January 29, 2023

One of the beautiful facets of the “500 Years: Sing to Heal” online challenge launched during Lenten season and celebrated on Easter season was the harmonious collaboration of the Roman Catholic Church with other religious sects, the church, and the government with the uniformed personnel.
The event was an experience of the prayer of Jesus, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:21)
The online activity was a joint venture of the Episcopalian Diocese of Northern Philippines (EDNP) under Bishop Brent Alawas; Department of Public Works and Highways-Benguet District 2 under Engr. Alexander Castañeda; Mountain Province Provincial Police Office under Col. Ruben Andiso; local government of Sagada under Mayor James Pooten, Jr.; Office of Rep. Maximo Dalog, Jr.; provincial government unit of Mountain Province under Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr.; and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Sagada, and Marcsongs under yours truly.
Gratitude goes to all of them and equally to all the donors who shared their blessings for the cash prizes, certificates, and t-shirts.
The theme of the 500 Years of Christianity is “Gifted to Give.”
Indeed, it fits well for everybody to thank God by becoming gifts to others. “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)
Indeed, the event was about generous giving. It encouraged more people to share and spread positivity through creativity. The sick people quarantined in the hospitals and isolation centers testified that the performances of the youth uplifted them from boredom and depression. At least, it gave them hope and life in the midst of the pandemic.
I love the line of Flora Bandas Armas and Lei Aldana. When I thanked them for sharing their blessings especially in these trying times of the pandemic, they responded to my message of gratitude exactly with the same line, “We are just responsible stewards of the gifts. It’s not ours. It is God’s that is why it is our mission to share them.”
St. James beautifully puts it, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17) and the Acts of the Apostles adds, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”(Acts 20:35)
I wish to thank all the donors of prizes, t-shirt tokens, and logistics for the successful conduct of the online event.
The major prizes were given during the awarding at Banao, Bauko except for San Pablo Seminary. Our generous givers were Rep. Dalog, Jr. for the major prizes and Gov. Lacwasan for the consolation prizes.
Thanks to B/Gen. Tellio Ngis-o, Col. Andiso, John Castañeda, Ciano Baldo, Alexander Castañeda, Gilbert Castañeda, Donald Castañeda, Carmen Lardizabal, Hermie and Gloria Castañeda, Ella Moguigui, Virgie Sally, Ferdinand and Madeline Castañeda, Melody Malwagay Lopez, Jane Gogoc, Julita Bangloy, Frank and Flor Armas, Stela Chumacog, Nora Okoren, Butch and Lei Aldana, and the anonymous donors for the t-shirts and logistics.
Reach me at [email protected] or at 0908-727-6735.