A fire engulfed Sto Niño Church in Pandacan, Manila on Friday afternoon, the Bureau of Fire Protection-National Capital Region reported.
Fire officers are still investigating the cause of the fire.
The Sto. Niño de Pandacan parish played a major part in Pandacan’s history. Believed to be more than 400 years old, the image of the Sto. Niño of Pandacan is carved out of dark wood. This wood is strikingly similar to the dark Mexican wood of the images of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo and the Black Madonna of Antipolo suggesting that like the latter two images, the Sto. Niño de Pandacan was brought to the Philippines by the Spaniards via galleon trade from Acapulco, Mexico to Manila, Philippines.
In early 1600, the miraculous black image of Sto Niño was found by little children playing in the field near a carabao wallow surrounded by Pandan plants. The place was then called “PANDANAN” which means pandan plantation. The Spaniards mispronounced the name thus changing it to “PANDACAN”. The spot is near the present Sto. Niño shrine at the right side of the Parish Church.
Fire hits Sto. Niño Church in Pandacan
Since Pandacan at that time was still part of the parish of Sampaloc, the elders of Pandacan had the image enshrined at the Church of Our Lady of Loreto, along Bustillos St., Sampaloc, Manila. After some time, however, the image inexplicably disappeared from Sampaloc only to be found in the same place where it had been first seen in Pandacan. When it was brought back to Sampaloc church, it disappeared the second time only to be found on the very same spot where it was originally discovered.
Believing that the miraculous image wanted a home in Pandacan, the elders of the barrio, together with the Franciscan Priests of Sampaloc, decided to build a “Visita” to enshrine the image. The “Visita” was constructed on the very spot where the Holy image was found. A spring of clear running water was unearthed which was later made into a well called “The Well of the Holy Child”.