Last year I photographed the Santo Nino ceremony of Pablo Julian Gervasio Reyes in a town in the Philippines.
The Santo Nino ceremony happens in January throughout Catholic Churches throughout the country. It is to honor the image of the Santo Nino, Jesus, as a child. The festivities center around an appointed child, known as the "Hermano Mayor" who lead the ceremony for the church.
For Pablo, he was the Hermano for the church in his grandmother's hometown. He actually did not know many of the kids who attended the parish personally.
Before the ceremony, he handed out gifts to the other kids attending the ceremony
And lunches were handed out as well.
Afterwards, Pablo was dressed up for his part in the ceremony.
A marching band led him to the church.
Where he walked down the center row...
...and was seated in front of the altar.
Many people brought their statues of the Santo Nino to the ceremony.
And the kids took up most of the pews.
After saying his anointed words...
...the pastor blessed all the Santo Nino statues with holy water.
After the mass was a parade through the town.
Apparently, the parade used to take hours, but it was decided to be made shorter.
For the kid's sake.
It was also led by the marching band.
And featured many Santo Nino statues.
Santo Nino of Pablo Julian Gervasio Reyes
After the parade, the Hermano Mayor handed off the responsibility to the next child who will take the position next year.