Noche Buena para sa pamilya-A A +A
By Mimi Olarga
Saturday, December 28, 2013
MERRY Christmas, dear readers! How was your celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Festive? With wine, cold cuts of smoked ham, lechon, queso de bola, grapes, apples and pears? Was it with the usual fare of pasta and salad? Or with a simple loaf of bread spread with margarine and sugar and downed with soda?
Whatever food we have on Christmas Eve, Noche Buena to most of us means a time to gather all the members of the family around the dining table to praise and thank the Lord for the coming and birth of the Emmanuel.
Much as this is a big birthday celebration, the Noche Buena really connotes a traditional dinner.
Moreover, the holiday rushes on December 23 and 24 indicate that people really see to it that even with the simple fare of bread, or pancit, Jesus' birthday would be celebrated.
But what if the financial capacity of some of our brethren does not merit them to have some?
Then share. Buy and give them a Noche Buena pack, say the members of the TUP Visayas Staff Association. Inspired by a church's practice, the "noche buena para sa pamilya" project of the officers and members of the Staff Association of the Technological University of the Philippines Visayas made them pool together P300 each, which they used to buy loaves of bread, home-made peanut butter, ube-flavored rolls, lechon manok, big bottles of soda drinks, red apples and packs of fried and sweetened popped rice. All these comestibles were happily packed by the members with love, hope and prayer. And in cooperation with the officials of Barangay Zone 12 of Talisay City, beneficiary families from the nine puroks of Alunsiman, Amor, Bulak, Encarnacion,Manpower, Mapalaron, Mainuswagon, Orosa, Santan were identified.
So in the morning of December 24, a holiday, the TUPVSA members, in their Christmas-sy green and red shirts, came in early to office to still work: get the venue ready, pack the aforementioned goodies, and make the beneficiaries feel welcome, happy, and special. With the twine of the gift-ribbons curling beside the big bundles filled with so much love, coupled with the smell of the newly-cooked lechon manok, and spiced with the sweet-smelling apples, who can resist not to come and get such a give-away?
And right at ten in the morning, the beneficiaries arrived. Enthusiastic and expectant, their faces were lined with happy smiles and living hope.
In behalf of Barangay Zone 12, punong barangay Wilfredo Hinolan, kagawads Thelma Espada, Antonio Durendes, and Joseph Tajan came over, grateful for their people.
But do you know who were more thankful and whose hearts were overflowing with joy? The officers and members of the TUPV Staff Association! Why? Because the thought and the act of sharing a little of their resources with the simple, genial and gentle people of Barangay Zone 12 made them experience a more real, wondrous, happy and meaningful Christmas. The friendly faces, warm shakes and sincere "thank-you's" each of the Staff Association officers and members received from the beneficiaries were a fattening food for their spirit. So, even before the clock struck midnight that day, the gentle Samaritans are more glad and comforted in the thought that somewhere out there, in some humble nooks of the nine "puroks" of Barangay Zone 12, some families have something to partake for their noche buena.
So who says a noche buena is far behind from folks who have less if there are kind people who care and share? Bon appétit, everyone. May Christ be the real center of our lives in and out of this season. May the coming year be more filled with grace, peace and prosperity for all!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on December 28, 2013.