Panunuluyan, a centuries-old tradition of the Filipinos depicts the search of Joseph and Mary for lodging in Bethlehem around two thousand years ago. This tradition is believed to be attributed originally to the Mexicans who are celebrating Las Posadas, Spanish word for “the inns.” It usually lasts for nine days, representing the nine-month pregnancy of Mary. In the Philippines however, panunuluyan is done only the Christmas eve, usually before the celebration of the Midnight Mass. Actors portraying Joseph and Mary would chant a plea to different households, requesting for lodging. Owners of the households would turn the family away, until they will finally be able to find ‘lodging’ wherein Mary would deliver her child.
Although Panunuluyan narrates the struggle of Joseph and Mary to find a place to stay, the spirit of this tradition is to prepare ourselves to welcome the Savior in our own lives. Jesus already came in our world two thousand years ago. Tonight, we allow ourselves to become worthy ‘lodging’ of Jesus by filling our hearts with joy and humility. The plea of our Lord is to allow Him to enter and stay as He guide and direct our way. Let us not become those house owners who turned their backs to Lord.
At the St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish in Muntinlupa City, this year’s Panunuluyan was presented by the St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish Commission on Youth at the Diocesan Shrine of St. Peregrine Laziosi – the Parish Church and well-attended by parishioners and lay workers. The Midnight Mass for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord followed suit at 9 in the evening.
Facebook album of this year’s Panunuluyan can be viewed at the Parish’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2251538401532437&type=1&l=2413771ea4
~ Jasper Christian Gambito