By Glen Ramos
File Photo: Winner of the Hall of Fame award for the municipal category – the Belen of Capas town. (AI/MTVN)
MANILA — Two entries in this year’s “Belenismo sa Tarlac 2020” won the Hall of Fame Award particularly the municipality of Capas for the municipal category and SM Prime Holdings for the Non-Municipal category.
Other winners were Mcdonald’s Capas for the monumental category and the Belen of the Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi for the church category was declared as the winner.
For the Community Category, the grand winner was “Belen Ning Macara,” an entry from Molave, San Isidro, Tarlac City.
The “Belenismo sa Tarlac” is a yearly competition showcasing the best Belens made from various recyclable materials and assembled in various versions through the cooperation and resourcefulness of residents in a community.
A total of 30 entries have joined this year’s “Belenismo” competitions. Winners are selected from five categories namely (1) municipal, (2) non-municipal, (3) monumental, (4) church and (5) community.
Among the judges for this year’s event were Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista and Tarlac Heritage Foundation of mother and daughter team in Ms. Isabel and Dr. Isa C. Suntay.
The province-wide contest was started in 2007 by Rev. Fr. Alex Bautista, head of the Diocese of Tarlac Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Church who obtained the support of Ms. Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay and daughter Dr. Isa C. Suntay of the Tarlac Heritage Foundation.
Since then, it became an annual event with the objective of making the province of Tarlac as the “Belen Capital of the Philippines.”
Apart from the traditional lantern or “parol,” the Belen is another important Christmas symbol to Filipinos. It can be found usually assembled in front of the house adorned with multi-colored lights to accentuate the scene of “the Nativity.”
The “Belen” also known as “the Nativity” symbolizes the birth of Christ in a manger. (MTVN)