CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Philippine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia expressed gratitude on Thursday to the City Government of San Fernando for making Christmas for Filipinos as well as Malaysians there “very merry.”
In a letter of appreciation to Mayor Edwin Santiago, Ambassador Eduardo Malaya said “I wish to convey the Embassy's gratitude and appreciation to you and the City Government of San Fernando for your valued assistance and strong support to the Embassy's Christmas commemoration activities, through your City's donation of a five-foot parol lantern and four three-foot lanterns.”
Malaya said that the ceremonial lighting of the “Parul Sampernandu” or San Fernando lanterns will be the highlight of the Embassy's Christmas Open House on December 11 which will be attended by the Papal Nuncio, members of the diplomatic corps and other guests.
“The Open House and other commemorative events are our way of sharing Christmas cheers to Malaysian friends as well as fellow Filipinos, especially those who cannot be home in the Philippines this most festive of holidays. Thank you indeed, Mr. Mayor, for your city's valued assistance to the Embassy in sharing of our Christmas tradition to the Malaysian community,” said Malaya.
The ambassador also cited the City Tourism and Investment Promotion Office headed by Ching Pangilinan, together with Bernadette Andasan and Giant Lantern Festival 2015 Executive Committee Chairman Engr. Ernesto Cunanan, for the efficient facilitation of the lanterns.
The San Fernando lanterns are now on display at the embassy’s main Chancery building and at the gazebo.
Aside from the ceremonial lighting of the parols, the embassy will also hold the Simbang Gabi with the traditional nine-day novena masses celebrated at dawn starting December 16, which serves as the preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. The first Simbang Gabi mass will be celebrated by the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Most Reverend Julian Low Beng Kim.
The masses are a joint project of the embassy and the Federation of Filipino Associations in Malaysia (FFAM), chaired by Menchie Afionuevo.
The embassy and the Filipino community will also have a Christmas concert entitled "Pamaskong Handog" to be held on December 6 at the Amphitheatre of the Kompleks Kraft in Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, Santiago told Sun.Star Pampanga that the city is always ready to support international communities with their lantern needs to bring cheers during the Yuletide season.
“It is our way of sharing the beautiful Filipino and Fernandino Christmas traditions through our Parul Sampernandu,” he said. (JTD/Sun.Star Pampanga)