Christmas Thoughts

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By Rox Peña


Thursday, December 19, 2013

TIME flies so fast. It seems like only yesterday when I was at the memorial park last All Saints' Day to visit the grave of my sister. And now it’s only five days left before Christmas. This will be our first Christmas without our bunso. Anyway, I know that she is now safely in the arms of Jesus, the birthday celebrant.


Finally, a word from the Church about the Simbang Gabi (Dawn Mass) in malls. Cardinal Tagle discouraged the holding of Simbang Gabi masses in shopping malls, except those which have chapels. I think this is only proper. The Mass is a solemn and sacred activity which should not be distracted by shoppers.

At the Marquee Mall in Angeles City, the simbang gabi masses were held at the fountain area (called Marquee Park) to accommodate the huge number of mass goers. When I called Marquee to ask where the masses are being held, I was told that it depends on the weather. Last Sunday it was celebrated at the Marquee Park but the following day it was at the Chapel due to the sudden rainfall. It seems that the Archdiocese of San Fernando did not issue the same reminder as the Archdiocese of Manila.

Masses in shopping malls are an issue for some parishes especially those near these commercial establishments. I saw a sign posted at the San Agustin Church in the City of San Fernando which goes like this: “ We worship in churches and shop in malls”. Nanu kayang asabi ng Apung Ceto?

Christmas is the time for 13th month pay and bonuses. The BIR was quick to remind the public that bonuses exceeding P30,000 should be subject to tax. It’s good that there is a pending bill in congress which seeks to increase the non-taxable ceiling to P75,000. I hope this would be passed soon so that we would have a merrier Christmas next year.


Tuloy pa rin ang Pasko for the survivors of typhoon Yolanda. In fact, it’s precisely for the helpless, the wounded, the homeless and the poor that Christ was born on Christmas day. Let’s continue praying for our countrymen in eastern Visayas and extend whatever help we can for the recovery of the affected areas.

In Mabalacat City, our CSWD prepared a simple party for the survivors of typhoon Yolanda on Monday, December 23. There are about 100 individuals from the affected areas who flew to Manila by C-130 and were adopted by their relatives in Mabalacat. For those who want to help these victims, please bring your gifts or any donation to the Mabalacat City Hall on Monday.



Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on December 20, 2013.


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