Our Northern Philippines National Director is Rev. Joseph Benigno. He also serves as the president of Harvesters Bible Academy. They report that they have sixty-nine churches in the Northern Philippines and they have a church plant in Hong Kong. They have eighty-seven pastors and an additional ten not pastoring.
Rev. Renarto Mendoza is the Superintendent in the Northern Division.
Rev. Joseph Benigno(below) is the President of Harvesters Bible Academy in the Northern Philippines.
66 churches; Bible Institute: Harvesters Bible Academy. Work in the Philippines was organized in 1969.
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Most of the population migrated from Malaysia and Indonesia between 24th century BC and 11th century AD. Native peoples such as the Aetas and the Igorots may have subsisted without being assimilated into the other ethnic groups. In the 15th century, when Islamic communities arrived from Borneo, some 200,000 Chinese traders were already established on the islands. The Spanish arrived in 1521, evangelizing much of the population as they conquered. Some peoples of Malay extraction, were not converted. Finally, from 1898 onwards, US colonization influenced Filipino culture and society.
Read the Article: A Philippines Christmas
Catholics- 83 percent; Protestants- 8 percent; Muslims- 5 percent; Anglipayans (Independent Filipino Church)- 3 percent; Animists and Buddhists.
The Philippines present a complex linguistic map. 55 percent of the population speaks Filipino (official), based on Tagalog, a language of Malaysian origin. English, spoken by 45 percent, is obligatory in schools. 90 percent of the population speaks one of the following: Cebuano (6 million); Hiligayano (3 million); Bikolano (2 million); Waray-Waray (1 million). Spanish and Chinese are minority languages.
Lakas ñg Bansa (The People’s Struggle); the Laban Party (The People’s Power Movement), founded in 1988 by Benigno Aquino; the Democratic Christian Party; the BISIG, socialist movement of Tagalog speakers; the People’s Reform Party founded in 1991; the Liberal Party; the right-wing Nationalist Party. The main leftist opposition force is the National Democratic Front (NDF) which includes mass organizations, religious and cultural groups led by the Philippine Communist Party (PKP) and its military wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). In the Cordillera region, an NPA splinter group, the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) organized the Cordillera Bodong Association (CBA) which demands full autonomy for the north. In the southern Muslim areas, the Moro National Liberation Front also demands autonomy. Kababaihan Para Sa Inang Bayan (Women for the Motherland), created in 1986, the first party exclusively for women; the Mindanao Alliance, regional.
Republika ñg Pilipinas.
3 regions, 73 provinces.
Quezon City 1,627,900 people; Davao 867,800; Cebu 641,000; Calaocan 629,500; Zamboanga 453,200 (1991).
Presidential republic. Gloria Macapagal, President since January 2001. Bicameral Legislative: Chamber of Deputies (Congress) 250 members, 200 elected by general vote, 50 chosen by the President, and a 24-member Senate.
July 12th, Independence Day (1946).
Of the 7,000 islands that make up the archipelago, spread over 1,600 km. from north to south, eleven account for 94 percent of the total area and house most of the population. Luzon and Mindanao are the most important. The archipelago is of volcanic origin, forming part of the Ring of Fire of the Pacific. The terrain is mountainous with large coastal plains where sugar cane, hemp, copra, and tobacco are grown. The climate is tropical with heavy rainfall and dense rainforests. The country is the main producer of iron ore in Southeast Asia, there are chrome, copper, nickel, cobalt, silver and gold deposits. Like other countries in the region, it is suffering the effects of rapid deforestation.
A PHILIPPINES CHRISTMAS
– By Rev. Joseph Benigno, Sr. President, Harvesters Bible Academy Northern Philippines – From The Messenger, December 2006 Issue
The Philippines has earned the distinction of having the world’s longest Christmas season. Christmas songs start to be played and decorations are displayed in homes as early as September and it is only after Three Kings (the first Sunday of the year) that Christmas decorations are removed. The celebration of Christmas was introduced by the Spanish missionaries when the Spaniards ruled the country for almost 400 years. However, the Indians, Chinese, British, Japanese, and especially the Americans have all made imprints in Philippine culture; making the celebration of Christmas a combination of Asian, Western, and Native customs. The way Christmas is celebrated in the Philippines has undergone a lot of changes but most of the lovely traditional practices remain alive.
Misa De Gallo (Rooster’s mass)
This is the most important Filipino Christmas tradition which starts from the 16th of December and goes on till the 24th. Catholics go to the church as early as four o’clock in the morning to show their devotion to God in order that God would grant the devotee’s special wish or favor. After the mass, people partake of Philippine native delicacies being sold outside the church as they take advantage of talking with friends and families.
This is a cherished tradition for Filipinos. Carolers go to the homes during the night singing native and western songs, like Jingle Bells and Silent Night, expecting to receive money, local delicacies, eggs, chickens, and even fruits from the homeowners.
This is the biggest symbol of Christmas in the Philippines. Homes and buildings are adorned with beautiful star lanterns called parol. Traditionally, parols were made of bamboo sticks covered with crepe paper and a candle to illuminate it. These parols symbolize the star of Bethlehem.
Almost every home, city streets, buildings, shopping districts, public squares, department stores, commercial areas, and churches are decorated with Christmas trees and blinking lights.
Family members dine together around 12 midnight with queso de bola (round cheese) and ham (for those who can afford it), and this is the time for members of the family to open their Christmas gifts.
New Years Eve
Families gather for the midnight meal that symbolizes hopes for a prosperous New Year; to drive away bad spirits by firing firecrackers and beating of drums; for children to jump so that they can grow up tall; and opening of doors and windows to let in the good luck.
Christmas officially ends on the Feast of the Three Kings, which is celebrated on the first Sunday of the New Year.
There is no greater event on earth that could surpass the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ. The celebration of Christmas even gives happiness to the unbelieving and joy to those who believe in Him. Do you celebrate Christmas with the Lord in your home?