Belenismo in Tarlac: Celebration of HOPE, FAITH, and WISDOM 

By Bianca Marie France E. Viadan 

Our country is well known for celebrating Christmas season as early as September, including the colorful Parols, and the beautiful “Belen” decorating our homes in different sizes and designs. Celebrating the famed decor, “Belenismo sa Tarlac” is a tradition in the Province of Tarlac that showcasing the creativity and talent of the Tarlaqueños not only in terms of art, but also to convey the significance of the birth of Jesus Christ in the manger in our lives through their amazing masterpieces. 

HOPE. The “Belen” was introduced by the Spaniards in the Philippines during the Colonial Period, which shows the birth of Child Jesus in the manger surrounded by the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, the shepherds, their flock, the Three Kings, animals, and angels. This tradition has inspired the Province of Tarlac to organize ‘Belen-making Competition’ which started in Christmas of 2007 which brought the province to its title as the “Belen Capital of the Philippines.’’ This yearly event is participated by the municipalities of Tarlac including churches, different branches of government organizations, private sectors, business establishments, malls and even the Tarlaqueños households. 

FAITH. The beautiful works of art Belen around the Province of Tarlac brings inspiration to everyone who passes by in our dearest Province. The image of the birth of child Jesus gives hope to those with weary hearts and ignites the faith of to those who needed a reminder of how important and valuable our existence not only to our loved ones but to our savior Jesus Christ. 

Visit the Province of Tarlac where you can enjoy not only its beautiful Belens but also the warmth of its people, beautiful sceneries, amazing food, and delicacies. Feel the solemnity of Christmas Season with us and get the chance to discover our Province’s historical places. 

Figure 1 : Municipality of Moncada Province of Tarlac [Photo by PC R. Santiago]
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WISDOM. Christmas is truly the most wonderful and amazing time of the year. It is the time of reuniting with our family and friends while enjoying ourselves with abundance of food, dancing and singing inside the comfort of our homes. This holiday season is meant to be joyful and exciting, but while waiting for the Christmas countdown, let’s not forget that the real essence of Christmas day is to celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ sent by the father to pay the price of our mistakes and to save us from our sins. The significance of Christmas to us believers doesn’t start with decorating our homes with colorful lanterns, Christmas decors, and exchanging of gifts, but it starts in our hearts. This holiday season is a great opportunity for us to spend our time with our loved ones, offer our forgiveness to those who have hurt us and to thank our father for his unconditional love and guidance. We are given a life full of blessings and forgiveness more than we deserve.  

Let us learn how to share what we received and be a blessing to the people around us. It is not always the material things that matters, a simple offer of prayer, a small pat on the shoulder, a genuine smile and little kindness is a great gift we can give to make everyday feels like a Christmas day. 

The birth of Christ is the only truth on how much our creator and father God in heaven declared his love to us his children as it was written in book of John Chapter 3 verse 16; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

Sources: Tarlac Province Official Website, Philippine News Agency (PNA) Official Government Website, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Official Government Website, Dakong Hilaga WordPress, BElenismo sa Tarlac Official Facebook Page, BWORLD Online, Christianity and Crosswalk Official Website 

Bianca Marie France E. Viadan , Operations Management. Born on the 2nd day of October year 1990, eldest daughter of 2 and currently residing in Tarlac City. Graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology. A Philippine ARMY reservist graduated in Advance ROTC. Traffic Control Room Specialist at SCTEX base. Fond of writing poems, short stories, reading, photography, singing, and playing the guitar. Ambivert loves to travel and discover nature. Forgiving and friendly in nature.

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