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Santo Cristo de Longos in Binondo, Manila

The image of Santo Cristo de Longos always catches my attention when I visit Binondo. Whenever I pass by Ongpin Street, I would see mostly locals with Chinese blood would drop by here to burn joss sticks, say a prayer and make a wish. It was only in my last visit  I got to appreciate Santo Cristo de Longos as a place to offer our personal intentions and rekindle my faith to the One above. I haven't been paying attention to my faith lately but one thing I am sure of is that I know there's One above who created us and guides us all throughout our life. More than the super tasty Chinese food that Binondo is known for, Santo Cristo de Longos is one of the top reasons to visit Binondo. Take note that the Santo Cristo de Longos shrine I am referring here is one of the replicas of the original.

In front of the cross of Santo Cristo de Longos are vendors selling red candles and even offering back massage. We were a bit shy when we didn't realized we were burning the joss sticks in the wrong way until the elder guy whom we bought candle from came to the rescue. We actually buried down the ash the end that's supposed to be burned. That's why it doesn't really produced fire and not a lot of smoke came out. We wanted to try again but 2-3 people came and we didn't want to cause inconvenience for them.

History of Santo Cristo de Longos in Binondo
In 16th century a Chinese who is deaf and mute was pulling a pail to get water from a well in the Sangley community of Binondo within the Barrio of Longos. While doing so, he found a black-colored image of Jesus Christ. He then picked it up and was able to speak again. He was shouting about his discovery and of course the miracle that happened to him.

binondo food trip package

Locals decided to attach Santo Cristo de Longos to a cross then briefly kept in the Capilla de San Gabriel together with the image of the Virgen del Pronto Socorro, the town's assigned patron saint. As time passes by, both of these religious images were transferred to Binondo Church after the chapel was destroyed by the earthquake in 18th century. Santo Cristo de Longos and Virgen del Pronto Socorro remained undamaged - huge reasons that sparked more faith to Chinese-Filipinos in Binondo.   

santo cristo de longos shrine in binondo

Two Shrines of Santo Cristo de Longos in Binondo
The original Santo Cristo de  Longos is kept and surrounded by glass walls inside Binondo Church. The devotees, mostly busy Filipino-Chinese locals do not have much time to drop by this church - this could be the reason why they decided to erect not one but two street shrines of Santo Cristo de Longos around Binondo. The first shrine is located in the old well where the original image of Santo Cristo de Longos was found. It is walking distance from San Nicolas street and Santo Cristo street. I wish though next time I go to Binondo, I have spare time to visit this place.

The second replica of Santo Cristo de Longos shrine is the most accessible to all which is located at the corner of Ongpin Street in Binondo. This is the one I have seen so many times and therefore this is the one I am featuring today. It's pretty much in the center of many restaurants and business of Chinese-Filipinos that's why I wouldn't be surprised this is the most visited. It is just a few-minute walk from New Quan Yin Chay Vegetarian Food Garden which I will blog about soon as well.

During the filming of our video entry to Channel News Asia's Celebrate Asia contest, we made sure to end our video offering a prayer to Santo Cristo de Longos. You can click HERE if you want to watch it. I have seen a middle-aged Chinese-blooded woman prays first, gets a few incense sticks then burn it, sway it in the air (upward to downward position) both hands in a prayer position  while she bows her head. She also gets a pair of wooden red thing which I do not know the name where she recites her wish then throws these objects down 

The Santo Cristo de Longos in Ongpin Street, Binondo 
Here, Santo Cristo de Longos is featured with a gold-plated cross alone without his image. However, in the spot where the horizontal and vertical line in the cross meets, there's an image of a heart. This cross is always adorned with garlands of sampaguita flower. What is peculiar about the Santo Cristo de Longos  shrine is that even though this is obviously a Catholic place of worship, there are lots of Buddhist joss sticks one can light for free.  This signifies the "marriage of beliefs" between the early Chinese settlers who embraced Catholicism but still didn't forget their roots.

santo cristo de longos in binondo

Prayer Before Lighting the Candle to Santo Cristo de Longos in Binondo, Manila     
Father in heaven, the light of Jesus has scattered the darkness of hatred and sin. Accept the candle and let the light of your truth guide me to your kingdom. Inflame my heart with your grace. Keep me in the radiance of your truth. Fill my heart with your divine love and please help me in my needs. 
(mention your petition)

Grant this through Christ our Lord and through the intercession of our Lady of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Amen.
After this, please also pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be.  

The Feast of Santo Cristo de Longos in Binondo 
Every last Sunday of April, Binondo celebrates the Feast of the Santo Cristo de Longos that includes a novena and procession. The original image of Santo Cristo de Longos is handcarried by the Hermandad under a Pallio. 

I couldn't imagine Binondo's rich history without Santo Cristo de Longos in the picture. On my next visit, I promise to always visit Santo Cristo de Longos like a good-hearted Catholic should do.

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