Filipino Americans are the second largest Asian American group in the U.S. and are more than half of the population of Asian Americans in Las Vegas. “Filipino Americans are an immensely influential part of the community and have made important contributions to our society,” says Edwin Balecha, sales manager at Palm Northwest Cemetery in Las Vegas.
To recognize the Filipino Americans in their community, Edwin and his team at Palm Northwest Cemetery are hosting the first annual blessing of the new Santo Niño Garden later this month. The Santo Niño Garden is a peaceful area of remembrance and a beautiful place for families to establish a lasting legacy. A statue of Santo Niño stands in the center of the garden.
Santo Niño is the Roman Catholic title for the Child Jesus associated with a religious image of the Christ Child widely venerated as miraculous by Filipino Catholics. The image depicts the Child Jesus, with a serene countenance, in the attitude and dress of a Spanish monarch and is one of the most beloved and recognizable Filipino cultural icons.
“This is the first blessing we’ve hosted for the garden, but we hope to continue this tradition for many years to come,” says Edwin.
The featured the blessing performed by Father Frank Yncierto, a reception, and entertainment by the Filipiniana Dance Company of Las Vegas.
“In order to adhere to social distancing protocols, attendance for the event is by invitation only, but the team at Palm Northwest Cemetery hopes to broaden the event in the future, especially in this time. The community is thrilled by the Santo Niño Garden, and we hope it continues to bring peace and blessings to our Filipino American friends and neighbors,” says Edwin.