February 22, 2024

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant.” (Luke 1:46)
When our hearts are filled with, we cannot just contain it for ourselves. We express our gratitude by sharing it to others. We can express our gratitude and joy through music.
Joy and music are inseparable elements of life, faith, and family. Mary and Joseph and Elizabeth and Zechariah expressed their joy and gratitude through music.
The first Christmas carol was a creative and jubilant song that announced the fulfillment of God’s promise through the song proclaimed the birth of Jesus. Angels were singing “Glory to God in the highest and on Earth peace to people of goodwill.”
I reiterate, Christmas carols are meant to continue announcing the birth of Jesus. They are meant to spread the message of God, love and faithfulness and to give joy to people on Christmas season. Songs are concrete expressions of people’s joy and gratitude.
Unfortunately, Christmas caroling evolved into a fund-raising activity, but I still believe we can help educate people to retrieve the beautiful purpose of Christmas carols.
I recall mama Carol sometimes complaining about the children who regularly did caroling at home. One time she was annoyed by their noise and the same songs sung every night at home.
But inspiringly she said, “Well, I will not become poor by giving them something for food. I do not do this every day.” Children are bearers of blessings, mama Carol said.
I asked the congregation of Gonogon Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC), “What gives more joy to you, giving or receiving?”
The children in the front pews chorused, “Receiving!”
I asked the same question in Samoki BEC, the old folks and some young mothers and fathers chorused, “Giving.”
I asked the same question at the Department of Education Mountain Province during their Christmas mass and they unanimously answered, “Both!”
It’s high time to redefine the school Christmas party with gifts. Children are docile. If we persistently explain and redefine a gift as something given without conditions and attachments, the activity turns into “gift giving” instead of an “exchange gift.”
If we give and expect something in return then it ceases to be a gift. John 3:16 says it well, “For God so loved the world that He gave us his only begotten Son.” He gave without any condition.
Jesus is the gift to us all.
Surely, children will not be complaining again if they receive a gift with a lesser amount than what they gave.
Advent and Christmas season should also be the time to rectify the notion that we wait and celebrate Santa Claus. We wait and celebrate Jesus on Advent and Christmas respectively.
On Dec. 23, at Bontoc Central School, we will conduct “Lagsak nan Paskua:” Marcsongs Christmas concert, which aims to raise funds for Betwagan, Sadanga Bell Tower, one-lane road to the church at Chatol, Barlig, and Bishop Ikoy marker at Tabbrak, Anabel, Sadanga, all in Mountain Province.
We agreed and collaborated with Fr. Ferdie Fulatao for the bell tower project of Betwagan. I can feel that the bell will soon be heard by the people of Bugnay and Betwagan calling them to a reconciliation founded on justice.
We also dreamt with the Chatol BEC to collaborate for the road that reaches their chapel. The road looks like a river and it is very difficult to pass through.
Along with some concerned individuals, we planned to realize the decades-long project, “The Bishop Ikoy Park” at Tabrac, Anabel. It will be a great reminder of the big contribution of Bishop Ikoy in the stopping of Chico Dam construction during the Marcos administration.
The concert will also be the launch of my 9th Marcsongs album with original Christmas songs and covers. The album contains 25 beautiful songs.
Personalized calendars and other tokens will be available during the concert. The concert is free, but bring along something for the Marcsongs Christmas album in flash drive. Please be one of our sponsors.
I am grateful to Rev. Fr. Roland Buyagan, administrator of the Diocese of Baguio, DJ Windtalker and all the DJs of DZWR 99.9 Country Music for playing my songs.
If you want to hear my Christmas songs, you may request from 99.9 FM at 0969-040-1529.
Merry Christmas! Reach me at [email protected].