12 Philippine Showbiz Today The Filipino tradition of Simbang Gabi (dawn mass) is gaining popularity in other countries, to the point that Filipino priests are being requested to celebrate the mass abroad during the Christmas season. Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications head Fr. Roy Belen yesterday said Filipino Catholics based in other countries want to experience the traditional dawn masses and they want a Filipino priest to be the celebrant. “I have been hearing of Filipino priests being ‘borrowed’ from Manila to hold nine-day dawn masses in other countries because their chaplains are not Filipinos so they would not understand the Filipino culture,” Belen said. As early as September or October, Belen said they would be writing to the priests and inviting them to officiate the dawn December 22 , 2018 - January 7, 2019 shortage of priests in Manila and the high demand for priests during the busy month of December, priests are allowed to travel abroad during this time. In Rome, they would at times seek permission from the pope for permission to hold the Simbang Gabi at St. Peter’s Basilica, since for many Filipinos, part of their celebration of Christmas is attending at least one dawn mass. Some nationalities hold their Simbang Gabi at night, but “you have to understand that the staff (in the church) are not Filipinos so you would be disturbing them just to be able to hold early morning masses,” he added. some parts of the United States, The dawn masses are usually such as California, and even in held between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., the Middle East. while anticipated dawn masses There are even instances can take place between 7 p.m. when they would ask the priest to and 9 p.m.● stay until the New Year. - E. Macairan, PS Roy said that despite the Simbang Gabi gaining popularity in other countries masses abroad. They would also be seeking permission from the priest’s bishop or parish priest. Belen added that the nine- day Simbang Gabi, which runs from Dec. 16 to 24, is not only observed in Rome or in Italy but in Filipino Park’N Fly staff get together for Christmas Filipino Park’N Fly employees of Vancouver took time off to celebrate the spirit of Christmas of 2018 with their loved ones and friends. A night of singing, dancing, games, and food feast . Surely a memorable one to close the year. Shoutout to Julio Callope and Dennis Chua for organizing and preparing this event. Merry Christmas, everyone! OLGC Line Dancers Line Dancers of Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC) and guests taken on the 4th day of Simbang Gabi with Fr. George Atok, SDB. In photo are (l-r) Joy, Lulu, Sally, Luvis, Elly, Divine, Helen, Fr. George, Annie, Pauline, Ofelia, Beth, Cely, Mommy Martha, and Tess.