THE holy child or the Sto. Nino de Cebu is usually seen by many dressed and adorned in full royal robes and heavy with jewelry.

An interesting religious feature that the Sto. Nino undergoes is the ritual of “hubo” (undressing).

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How will the holy child look underneath its elaborate royal garment? Is he a skinny kid or a chubby one?

The ritual of the “hubo” aims to expose more than the child’s complexion and built. In many ways, it’s an act of cleansing and rejuvenation. The ritual strips him of his crown, orb, scepter, armlet, bands, cape, tunic and inner clothes.

It is only during this ritual undressing that we see the Sto. Nino naked. The child is washed with perfumed water, then he is dressed with less ornate apparel.

In the same spirit, “Hubo,” a post-Sinulog exhibit at the Scred-Heart Parish Garage Contemporary Art Studio, undresses the event of its pomp and grandiose festivities in order to reflect, reclaim and reroot both tourists and devotees of the stark nakedness of the Divine, become a child, and be washed pure with the perfumed water of faith and mystery.

Participating visual artists were Celso Pepito, Ritchie Quijano, Jason Dy, SJ, Antonio Vidal, Cesar Castillo, John Dinglasa, Tito Cuevas, Karen Pepito, Bobby Gonzales and photographers Alnoe Paler, Mike Jo and Anric Boholst. The show successfully gathered in one room the disciplines of painting, sculpture, photography and installation/conceptual art. Imagine how a small car garage (i.e. the exhibit area) has become a very potent venue to stage art.