CITY OF MALOLOS—Christmas Story live carrozas which depicts the scenes in the birth of Jesus Christ until his youth rolled through again in the busy streets of this capital city just before the weekend signaling the opening of Paskong Bulakenyo through lighting of the giant Christmas Tree in front of the Capitol.
The seven carrozas this year also demonstrate an ease in pandemic health restriction through no wearing of face mask of the more than 100 live characters and the crews compare to mask-wearing Mary, Joseph and the saints in Christmas carrozas in 2020.
Fr. Ibarra Mercado, parish priest of St. Joseph the Workers Parish Church in Pandayan, City of Meycauayan who conceptualized the live carrozas for eight years now since 2015 said this year’s theme of the Pinoy Christmas carrozas is “synodality” which means hope and oneness in Christ as the country and the world gears to fully become pandemic free.
In 2020, all the live characters and the crews wore face mask. They were all also distant from each other.
The first carroza was a depiction of the verse in the bible “The word was made flesh” where Christ birth and the Christmas story all began. “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth,” John 1:14 reads.
The second to sixth carrozas are depiction of the 5 Joyful Mysteries in the Holy Rosary
The second carroza demonstrate the story about the “Annunciation of the where Angel Gabriel to May”. The angel appear before Mary and announce her conception.
The third carroza is the story of Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.
The fourth carroza is the birth of Christ in Betlehem called the Nativity.
The fifth carroza is the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
The sixth carroza is the Finding of Jesus in the Temple as he teaches for three days inside the church.
The seventh carroza is a showcase a Filipino-Bulakenyo family together with Santa Claus inside a nipa hut giving gifts and candies to the people in the street especially children.
This time, parishioners and residents in Pandayan, City of Meycauayan where Fr. Mercado is presently assigned were the participants in the live carrozas. Mercado has been assigned in Pandayan in 2021.
He initiated the live Christmas Story carrozas in 2015 in his parish in Sagrada Familia in Sapang Palay. For a copule of years, the carrozas rolled from Sapang Palay to St. Joseph The Worker Parish in the city proper of City of San Jose del Monte. until it started to roll in this capital city in 2019.
The carrozas left Malolos Sports and Convention Center at 6:30 p.m. and toured the Mac-Arthur highway until Malolos Crossing before it headed back to the Capitol Compound just before the 8:00 p.m. lighting of the Capitol’s Christmas Tree.
According to Fr. Mercado, the concept and purpose of the live carrozas is to physically give meaning and demonstrate to the people how Christ was born and until he grows as a young boy and started to teach inside the temple more than what the live Santacruzan including the Holy Week carrozas and floats.
“Kung iyong mga santacruzan naipaparada natin at may mga prusisyon tayo kapag Mahal Na Araw, bakit hindi natin nagagawa sa mahabang panahon ang Kuwento ng Pasko, ang kapanganakan ng Poon nating si Kristo,” Mercado said.
Gov. Daniel Fernando who sponsored the Bulacan Pinoy Christmas Story live carroza for the third time led this year’s lighting of Christmas Tree in front of the Capitol together with Vice Gov, Alex Castro, Bulacan First District Rep. Danilo Domingo, Provincial Tourism, History and Arts Officer of Bulacan Eliseo Dela Cruz and Provincial Administrator Antonette Constantino and Board Member Cesar Mendoza.
Fernando said despite all the challenges everyone faces because of the pandemic, Christmas brings hope, love, joy, forgiving and sharing to everyone.
“Sharing and giving is the most important essence of Christmas. We should not be selfish of love, caring, understanding to our fellows, our families, our co-workers, our friends. Christmas is not the gifts that we receive and share but the love and acceptance of our fellows,” he said shortly before the Christmas Tree in the Capitol Park was lighted that signals an early start of this year’s Paskong Bulakenyo.