For close to four hours yesterday, Tacloban Fiesta Day June 30, 2010, unknowing church goers find a bare altar at the Sto. Niño Parish Church with the Child Jesus image conspicuously missing.

The El Capitan leaves its pedestal as it goes on a fluvial and land procession.

The bare retablo with a “missing” Sto. Niño happens only once a year, briefly for a few hours.

It is a rare sight.

El Capitan is brought down from his throne up in the retablo, in preparation for the fluvial and land procession.

The original, the one and only, miraculous image of the Tacloban Sto. Niño – El Capitan, resplendent in his diamond-studded crown (one of three crowns) which he gets to wear only on very special occasions. The crowns are kept in a bank vault most of the time and are only used on these rare occasions.

The ivory face of the image visibly shows again the minute cracks which were repaired a couple of years back.

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