The Trust

The NZ – FILIPINO STO NINO DEVOTEES TRUST was founded on 2nd February 1996 as a charitable trust incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957.  It has Donee and Legal Charity status.

The objectives of the Trust are:
  • To promote & enhance the devotion, organize and encourage the adoration and veneration to the Holy Child Jesus, Senor Santo Nino thru:
    • weekly religious service
    • weekly house to house visitation
    • promoting religious activities/devotion
    • organize the provision for the annual religious fiesta celebration
  • To create Community awareness and understanding of Filipino Culture and tradition:
    • By organizing seminars, talks and documentaries on Philippine History, culture & traditions
    • By organizing coaching sessions on conversational Philippine language (Tagalog) to retain cultural understanding of language
    • By organizing Sinulog Dance competitions
    • By organizing Queen of Festivity competitions
    • By teaching cultural dances & traditions, especially to the youth
  • To maintain an ongoing support and assistance to New & Existing migrants in their settlement in New Zealand, Addressing the risk of isolation:
    • By promoting & encouraging support groups thru networking
    • By engaging a community access radio program to carry out information on various settlement and relevant day to day issues that may have an impact on migrants
    • By publishing a quarterly newsletter highlighting current News and activities in the communities, important tips to migrants and knowledge sharing
  • To organize youth development programs that will help enhance youth skills & abilities and promote awareness of preventive Approach to diverse influences
    Enhance youth skills in music and arts thru:

    • Hip-hop dance training sesssion
    • Break dance training sessions
    • Drum-line training sessions
    • Involvement in Choral groups, theater and musical bands
    • Learning cultural & traditional dances and songs
  • Organize youth sports & recreation activities and Organize Life skills seminars/events for all Filipino migrants
    • cookery lessons
    • Pastry & Baking lessons
    • Street Basketball
    • School holiday programs

The following people have been confirmed as members of the Board of  Trustees for NZ-Filipino Sto Niño Devotees Trust

1. Miriam Batucan

2.Oscar Batucan

3. Mary Anne Batucan

4. Joyce Gesta

5. Maria Consuelo ‘Chichi’ Abadingo

6. Alex Andales

7. Carmela Andales

8. Merced Belleza

9. Joy Caballero

10. Bebeth Cutten

11. Diane Edmonds

12. Cherry Thelmo-Fernandez

13. Adolito Flores

14, Belinda Flores

15. Mila Rigby

16. Prescilla Suerto

17. Maria Victoria Villaraza


Miriam Batucan is the founding chairman of the NZ-Filipino Sto Nino Devotees Trust in 1994 and prime mover of Sinulog NZ activities since 1994. An accountant by profession. Have worked with big multi-national companies here in New Zealand for the past 26 years. Founder of NZ-Filipinos Sto Nino Devotees Trust and Sinulog NZ. Recipient of an Award from Pope Benedict VI, the Benemerenti Medal. Recipient of an award in Clinical Pastoral Education. Very much involved in Pastoral care among Filipinos and non-Filipinos in various communities especially with the young people, couples and families. Actively involved in various religious and community-orientated activities for Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike.

Her Message : All Glory and Praise to God for giving us the opportunity to help spread the devotions to Senor Santo Nino here in Auckland New Zealand.

Thank you to all devotees and community groups who have worked hand in hand with us in making alive the devotions to Senor Santo Nino here in this beautiful part of the world, Aotearoa New Zealand.

25 years of faithful devotions to our beloved Senor Santo Nino is a great blessing for us all. Let us keep the devotions going and pass them on to the next generations.

Viva Senor Santo Nino! Pit Senor!


Oscar Batucan answers the call for a true Servant Leader. He relentlessly promotes community service. He has a reputation of a good communicator, a team builder, idea generator, problem solver. He is a person of professional and personal integrity.

Oscar is a graduate of Bachelor in Commerce.

