February 21, 2018, 1:19 pm
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Annually, I start feeling the season of Christmas when I receive a call or a text message from Dr. Isa C. Suntay inviting me to Belenismo to judge for the best Belen(s)   in the province of Tarlac.

At 2:30 one Saturday afternoon Dr. Isa Suntay gathered some eleven of her friends into a coaster that would bring everyone   to choose the best Belen in the province.

Although the Philippine Army Belen, 7th Infantry Division, Mechanized Infantry Division and PNP PRO3 Belen was out of competition, the other judges and I personally believe that their theme: “Marawi Sa Panahon Ng Kapayapaan” was most relevant.

 “Peace to men and goodwill to all” is the theme of every year’s Christmas Season’s celebration and this year, peace across the archipelago, is assured by the Headquarters Philippine Army, the 7th Infantry Division, the Mechanized Infantry Division, and the PNP PRO3 Officers and men.

According to Dr. Isa; “Members of this Philippine Army Belen Team actually served in Marawi. This Belen is a tribute to their comrades ---the heroes of Marawi --- may their memories be forever etched in the hearts of our countrymen.

 “No one wants to fight a war in his own shores. No one wants terrorism to gain a foothold in any part of his or her own country. The siege of Marawi is a part of our history that we don’t want revisited; nevertheless, we, the Filipino nation must go all out to help our Muslim brothers and sisters rebuild, recover and get reintegrated back into the mainstream.

 “Philippine Army, 7th Infantry Division, Mechanized Infantry Division and the PNP PRO3 Belen used recycled Nativity sets statues and costumes, old wooden platforms, usedlights, discarded tarpaulins, previously used farm animals, leftover sequins/paint/styrofoam/plywood and camouflage cloth make up this years Belen entry personally handcrafted by the men of the combined efforts of all the Major Branches of Service and the PNP coupled with assistance from our allies and the unstinting support of our Commander in Chief, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte helped restore peace in the City of Marawi.

 “For all of us in uniform, Christmas will not be the same without Marawi being restored back to its former glory – ikaw, ako, sila, tayong lahat magkakapatid – isang lahi, isang bansa!”.

Indeed, Christmas, the happiest time of the year is here. Happiest because of the birth of Jesus Christ and because of this….peace is in all our hearts!
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