor of St. Genevieve Church of 4835 W. Altgeld Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60639 nd spiritual director of the Santo Niño de Agosto Movement.

It all came about sometime in the latter part of 1999 and everything was put into motion by February of  2001.

Plans were made and discussed. Letter of invitation were sent to each Sto Niño group I know of and luckily, many were receptive to the idea of Father’s desire to have a Sto. Niño de Agosto celebration in August..

Fr. Santiago’s intention for the proposal is for all Sto. Niño devotees  to come together and celebrate our religious heritage in one site and in one common celebration while preserving the autonomy of each individual group.

The celebration will be placed under the patronage of the “Niño” since the “Little One” is the patron of the Philippines, our homeland. This type of celebration in August is ongoing in the East Coast particularly in the City of Philadelphia, PA.

The celebration is to be held in August for two reasons.
1) So as not to interfere or compete with the proper celebration held during the month of January.
2) To have better weather for this occasion.

Enthusiastic Sto. Niño lay leaders from Illinois attended the meeting and helped formulate plans as to how to make the event successful.

Since then, we continued what Fr. Santiago started and God willing, we will try to continue Fr. Leoncio’s goal, a legacy to be treasured.  LUZ ONG –Hermana Mayor


Rev. Fr. Leoncio Santiago

Zamboanga del Norte delegation heade by Eve and Greg Trabanca

The inside of Saint Matthias Chuch

Zanorteans and Dapitanon Elnora Cabilin

With Soling Anderson and Sto. Nino de Agosto Hermana Mayor Luz Ong


CHOIR: Sto Nino of South DuPage headed by Aurora Cortez

The choir in action

Ginang Gloria Gualberto

Rev. Fr. Jophn Sanaghan, Administrator St. Matthias Church
 Welcome Address


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