Highlights of his work and community service include:

  • Senior Executive Officer, DSW South Auckland District
  • District Manager IRD, Child Support Agency South Auckland
  • Case Manager, Ministry of Social Development, WINZ
  • Justice of the Peace since 1994
  • Project Development Manager
  • Job placement and Consultancy – Employment, Education and Enterprise
  • Recipient of an Award from Pope Benedict VI, the Benemerenti Medal
  • Involvement in youth development and migrant advocacy

Mary Anne Batucan is currently working as a senior software analyst for Trustwave Inc. Anne, as she is known to her friends and family, has 12 years experience in IT in the telecommunications, airline, healthcare, email and web security industries. As well as a having a full time job Anne is also a managing director of a property investment company and director of a software development company.

She has been actively involved in the Trust’s activities since its inception and is currently the secretary for the trust

Joyce Gesta graduated Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Accounting. Been with Cooperative Bank (formerly PSIS) since 1988.  Currently branch manager, Onehunga Branch since 2005 but have had manager roles since 1993.
Maria Consuelo “Chichi” Abadingo coordinates the community and choir groups involved in the yearly 9 days Novena as part of her Liturgical Committee duty. She administers the Sinulog NZ Social Media pages as well as maintains the website with updates on all activities of the Trust.
She has over 20 years of work experience in business software development. When she is not doing geek work as an ERP Business Analyst, she dabbles in photography and blogging, attends dance & fitness classes, and does voluntary forum administration work for an Auckland NZ-Filipino group.
Alex Andales is a Digital Logic Technician. Alex currently works for The Spencer on Byron Hotel as Stores Controller .
Carmela Andales is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Commerce-Accounting. She currently works for the Auckland UniServices Ltd as Payroll Clerk.

Merced Belleza is currently working as Account Manager for Foodstuffs Akl Ltd Company – banner of Pak N Save, New World, Four Square and Gilmours Cash and Carry shops.

She also has overseas experience in Accounting and Auditing field.

Joy Caballero is a versatile results-oriented professional with more than 20 years IT experience in the energy, telecommunications, banking and finance, insurance, gaming, dairy, transport, healthcare solutions and software consultancy industries from programme/project management, softwaretesting, quality assurance, business analysis, training, implementation/release management, change management, documentation and supporting systems using leadership, business, communications, interpersonal, analytical, and organizational skills.

Trustee of Sto. Nino Trust since 1994 and Senior Organiser of Sinulog Festival (Annual Philippine Religious and Cultural Festival; between 5,000-6,000 attendees-audience base)

Bebeth Cutten is a long time Trustee. She actively promotes and supports all projects of the Trust most specially the annual grand Sinulog festival.

Diane Edmonds (née Gantuangco) joined the devotion to Senyor Santo Niño in New Zealand in 2008 through coordinating fellow Filipino devotees from South Auckland to participate in the Sinulog cultural dance offering.
Year on year, it is so inspiring to see the growing devotion and hearing miracles shared by fellow devotees.
Participating in the Sinulog prayer dance offering and assisting with organising the festivities is a humbling way to give back to the Community, a unique and special way to thank God for the many blessings and answered prayers.
Viva Senyor Santo Niño! Pit Senyor!

Cherry Thelmo-Fernandez has had more than a decade of experience as a writer and editor of various print publications, followed by several years as an eventologist and publicist. She is currently a social media specialist for The Shannon Company, which advocates behaviour change for sustainability.

Ado Flores is an experienced financial and management accountant in the financial services industry.  Currently, he is a Senior Financial Accountant for Sovereign New Zealand, an ASB Bank subsidiary, seconded to handle the Insurance Prudential Supervision Act 2010 compliance project. Ado previously worked in a number of financial accounting roles in other ASB Bank affiliated companies, Jacques Martin NZ and ASB Group Investments.  His work exposure in New Zealand covers the banking, superannuation, insurance and investment industry.

Belinda Flores is an accounting professional in the education-related services industry. She is the Accounts Administrator of Cognition Education New Zealand, the leading provider of education consultancy services to the Ministry of Education and overseas. Her work experience covers the major facets of financial and management reporting. She also has extensive accounting experience overseas for a number of companies in the transport, manufacturing and services sector.

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