The Sto. Niño is part of Philippine history, because it came with Magellan, became a native pagan idol, was reestablished as a Christian icon by Legazpi, and has become so Filipino that native legends annul its European origin by declaring it to have arisen in this land and to have been of this land since time immemorial.
In 1521, the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Zubu Island for Spain and gifted the Image of Santo Niño to the island queen, Joanna. On his death at the hands of Lapulapu’s Mactan warriors, his men fled back to Spain, leaving the image behind. In its new environment, among sun-loving people, the image stopped to be a Christian symbol. After some vain efforts on the part of the natives to destroy it, as legends say, it endured its new setting and prevailed to become a pagan idol. ' - Nick Joaquin
The Holy Image of the Child Jesus, locally know as "Santo Nino" is credited to be reason for the conversion of the entire Philippine Islands to Christianity