The coronavirus pandemic made worse by the slew of typhoons—Qunita, Rolly, and Ulysses—had no doubt brought a lot of hardships to our populace and the local economy as well.

           Apparently, Christmas celebration would indeed be austere, bleak, and simple. It would be blue Christmas to the majority especially the poor and needy and relatively white Christmas to the well-to-do  families.

           In the meantime the more than two-decade Christmas cheers celebration in Virac and the other ten municipalities would be temporarily shelved this Yuletide season. These two whammies, both manmade and nature-induced made our lives so miserable.

           However, to the Catholic faithful in our province, the celebration of the birth of the Messiah in a lowly manger is highly anticipated amid this hard and trying time.  The Christmas spirit is not lost.

            Henceforth, the pre-dawned  Christmas masses– Misa de Aguinaldo–which started on December 16, were held either at a nearby center  like the Tingob Center in Bato, plaza, inside church compound or at nearby chapels in lieu of ruined churches.

             No matter what happens, regardless of the damage, the Christian world will celebrate Christ’s birth—the Emmanuel (which means God is with us).

            We knew that God so loved the world (us) that He sent his Only Begotten Son to save us from sin and gave us the grace of salvation.

            This year’s theme is imperative, timely and wonderful: “2021 Year of Missio Ad Gentes and the New Evangelization –Gifted to Give.” Thus, in this hard and trying times, Good Samaritans follow this proverbial adage: “it is better to give than to receive.” Those who have more, must give more. No more, no less.