The Christmas Belen - The Soapbox Filipina
What is Christmas?
Christmas may be the tallest tree, the brightest star, the evergreen mistletoe, and frosty the snowman.
It may be a time when all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.
it would be the kris kringle gifts, the reindeers on the sleigh, the happy elves, dear old Santa and whoever in Bluesville was naughty and nice.
In this country,
it would be the the dawn masses, the parol, the puto bumbong and the children loudly singing,
” Pasko na naman
O kay tulin ng araw
Tila ba kung kailan lang…”
For Filipinos, most especially, it is all about The Belen -the depiction of the nativity scene.
It is the closest portrayal of everything about the Filipino and his family, especially during Christmas time.
It would be those baptisms, weddings, reunions and get-togethers all scheduled during this time of the year. It is about being together as a family, for Filipinos scattered all around the globe, want to be home for Christmas.
However, this year in the Philippines, The Belen evokes an emotion greater than the longingness of being with the family. After Typhoon Haiyan, the nativity scene became real and true
in the hearts of many of my countrymen affected by the storm.
Just as it was in the nativity story, they felt the presence of
…the kind innkeeper who showed Joseph & Mary the way to the stables
…shepherds & angels who kept them warm and safe
…magis bearing gifts
Many kind hearted individuals provided shelter for them. People from great nations came to this country bringing hospitals, doctors, and medicines. Strangers from different parts of the world touched many of my countrymen’s lives and generously sent help, thank you.
May God continue to bless all of you.
Let us be the families to those who had lost theirs.
Let us be that family on Christmas time -Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
May we share, our humble abode, while there are no more rooms in the inn.
May we be, like the stable boy, who had nothing and offered his time instead.
May we bring gifts greater than gold, frankincense and myrrh – like hope, strength and inspiration.
May we shine brightly, like the Star of Bethlehem. May we guide and help our countrymen in gaining their lives back.
Let us be reminded of the people in Leyte and Samar and bring the spirit of Christmas to them.
No matter how far we are from home, let us think of The Belen and think of being home.
A Blessed Christmas to everyone.
Maligayang Pasko Pilipinas!
The Typhoon Haiyan themed-belen of the Church of the Holy Sacrifice at U.P. Diliman.