CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Filipinos linked in thought, word and deed


HONG KONG (SE): Church-based Filipino communities from around Hong Kong gathered at the parish of Notre Dame in Ma Tau Wei on May 30 to celebrate the annual Pistahan sa Nayon (Town Festival) 2017 organised by the Simbayanan-KAMMPI-Hong Kong.
Normally held as part of Philippine Independence Day celebrations on June 12, candidates for the Mutya (Pearl of the Village) contest were encouraged to dress in Maria Clara style, the fashion of the period of national hero, José Rizal.
Running under the theme, Ako ay Pilipino, sa Isip, sa Salita at sa Gawa (I am a Filipino in thought, in word and in deed), the day began with a Mass celebrated by Father Jovito Dales and Father Rodolfo Jacobe. They were assisted by a deacon, Reverend Francis Mahilum.
Father Dales spoke about the meaning of being a bridge, likening all of us to bridges of Christ that link people together and unite them.
“Being a Christian we are called to be a bridge. A bridge to bring people closer to God, a bridge to bring love across divisions,” he said. “If we sin, Jesus Christ is the bridge between us and the Father to ask forgiveness. When we are troubled, Jesus Christ brings us to God. Jesus minds the gap and he doesn’t mind filling the gap with his life.”
Father Dales explained how amazed he was when he first saw the many overseas workers serving in the Church come together for the event, despite having just one day off.
The lunch break is always a popular time and the programme proper was introduced with the singing of the Philippine National Anthem led by the secretary of the KAMMPI, Nora Juan. 
Bernardita Serapion, the auditor of the group, led the opening prayer, while Rosario Araquil, the president, gave the welcoming address.
Jalilo dela Torre, the labour attaché from the Philippine Consulate; Fred Valencia, the general manager of Metro Bank; and Merlinda Mercado, his marketing office; took on the challenging role of judges to assess the on stage performances based on presentation, costume design and talent.
For her biting presentation depicting how Filipinos are exploited by foreign militaries, Jocelyn Del Rio, from the Holy Family Filipino English-speaking Community, bagged the Mutya 2017 title, best in presentation and best in talent awards.
Best gown award and runner up in the Mutya contest went to Florcena José, from the St. Thomas English Community. Melva Balderas, from Notre Dame, came third.
Best production number went to Judilyn Niepez, from the Mother of Good Counsel Saturday Group; and the Miss Photogenic award was given to Teodora Calma, from the Sunday Group of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Filipinos.
It was a good day out for all those who joined in the event and the Sunday Examiner wishes the Filipino community in Hong Kong a happy Independence Day.


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