by Deliza Maye Fernandez
BALAGTAS - Along with the warmest celebration of most of the Filipinos in the country are the policemen and traffic enforcers who seem to engage into the cold Yuletide season.
Three policemen of Balagtas Municipal Police Station have agreed to the point that Christmas also means giving up the celebration for the sake of duty.
“Matagal ko nang binura sa kalendaryo 'yong Pasko. Basta’t nasa linya ng military kasi, walang Pasko,” said SPO1 David Gumaraos.
Just like him, Intelligence Officer Aguilar seemed to have the same outlook on the concept of Christmas.
“Malungkot din kasi walang celebration. Ang primary objective kasi namin eh magsilbi,” he admitted.
PO3 Boifacio Ruma, however, said that doing their job during holidays is as overwhelming as one celebrates the Christmas in the typical way.
“Abnormal kasi 'yong duty namin. We celebrate our Christmas in the street because we protect the community to maintain peace and order. 'Yon na ang pinaka-Pasko namin,” Ruma asserted.
On the contrary regarding the lame views on Christmas of the policemen, the traffic enforcers also have conflicts in their schedules but they always make it up for Christmas.
Rolando Alcaraz and Ed Reyes stated that they always make time for their family because they believe it’s the true meaning of Christmas.
“Hindi pumapalya 'yong pagsisimba namin ng pamilya, pagkasimba sa umaga, deretso na sa trabaho,” Alcaraz added.
These five people who are always in service may have their own way of spending their holidays but the common denominator of serving the people would always be present in them.
by Dahren Sta. Ana
The entire Chapel of Sto. Rosario was filled by a large number of residents of Barangay Look 1st and Lugam who attended the first day of Misa de Gallo or Simbang gabi, December 16.
Almost one thousand residents of the said barangay adhere in the first day of the Christmas tradition.
According to Sister Theresita Faustino, Chapel president, they expected that a lot of devoted Catholics will come in the first day of Simbang gabi.
“Siguro Kulang-kulang mga isang libo kasi punung-puno eh, dito lang sa loob eh apaw na apaw ang tao. Inasahan na namin 'yon kasi ganoon naman talaga kapag unang araw ng simbang gabi. Mga more or less one thousand people,” she said.
Faustino also noticed that many Catholics attended the Misa de Gallo than the ordinary mass. “Mas marami 'yong nagsisimba ngayon kasi 'yong simbang gabi ay isang pinakamahalagang pagdiriwang ng sansinukob, ng buong mundo, kaya 'yong simbang gabi ay talagang pinaghahandaan ng buong mamamayan.”
Meanwhile, almost half of the attendees chose to stand outside the chapel until the mass ended.
“Masikip na kasi sa loob tapos mainit pa, unang araw kasi ng misa kaya ang daming tao, dito na lang kami sa labas, dinig din naman 'yong sinasabi ng pari,” explained Rosalie Santos, 35.
“Ayos lang kahit nakatayo kami, ang importante na naman 'yong salita ng Diyos,” said Beth Mendiola, 51.
“Hindi naman kasi namin kaya gumising nang maaga para maupo sa loob eh, ayos na kami dito,” said Mirna Ilag, 61.
On the other hand, for the preparation of Misa de Gallo, the church coordinators and sponsors set a meeting to talk about the preparation in this coming December 23.
One of the things they talked about is the painting of the church.
According to Sister Catherine Santiago, one of the coordinators, first, they discussed the plan of painting the church to make it more beautiful before Christmas comes.
“Una, pagpapapintura dahil gusto natin sa araw ng pasko eh maganda 'yong ating simbahan,” she said.
It was Pascual Pacho Chico who sponsored the materials to be used in the painting of the chapel.
Second, Christmas decorations to be put up were also discussed. The money to be used will be coming from the funds of the chapel.They also talked about the things that will be used, including the choir who will sing every morning.
“Ang simbang gabi ay paghahanda para sa pagbabalik natin sa Diyos. Kilalanin natin ang Panginoon higit sa lahat,” Sister Catherine ended.
The Holy mass in Sto. Rosario chapel starts at 5am in the morning led by Rev. Father Willy Lucas, the Parish priest.