February 1, 2023

On Dec. 6 and 7, I facilitated the Department of Social Welfare and Development team building and synergy. I felt the longing of every participant for spirituality. Work is stressful especially when we are stripped from the meaning and spirituality of work.
I used music, the Bible, silence, nature, arts, video clips, quotes, PowerPoint, advent ponderings, Christmas village, and faith to facilitate the spiritual encounter.
I summarized the beautiful reflections of the participants into four:
Leadership is an authority where people see their unity in a leader. In short, leadership is a point of unity. Determination means success.
We also need to change ineffective strategy for solutions.
Collaborative leadership will realize objectives.
I am thankful to Marina Ciano and Grace Agayyong for the loving service and assistance in the spiritual encounter and to Freda Angitag Dulnuan, the provincial Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino coordinator in Mountain Province, for inviting me to walk with them in their spiritual journey.


Grand Knight Dula Padawil happily narrated his longing for the Knights of Columbus (KC) Council under his care.
“I am working with my brother knights for the spiritual deepening of our organization. We are looking forward to more spiritual activities such as recollections and retreats outside the city. We need even basic catechism because I noticed that some members are not even aware of the tenets of the Catholic church.”
It was a good and humble realization. Indeed, we are all in need of spiritual and moral boosting. The KC District Deputy Ciano Baldo who currently leads the KC of Sagada and Sabangan saw the same need in his area of responsibility. “We need church and spiritual activities to help us manage the organization.”
On Dec. 10, the two KC councils of Bontoc namely; Fr. Leon Quintilier, CICM Council and Bishop Francisco Claver, SJ Council; conducted the Christmas choral fest. It was successful for many reasons.
Commendations were received by the Bontoc councils after the event. Grand Knight Joseph Khayad remarked, “Adi akun aynalikatan nangi maneho san activity tako tay fumafachang nan brothers amed si Bro. Atty. Seichi Ofo-ob tay ukhayya cha nen invite. Iyaman unay ken chakayo am-in. God bless.”
The Bontoc KC is well known for twin trademarks in Mountain Province. It is the first organization to initiate and conduct an annual Christmas lantern parade contest and choral fest in the province. History proves that.
As an elementary grader in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, I always look forward to the twin KC significant events. The events were celebrated every Saturday closest to the first day of aguinaldo mass. Cash gifts were given to various winners according to criteria and mechanics like, best in indigenous materials, best in creativity, best in recycled materials, and most original.
I recall my older brother Ferdinand for being creative and resourceful. I appreciate him for conceptualizing new designs and able to work it out. For several years, he had been reaping noble prizes for his excellent lantern designs and craftsmanship.
As the years went on meeting the modern world and modern attitude, some entries were bought in the cities. It started to kill local initiatives and craftsmanship. Many felt sad of the gradual death of the activity until it vanished as a beautiful Christmas event in the early 2000 before it celebrated its 50th founding anniversary. It was not sustained for many reasons.
The Christmas song fest on the other hand survived many odds but survived. If I am not mistaken, it has reached more than 50 years now since its birth. This is the mark of Bontoc KC that cannot be stripped from them.
It is an annual Christmas activity turned into a beautiful and exciting Roman Catholic tradition initiated and conducted by the Bontoc KC. It deserves millions of congratulations.
There were years when the festival was not conducted especially during the pandemic. The Bontoc KC was confronted by challenges but they were able to realize their mission as an arm of the church and collaborators of priests.
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