Friday, December 23, 2022

A Heritage of Giving

The history of Negros Occidental is rife with opportunities to lend a hand to others. What may have first seemed like a reasonable gesture of a farm owner looking out for a farm worker has, over time, become ingrained in a mentality that tends toward helping whenever possible. This holiday month, the Negros Season of Culture brings to the center of celebrations the works of NGOs whose missions have become modern-day conduits of this heritage of giving.

O Senyor Tagbalay!
We celebrate the arrival of good news by singing the account of Christ's birth. According to Hiligaynon musical custom, the song O Senyor Tagbalay! opens the daigon or caroling, repeating Joseph's request for Mary to have a room. The singers of the De La Salle Chorale contribute their voices to plead with everyone to open their doors to love and the Christ child in front of the imposing façade of the Provincial Capitol of Negros Occidental. Singers from the Kalipay Negrense Foundation and Suntown Camp Foundation are joining the chorale. Children battling cancer and other critical conditions find solace at Suntown. Kalipay is a home for abused and abandoned children. We hope you think of them this Christmas.


Making Artisans of Hope
Our Christmas trees are now more often decorated with ornaments made by local handicraft artisans than with imported items in recent years. Their aggressively artistic creations aim to attract customers, offer artists a chance at a stable living, and support feeding and educational initiatives. These "artisans of hope," who have received training and encouragement from the Negrense Volunteers for Change Foundation, reflect our shared goal to give, making each of us producers of hope for those who lack it. See what Santa’s elves have been busy with in Making Artisans of Hope.


Kusinera Diaries
We frequently overlook the person who makes our New Year's celebrations "happy." No, not now. We honor a specific person who has contributed to our heritage, from the kitchens of our historic hacienda homes to the kitchens of our contemporary subdivision homes, as we get closer to 2023. A three-part documentary series called Kusinera Diaries pays homage to one of the most important figures in the Negrenses' traditional home: the cook. Of course, favorite holiday family fare is a part of this tale as well. More importantly though, we appreciate the role the kusinera plays in our kitchens and its contributions. Many of them have given us their entire productive lives.  Many more have chosen not to get married in order to spend more time with our families. And so, meet Dhalia, Alicia, and Dominga. Let them take you to a Happy New Year. 

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