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This refers to Asuncion David Maramba’s commentary ( “How will the CBCP handle this?” Opinion, 12/2/13) on the Vatican’s instruction to “national bishops’ conferences around the world to conduct a wide-ranging poll of Catholics asking their opinions on Church teachings.” To appreciate better the Church’s stand on moral issues such as the use of contraceptives [...]
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
Filipino homes are festive for both Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations with some slight differences: Gifts are exchanged after the noche buena (Dec. 24), while media noche (Dec. 31) is lit up by sparklers (luces) and noisy firecrackers to drive away the bad fortune and spirits of the past year. Filipino tables on these [...]
By Ramon Farolan
For the first time in many, many years, our family was complete for the Christmas holidays. All three grandchildren were in town with two from Chicago—and I was reminded of the saying that “grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.” As Mary H. Waldrip put it: “They are God’s way [...]
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
Christmas gifts have been opened, the sweets digested and the cholesterol delights of noche buena are clogging our arteries—yet many Filipinos are already looking forward to the next feast, media noche, to bid goodbye to the old year and greet the new one with hope.
By Jose Ma. Montelibano
We are celebrating the Christmas Season still, Christmas Day has come and gone, but not the spirit, not at all the spirit. Most Filipinos are Christian, and even the Muslim minority, and the Communist Left, have traditionally accepted this season as very special to Christians.
“Merry Christmas!” This is the greeting I have received most this season from people I met. Each time I hear those words, the more I love Christmas here in the Philippines. In this country, families gather in their homes to celebrate Christmas not for the food but to be with their loved ones.
Christine Joy Sarsosa, a “Yolanda” survivor from Leyte, turned 14 yesterday, in a tent shelter in Cebu City. By contemporary standards, it was an austere birthday and a bleak Christmas. Her aunt, a single mother of three, told Inquirer correspondent Carmel Loise Matus they would use the food packs distributed by donors as their noche buena, the traditional hearty meal Filipino families prepare on Christmas Eve. A simple meal at an evacuation center: This was what Christmas amounted to for the Sarsosa family—and tens of thousands of families affected by the major calamities that struck the country in the last four months of the year.
By Belinda A. Aquino
The old Liberty House in Honolulu, which has become Macy’s, was an iconic department store that was especially popular during the Christmas season.
In November, when the Vatican released “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel), the first official “apostolic exhortation” by Pope Francis, the document immediately caused a sensation. In it, the Argentine Pontiff who had immediately won the hearts of people everywhere with his simple ways and caring words confirmed in writing that the change in tone and temperament he was bringing to the Catholic Church was not for show. He meant business, and he had very specific ideas about the changes he wanted to see in the Church.
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
When I think beyond carolers and inaanak collecting their gifts with the greeting “Maligayang Pasko,” I often wonder: How would we celebrate Christmas if Spain did not come to our shores in the 16th century? How different would Christmas be if Spain ceded the Philippines to Portugal in accordance with the 1493 papal bull Inter caetera that cut the world in half like an orange, and provided Spain and Portugal with rights over areas of the world unknown to them that each would “discover”? (The Philippines lay on the Portuguese side of the world.)
By Michael L. Tan
Some time back I wrote about how difficult it seems to translate “Silent Night” into Filipino or other local languages because Christmas in the Philippines is always so festive, filled with fanfare, and rarely, well, silent.
By Rina Jimenez-David
Christmas is always special, but this year’s celebration will be extra special because, at least for my family, it will be a homecoming of sorts.