Kaplag is a Cebuano term for “finding” or “discovery”. The celebration refers to the historic finding of the religious relic, the image of the Santo Niño, on April 28, 1565. The image is believed to be brought by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 as a gift to Rajah Humabon and his wife, Amihan who were converted to the Christian faith. The image was discovered by one of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi’s soldiers, Juan Camus, in a partially burned hut.
The 450th Anniversary of Kaplag will also commemorate the 450 years of Augustinian presence in the Philippines. Also, the celebration marks the 50th Anniversary of the Santo Niño Church as having been elevated to the honorific title, “Basilica Minore” – a title conferred in 1965 by Pope Paul VI through his Papal Legate Archbishop Ildebrando Cardinal Antonuitti.
The celebration is spearheaded by the Order of Saint Augustine – Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu.