This is my very first-time celebrating Christmas in the Philippines. My co-novices and I were so excited and curious about how the celebration of Noel will be. Although we made Belem and made decorations in our community to bring forth the spirit of Christmas. We wished to see the decoration around the city, too. It was so nice that on 26th December, three communities in Manila gathered to celebrate Christmas. It was so wonderful that we prayed together, had a meal together, and exchanged gifts. It was more than I expected that the sisters brought us around the city to see light and decoration. On the way to go there, I saw many poor people on the streets begging for food, money, or something else; many slept on the road, many worked on this Christmas. They were adults and children, men and women, young and old. My heart came with the question “how to offer Christmas light to those poor people?”     

Christmas is the season of giving- giving of peace, hope, joy, and love. This light is not only for the people who I saw on the way to see Christmas light. It is for many Covid victims especially for my village who have been under quarantine since last 21st December. They are living in sorrow, anxiety, and fear. The idea of the Christmas celebration was not there in their mind due to fear of Covid. How to encourage them? How to let the peace, hope, and joy of Christmas present among them? How to make them think positively? How to help the family less worry about those victims? And how can I be at peace not to think about this matter with negative thoughts for my younger sister and cousin are included? It is not only those who are affected by Covid-19 virus, it is also about the people who are fighting for their rights and democracy such as Myanmar, Afghanistan, and many other places in this world. People are living without hope and peace. Many are crying and suffering every day. How can the light of Christmas light up the hope in them? How can the spirit of Christmas change the dictatorship mind of many leaders in the world? And how to let the peace that Christ brought embrace in our hearts?

By: Ann Cecilia

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