Nearly 200 people from Filipino families in Tyler, and as far away as Canada, gathered Saturday for the 12th annual Santa Niño Fiesta at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Attendees celebrated Santa Niño de Cebù, the Holy Child of Cebù, with traditional Filipino staple foods, including lumpia, pancit and adobo; and performances of Philippine folk dances.

Ed Santos, Filipino-American Association of East Texas officer, said the event celebrates Filipino culture and heritage, and the nearly 500 years that Christianity has been in the Philippines.

Santa Niño de Cebù, the Holy Child of Cebù, dates back to 1521 in Cebu, Philippines, when Portuguese explorers Ferdinand Magellan and Antonio Pigafetta gave a statue of the infant Jesus as a baptismal gift to Lady Humamay, who was chief consort of the Rajah Humabon (the ruler of Cebù at the time).

The Santa Niño Choir hosted the event in association with the Filipino-American Association of East Texas.

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