By Mahar Mangahas
In the fourth quarter of each year, Social Weather Stations surveys Filipino adults nationwide with the question, “Ang darating na taon ba ay inyong sasalubungin na may pag-asa o pangamba?” (“Will you meet the coming year with hope or with fear?”) Hope versus fear. The question is borrowed from Allensbach Institute, the pioneering German [...]
“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.