7 December 2013 – In commemoration of the Christmas season and in appreciation for the Malaysian and international community’s assistance to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur will hold a Parol (Christmas lanterns) lighting ceremony on Monday, December 9.
“We have been overwhelmed and moved by the outpouring of solidarity for those affected by the typhoon, and this commemoration of Christmas, a season of faith and sharing, provides a fine opportunity to say ‘salamat’ (terima kasih) to all those who stood steadfast with the Filipino people,” Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya said.
Typhoon Haiyan is the strongest typhoon recorded upon landfall.
Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Tan Sri Most Reverend Murphy Nicholas Xavier Pakiam and Ministry of International Trade and Industry Datuk Dr. Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria are expected to attend the ceremony as guests of honor.
At the lantern lighting ceremony, members of the diplomatic corps, Filipino community leaders and other guests will have the chance to experience on how the Philippines celebrate the Christmas holidays through songs of hope and gratitude by the Philippine Embassy Chorale and good food, amidst the twinkling lights of the parols.
Also expected to attend are officials or representatives of Malaysian government agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), private companies and individuals who have extended assistance to the typhoon victims.
NGOs Mercy Malaysia, Kelab Putera 1Malaysia and Red Crescent, as well as companies such as the Mah Sing Foundation, FELDA, and Westports Malaysia, will be among those to be honored for their efforts.
The parol, traditionally shaped as a star, symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem, which illuminated the Child Jesus and his family, and guided the shepherds and the Three Wise Men to their location to offer their gifts.
“While we continue to pray for and help out those who were affected by the typhoon, the Philippine Government has launched major programs for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of affected areas. Let the lights of the parol lanterns be the symbol of hope and resilience for those affected by the storm,” he added. END