Sungduan: Spirit of giving

Stand Up for Life

FILIPINOS in Northern California continue to embrace the traditional way of celebrating the holiday season.

Dr. Clarito de Francia, 2005 Baguio City Outstanding Citizen who is now based in Santa Maria, California with his wife Rosemarie of De Francia Realty, said the celebration of Christmas is one very important occasion that they always look forward to. They observe the season by reliving their childhood tradition of planning and joining the Simbang Gabi at the Saint Mary of the Assumption Church.

“After each mass, we have a light breakfast at the parish hall. We consider this practice as solemn and brings us happiness because of the fulfillment of our Lord's divine promise. Additionally, being believers bonds us stronger as one in faith,” de Francia added.

Together with the Filipino Seniors Association of Santa Maria Valley & Vicinity lead by President Thelma Cabanas they also bonded as family and enjoyed a happy fellowship in their Christmas Party on December 22 dubbed “Celebrating Christmas through Sharing and Giving."

The annual event highlighted by dances, presentation of foods, music, and Santa gift giving was attended by Filipinos from the different States of America.

This was attended by the Benguet 13 headed by their President Rocky Ocab who hails from Km 6, La Trinidad with his wife Susan who will be crowned as Reyna on December 29.

Elvira de Francia-Dela Peña, a Registered Nurse at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Santa Maria, California also attended the heartwarming and wonderful event.

“Every Christmas is special. Christmas is truly the perfect time to rejoice and celebrate the love of our dear God and family and to create great memories that will last a lifetime,” Dela Pena said.

The Filipino American Association of Santa Maria Valley & Vicinity also had a meaningful way of celebrating the birth of Christ.

Rosario Sagisi, the outgoing president of the group, said they conducted caroling activities to raise funds for specific beneficiaries.

“It’s a tradition in the Philippines to people that we know here in the United States, and also to raise funds for scholarship of the FilAm,” she said.

They were able to raised $6000 through their successful caroling activity promoting the essence of giving and sharing.

Charles Lara, the incoming president of the Filipino American Association of Santa Maria Valley & Vicinity, said celebrating Christmas the Filipino way gives them joy and happiness.

“Through this, we pass the “Spirit of Giving. We touch the families that we carol and let them feel the happiness of giving monetary “Aginaldo” to fund our cause like scholarship grants, feeding the homeless, and others.”

Truly, the celebration of Christmas is more joyful when you are with your family and friends. It becomes even more meaningful when you make other people happy by sharing your blessings.

Have a prosperous New Year 2019 everyone!

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