This is a very late post as I was too busy last Christmas season to do some blogging. Simbang Gabi is an a very old tradition of the Filipinos wherein Catholics attend nine dawn novena masses before Christmas. I can not remember when I and my late husband started attending Simbang Gabi. In those years, we always complete the nine-day masses despite being so sleepy in the Office. We were not able to complete it when I was assigned in Negros Occidental in 2005. Thereafter, his health started to deteriorate and it is difficult for him to join me in the dawn masses.
In 2009, I wanted to complete the novena masses. I was able to attend the 16 to 18 Dec. dawn masses. The 18th December was a very sad day for us, that they day Sildo passed away at around 2:30 am at the Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital. I went home at around 3pm taking Light of Glory taxi. I did my best to close the taxi’s door very slowly so that nobody will know that I am home……as it means bad news. I got my folding stool and went to attend mass. I was only able to attend three days out nine.
For the next few years, it was still difficult to complete it…But this year, Praise God, my son Mark and I were able to complete the nine day novena masses.
First day in San Miguel…
The Church is always already full and overflowing with people by the time we usually arrive. We just bring our own chairs so we can be comfortable. What is unique with the Simbang Gabi in San Miguel are the latin songs sung by the Choir and the Church goers. It is so nostalgic to again hear those old Latin songs that we hear only during Christmas season. the Choir is accompanied by several musicians with different kinds of musical instruments aside from the electronic organ of the Church. There is a drum set, several guitars, tuba and trumpet. Several years back, there was an old musician that plays the trumpet and the tones really surface beautifully during the songs. Sadly when the old musician passed away, we also missed his trumpet. There is somebody playing the trumpet now but the tone is not as beautiful as that of the old man.
We are now renovating the Church and there is an on going fund raising campaign.
Second Day…I attended the anticipated novena mass at the St Joseph the Worker Cathedral San Jose de Buenavista.
The mass is scheduled to start at 6:30pm and I was surprise to enter the Cathedral with only the altar area lighted. They only put on the light when the mass is about to start….. good practice of saving electricity. This is the most simple Cathedral I have seen in the Philippines.
Third day……St Joseph the Worker Cathedral
It was so hot inside the Church that I decided to stay outside for the third day mass.
From the 4th day up to the 9th day….I attended Simbang Gabi in San Miguel with Mark.