Sun.Star streams live ‘Simbang Gabi’

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

CEBU CITY -- Thousands of Filipinos will once again gather in Catholic and Aglipayan churches across the country early morning Monday, December 16, to usher the start of the nine-day Misa de Gallo (Simbang Gabi) or dawn masses.

"Simbang Gabi" is a Filipino Christmas tradition, a series of nine dawn masses that starts as early as 4 a.m. from December 16 and until December 24.

Sun.Star, at, in partnership with the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral Parish, will stream live the nine-day dawn masses from the Cathedral to allow Filipinos here and abroad to observe the tradition online.

The live streaming can be viewed at and at, where you can also post your prayers while the mass is ongoing.

You can also share your "Simbang Gabi" experience, like photos or video clips of you and your family and friends on Sun.Star’s Facebook page at Sun.Star Philippine-news, or tag us on Twitter @sunstaronline.

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Simbang Gabi live at

The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, which was among the churches damaged by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Central Visayas last October 15, will also continue the annual “Light a Bulb” project in this year's Simbang Gabi.

Msgr. Roberto “Boy” Alesna, rector of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, said the church is pushing through with the Light a Bulb project to raise funds for the rehabilitation of the damaged church structures.

"We encourage sponsorship for the Light a Bulb project for the repair of the badly damaged heritage structures of the facade and belfry of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral," said Msgr. Alesna.

The sponsors can light their bulbs between the December 16 to 24 dawn masses, or in the 9 p.m. masses on the eve of Christmas and New Year. They will also be acknowledged and asked to light the bulb they sponsored after the Holy masses.

Interested sponsors can visit the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral Parish Office for more details on the project, or call 032 255 8823 or 032 253 6422 and look for Teresita Pilar, Angela Alvarado and Sister Fe Robles.

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral was among the churches damaged by the magnitude-7.2 quake last October. Proceeds of the Light a Bulb project this year will be used for the rehabilitation of the church. (Armie Garde/Sunnex)

The "Simbang Gabi" has its roots in the "Misa de Aguinaldo," which started in Mexico.

In 1587, Fray Diego de Soria, head monk of the Convent of San Agustin Acolman, asked permission from the Pope to hold Christmas masses outdoors because the Church could not have room for everyone who went to the services.

According to theologians, Pope Sixtus V eventually ruled that in the Philippines, pre-Christmas dawn Masses would be held starting December 16 -- the decree in keeping with the nine-day festival of Filipinos to celebrate special occasions.

The masses coincide with the first rice harvest season in the Philippines, and the farmers had to be in the fields before sunrise, which meant the masses had to be moved up to 4 a.m. (SBG/Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 15, 2013.

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