Ties Renewed. Faith Affirmed.

There is a common thread that ties all of humanity. Despite millennia of advancement, we are confounded with the fact that there is a grand design to our individual existence. We exist not simply to live. We live not simply to exist.

Humans confront the great question of the universe – are we just a coincidence in a habitable sphere? In all corners of the earth, from the vast Sahara plains to the snow capped mountains of the Himalayas, from the gleaming skyscrapers of New York to the glistening capital of Tokyo, from the verdant rice terraces of the Cordillera ranges of the Philippines to the palm fringed beaches of Samoa. In our moments of wonder, we all look up to the heavens and realise.

We have a purpose.

This sense of destiny is not alien to most Filipinos. It is most pronounced to those who made the choice to be part of a new land and be citizens of a new world. There is a purpose in each migration. There is a destiny to be fulfilled in each step. Filipinos in New Zealand are no exception. So much has been written about the loneliness in foreign shores, so much has been talked about the pain of separation from one’s land of birth. It is time to acknowledge what sustains us.

Our families. Our kinship. Our Faith.

We endure the challenges of settling in with the hope that our family’s future will be better. We hold each other’s hand to renew our respective strength in the face of the vicissitudes of life in this far corner of the earth. We admire each other’s resiliency, rejoice in other’s triumphs and weep with each tale of sorrow.

Most importantly, our Faith sustains us. It is the well spring from which we draw our strength. It is the fire that keeps our hope alive and nurtures our belief that each day will bring us closer to our dreams. On bended knees, we sought the Heaven’s intercession to give us a kinder fate.

Befitting at the start of each year is the Feast of the Holy Child Jesus ( Señor Sto. Niño). It is the annual outpouring of thanksgiving and praise to Him that redeemed us all. Filipinos in New Zealand will make the annual trip to the City of Auckland to join in the Nine-Day Novena to the Señor Sto. Niño and the Sinulog celebration. The series of religious ceremonies and cultural events highlights the Filipino’s belief in the Divine Providence and his celebration of what makes him unique.

For the Year 2010 celebration, Filipinos all over New Zealand will pay their homage and be part of the rhythm of faith. It is a joyous occasion as we strengthened the bonds of friendship and kinship. It is a celebration of our rich cultural heritage in a new land that nurtures diversity and cooperation.

At the culmination of the celebration on the 17th of January 2010, all of us will join in the beat of the Sinulog drums as we affirm our faith and renew our ties as Filipinos. Together, we gaze to the heavens and proclaim our jubilation. To Him, we raise our praises. To Him, we offer our fates.

Pit Senor!

By : Adolito F. Flores

Chairman, Cultural committee

NZ-Filipino Devotees of Señor Santo Niño