Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas in Davao




We only have one day more before Christmas. We had the last Misa de Gallo (early dawn mass) this morning and tonight we will celebrate the Christmas vigil mass. I did the first day of the Misa de Gallo in the parish church, I also did the 8th day yesterday. As usual the church was packed, and the people occupied even the parking lot since there was not enough room in the church. We put a screen with lcd projector so that those outside could still see the liturgy inside. There were so many young people who seemed to enjoy being together with their friends at the early hour of the morning.
.
The Christmas parties in the parish started as early as three weeks ago and they will continue up to the end of the year. The other night I joined the party of the Davao Redemptorist Youth Mission Team (DRYM team). The members of the original mission team were present together with those who make up the present youth mission team. They consider me their "founder." I was delighted to see the members of the original team, most of whom are now professionals and others are already married. Some even brought their children. I encouraged the original members of the DRYM team to support and guide the next generation of youth engaged in evangelizing & organizing the young people in our parish.
.
Several days ago we celeb rated the first death anniversary of Fr. Abdon Josol - a member of our community who died of cancer before Christmas last year. I presided the memorial mass with the Redemptorist community composed of the senior community and the Redemptorist students, the house staff and the centennial group. After the mass we had merienda-cena.
.
This afternoon at 5 pm, the whole Redemptorist community will gather for communal penitential celebration, followed by a renewal of vows and then the Gaudiamus - food and drinks - before the Christmas vigil. As usual the Redemptorist students will be singing the Christmas carol before the start of the vigil mass at 10 pm. One of the songs that they will be singing is the popular Italian Christmas song - Tu Scende (composed by our founder San Alfonso di Liguori). I taught them the song - using the youtube clip of Luciano Pavarotti and also Andrea Bocelli.
.
We don't expect any noise from firecrackers and fireworks tonight due to the ban imposed by the local government. So it will indeed be a silent night.
.
In spite of my cold and sore throat, I have continued my training for the Cebu marathon, although I have started to taper. Most of my runs are just short intense sprint intervals (Tabata protocol) and strength training. I did my last long run 3 weeks ago (36 km) and joined the half-marathon 2 weeks ago. This afternoon I will just do a 45 minutes easy run.
.
This is the 16th year that I will be celebrating Christmas in Davao. This could be the last Christmas that I will be spending here. After the end of this semester in March, I will be moving on to a new ministry and will be based in another part of the country. I will savor every moment of my remaining months here.
.
I look forward to the coming New Year 2011.

1 comment:

Sunshine & Twinkles said...

Merry Christmas to you Fr. Picx!!! -Astrid