Interfaith Thanksgiving: ‘Unity Despite Diversity’

by Aliah Nicole C. Brillante and Sherna J. Pinzon

The festive and momentous Pista’y Baley 2019 blurred the boundaries of religion as it achieved its central goal of “One God, One Country, and One People” in the Interfaith Thanksgiving Ceremony held at the Events Center during the first night of the week-long celebration, April 1.

Filling the venue with sacredness and exchanges of welcoming conversations were the representatives of the 11 religious groups based in Bayambang: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salvation Army, Baptist Church, Evangelical Church, Roman Catholic Church (from the parishes from St. Vincent Ferrer, San Lorenzo Ruiz, and San Isidro Labrador), United Methodist Church, Jesus is Lord, Islam, Crusaders of the Divine Church of Christ, Victory Church, and the Seventh Day Adventist.

With the theme, “Bayambang: Pinagtibay ng Pagkakaisa at Pananampalataya Laban sa Kahirapan,” the ceremony organized by the LGU’s Action Desk Officer Gerenerio Q. Rosales paved the way for the participants to unite for an evening of unity and faith to combat poverty.

As the night progressed, representatives from the various sectors initiated the symbolic enthronement of each group’s holy book and offering.

Over and above that, leaders of the different affiliations extended their support and appreciation through prayers for the safety and well-being of the town.

“The administration’s primary objective is to develop a harmonious municipality undeterred by the gaps in spiritual beliefs and preferences,” stressed Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao in his address of gratitude.

Apropos of that, he said that the Quiambao-Sabangan administration, as well, has its own bible – the Bayambang Poverty Reduction Action Plan 2018-2028, which is comprised of five top-priority thrusts: good governance, agricultural modernization, intensive infrastructure development, sociocultural protection and development, and environmental management and disaster resilience.

The event itself is a significant reminder that the distinction in religious views is not to be considered a hurdle when the common good is at stake. (Photos by by Aliah Nicole C. Brillante and Sherna J. Pinzon)