Christmas in Our Hearts

Ric PatricioNo country in the world can hold candle to the kind of Christmas celebrations in the Philippines.  When the first “Ber” month comes, this signals the start of our Christmas season that culminates on January 6 of the following year.

My two Indonesians friends, Jordan Franky Sinaga and Surya Sentosa Surbakti who are with Water Missions International (WMI)-Indonesia were awe-inspired by the Christmas lights and decorations that they saw.  Another friend from Rwanda, Josue Mpayamaguro, who is with WMI headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina was also touched by the glittering Christmas lights in Pototan, Iloilo.

When Ed Sonza and I, and with the unstinted support of the CPU Alumni Association, started the Christmas Kantahan sa CPU more than a decade ago, one of the favorite contest pieces by the participants was Christmas in Our Hearts.  This led to our invitation of the singer-composer of the song, Jose Mari Chan, to be the chief judge of the singing contest held at the CPU parade ground in 2004. Eventually, I was also successful in appealing for a P500,000 donation from Mr. Chan as I was then the  designated executive director of the P100-million CPU Centennial Development Fund.

Much have been said and written about Christmas but when I received the shared email from my friend, Samuel P. Dorillo, now a retired practicing lawyer in Metro-Manila, I sought his approval to have it published through this column.

Happy reading and Merry Christmas!

I Don’t Write Christmas Poems Anymore

 

I don’t write Christmas poems anymore –

Not of the happy Christmases of yore,

Nor of the Christ Child the blessed virgin bore.

I don’t write Christmas poems anymore.

 

I’d like my verse to magnify His birth,

His love to spread to every home and hearth,

But Christmas talk would only be a bore.

So I don’t write of Christmas anymore.

 

I’d like to write of angels as they sang,

Proclaiming peace and joy to old and young,

But folks would think it’s just some ancient lore,

So I don’t write of Christmas anymore.

 

I’d haste with the shepherds as they rose,

To see the Holy Babe in His repose,

Alas, that Infant Child’s forgotten now,

And I can’t write of Christmas anyhow.

 

With our kind of Christmas, what’s to write?

Christmas songs are sung without the Christ!

Christmas parties held without the Guest,

And we all pursue an empty quest.

 

Ah – but I can write of God’s own Christmas tree.

And of the Gift He hanged for you and me,

Red with blood and green the thistled crown,

Gift He dearly wrapped in Bethlehem town.

 

And so, my friends, to you I bid farewell,

No Christmas verse and rhyme to wish you well,

But I can write of Christ whom we adore,

Though I don’t write of Christmas anymore.