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  • The Pilipino choir at St. Mary’s Parish celebrated their 2nd Anniversary last Saturday. Our theme was “Barrio Fiesta” because we are an all Filipino choir singing Pilipino Hymns during the 3:00 clock mass at St. Mary’s Church every Sunday. The ladies danced “Pandanggo sa Ilaw” to the delight of the crowd. Our male members sang Kundiman songs like those old but beautiful Harana song namely; “O, Ilaw” and “Dungawin mo Hirang” sang by Ruben Tagalog; “Lumang Simbahan” sang by Larry Miranda and “Sapagkat Kami ay Tao Lamang” by Ric Manrique.

    Listening to those old Harana songs touched me to the core of my being. They  are so beautiful!!! I spent hours and hours listening to them and never got tired of them. They are our national treasures. It is such a pity that we seldom hear them anymore.

    I’ve witnessed an actual Harana scene performed by some guys to ladies who lived in a house in front of ours in Iloilo. With 2 guitar players accompanying them, they sang 4 songs before they were invited inside the house where they sang more harana songs. I will never forget that wonderful cultural experience!! That Pilipino practice of our guys wooing our “dalagang Pilipinas” by serenading them is now a thing of the past. We have lost a national treasure!! However, those beautiful harana songs  still exist and it is up to us to promote and revive them or we will lose them forever. These songs can be found at you tube.

    Just type “Kundiman songs” and you’ll enjoy them to your hearts’ content. We, at the MHHS will try to promote and revive those Kundiman songs, just as we have already started to revive the making of our Parols during Christmas time.

    I’m inviting those who love these Kundiman songs to join us at MHHS at any afternoon or evening. All of us can agree to meet at a certain day and time and reminisce our past experiences through these beautiful songs. We have a piano at the multi-purpose room downstairs. Any piano player volunteer or a guitar player or players would be most welcome. MHHS will provide copies of the songs. We can start with a small group of 5 or 6 music lovers. If you are interested, phone (604)-879-3277 and leave your name and phone number and email if possible so I can contact you.

    We have another beautiful religious tradition, called “Bisita Iglesia,” during our Holy Week Celebration. After the Holy Thursday church services, we visit with our families or group of friends some churches close to where we live, to adore the Exposed Blessed Sacrament; make the Way of the Cross; pray the Holy Rosary, etc.

    This is an opportunity for families and groups to have a common activity during Holy Week. We will  ask and notify parish priests in Vancouver about our intention. We will publish the parishes that we have contacted and have agreed to open their churches for us.

    I’m sure the Archdiocese will welcome this initiative to promote yet another one of our Pilipino religious tradition. Just last December, during our Simbang Gabi mass held at the Holy Rosary Cathedral, Archbishop Miller acknowledged and praised the Pilipino community for our valuable contribution to the Canadian community by introducing Simbang Gabi. It has enhanced and revived spiritual growth in the Archdiocese. Bravo. Mabuhay ang Pilipino. Mabuhay tayong lahat!!

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