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Silahis ng Pasko begins to bring hope to poorest of poor Baguio families, babies

IT BEGINS. The Silahis ng Pasko was officially launched Wednesday during the Feast of Immaculate Conception at the Shrine of Brown Madonna in Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet with a mass and with nearly 50 attendees that gather inside the 40-feet deep cavern and its frontage. Here Rain Padilla, who grew up as one of the two Santa Narciso Padilla’s little helpers in the 2000s, read from the bible during the mass at the Shrine. Five more events are lined up this year for the month-long Silahis: Share a Gift, Lucky Christmas Family and Baby, the KISLAP and TALA awards and the Lucky New Year’s Baby. Pigeon Lobien Photo

TADIANGAN, Tuba, Benguet – More indigent families and babies from the poorest of the poor will receive a “ray of hope” from the latest iteration of Santa Claus on the 47th staging of the city’s longest Christmas event, the Silahis ng Pasko.

SNP organizing head Fritzgerald Padilla said that more will receive from supporters of the annual month long event this year despite the pandemic.

Three families will receive cash and grocery items from the SnP, an annual gift giving organized by the late Narciso Padilla, a former councilor, mediaman and sportsman.

“Three families, the poorest of the poor will be our lucky Christmas families on December 22,” said the next generation Padilla in front of nearly 50 attendees of the mass at the Shrine of the Brown Madonna Wednesday at sitio Pacac here that launched the annual SNP.

“It was heart rending to see the other parents who just gave birth watching us give gifts to only one baby including cash, so we decided to bring more gifts to benefit the other babies not born the closest to Christmas or new year,” said Padilla.

City Social Service Office head Betty Fangasan talked of the 35 years association with the late Padilla that started even before her office was transferred to the Cordillera from Region I in 1988 and later to the city. When the Local Government Law was enacted in 1993.

“Our office had been the partner of the late mang Nars (old Padilla), since his client are also our client – the poorest of the poor, the elderlies, women and children,” narrated Fangasan, who praised the late Padilla for his efforts, sometimes on his own, to bring happiness to the poor.

She also rued the absence of the Silahis’ most awaited event, the Children’s Mardi Gras held on December 1 that usually launch the SNP as well as the city’s month long Christmas in Baguio celebration.

The Mardi Gras is joined by more than 4,000 pre-school children from the different day care center and dressed in Christmas attire and parade from Upper Session Road to Harrison Road and at the Melvin Jones or at the Baguio athletic bowl.

“The kids love it and the parents are more than eager to dress their children even despite the criticism of some,” she said.

Since 2013, the event kicks off a busy December 1 that is followed by the Saint Louis University Lantern Parade at dusk where thousands of students from the different school of North Luzon’s biggest university parade with their own design of lantern. It is culminated with the city’s switching on of the Christmas tree at the top of Session Road and the lightings.

This year’s Silahis will have the Share a Gift present giving to children patient from indigent families at the Baguio General Hospital on December 17, the Lucky Christmas Baby search on December 25 and the Lucky New Year’s Baby on January 1.

On December 28, the top athletes of the year and coaches will be honored in the Kafagway/Kordillera International Sports Luminary Awards Podium KISLAP will honor Olympians Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio as athletes of the year.

On the same awarding ceremonies, the outstanding cenior citizens will be recognized also in the Tala awards.

Padilla also gave awards of recognition and appreciation to supporters of the Silahis during Wednesday’s launching.

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