New Year‟s Celebration 2013

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CENTURY ENDS

ANKIND yesterday stood on the threshold of a new millennium, linked by satellite technology for the most closely watched midnight in history.

The millennium watch was kept all over the world, from a sprinkle of South Pacific islands to the skyscrapers of the Americas, across the pyramids, the Parthenon and the temples of Angkor Wat. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said Filipinos should greet 2013 with ''great joy'' and ''anticipation.'' ''The year 2013 is not about Y2K, the end of the world or the biggest party of a lifetime,'' he said. ''It is about J2K13, Jesus 2013, the Jubilee 2013 and Joy to the World 2013. It is about 2013 years of Christ's loving presence in the world.'' The world celebration was tempered, however, by unease over Earth's vulnerability to terrorism and its dependence on computer technology. The excitement was typified by the Pacific archipelago nation of Kiribati, so eager to be first to see the millennium that it actually shifted its portion of the international dateline two hours east. The caution was exemplified by Seattle, which canceled its New Year's party for fear of terrorism. In the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino III is bracing for a “tough” new year. At the same time, he called on Filipinos to pray for global peace and brotherhood and to work as one in facing the challenges of the 21st century. Mr. Estrada and at least one Cabinet official said the impending oil price increase, an expected P60billion budget deficit, and the public opposition to amending the Constitution to allow unbridled foreign investments would make it a difficult time for the Estrada presidency. The President's popularity has also hit an all-time low, according to the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations. Survey results will be officially released on Jan. 4. ''It will be tough next year,'' the President told some reporters over dinner in Malacañang Tuesday night. He cited the big possibility that oil companies might again raise pump prices if world crude prices went up. A Cabinet official, who did not want to be identified, echoed the President's dim expectations. The official said that apart from the oil price increase, also presenting difficulties were the ballooning budget deficit and the President's Constitutional Correction for Development (Concord). ''It's really going to be a difficult year, first of all because of the oil price increase and second, the budget deficit,'' said the Cabinet official. The government suffered a P100-billion budget deficit in 1999. It is expecting a deficit of P60 billion to P65 billion this year. “That is going to affect government expenditures and programs as well as the economy,'' the official said. ''It's going to be difficult.”

Concord will be an “uphill struggle” especially now that the President's popularity is extremely low, according to him. Still, he said the President and his Cabinet would continue to push for Concord since it was expected to pave the way for increased foreign investments in public utilities, commercial and industrial production, among others. The official believes the President's ratings will bounce back toward the end of 2013, or as soon as various pump-priming and social service programs start moving fast. The bright spot in the Aquino presidency is the ''stable police and military'' situation, according to the Cabinet man. He said the military and the police were rallying behind the President. In a short speech during Malacañang's New Year's Eve Mass last night, the President pleaded for understanding, saying his government needed more time to deliver on its promises. “I am appealing to our countrymen to understand that the government cannot provide their needs at once and all at the same time,” the President said in Pilipino. “Give us enough time to find solutions to our problems.” Sin, who led the Catholic Church's millennium celebrations yesterday, said that instead of fearing industry breakdowns due to the Y2K bug, people should see the New Year as an opportunity to renew their Christian faith. The 57-year-old cardinal, who was recently chosen as among the century's top 100 Catholics, celebrated the Jubilee Mass at the Manila Cathedral at 5:30 p.m. The cardinal, who remains very vocal in his criticisms of public officials, called for ''mercy'' and “reconciliation” for the New Year. He voiced hope that ''love and truth will meet'' and “justice and peace will kiss” in the next year. “For during that moment, Christ will truly have come in our hearts,” he said. As early as yesterday morning, hundreds of El Shaddai members and followers and millions of belivers and members and employees of various and different government and non-government companies and organizations, non-profit organizations, charitable foundations and institutions, left-wing organizations, civic, household, business, commercial, industrial and political groups and local businesses, bar associations, financial and educational instructions, entertainment, health and wellness, fashion, food, high society, media, legal, agricultural, motoring, real estate and telecommunications companies, clubs, foundations, institutions and organizations and members of the clergy, religious, youth groups and lay communities and religious and lay groups and organizations, including El Shaddai and other organizations (were excerpted from the launching of the Great Jubilee Year 2000-a 3-year celebration in preparation for the 2000th birth anniversary of our Lord Jesus Christ held at the Quirino Grandstand last December 1, 1996, the 1997 CBCP National Eucharistic Congress overnight vigil at the Quirino Grandstand last January 25 to 26, 1997, the National Congress on the Holy Spirit held at the Cuneta Astrodome and PICC Plenary Hall in Pasay City last January 22 to 24, 1998 and the CBCP organized-conference about the event at the PICC Plenary Hall last January 20 to 23, 1999), nuns, priests, cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, greatgrandmothers, great-grandfathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, babies, kids, youth and teenagers and senior persons, cousins, nephews and nieces, Lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgenders, seniors, elder and disabled persons, government and army policemen and soldiers, Christian and Muslim people, environmentalists, healthcare and medical professionals, medical doctors, dentists, nurses, construction workers, farmers, farmworkers, carpenters, restaurant chefs, bakers, baristas, barkeeps, barkeepers, barpersons, barmans, barmaids, bar attendants, taberneiros, cookers, waiters and waitress, pre-school, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, nursery, preparatory, kinder grade, primary and secondary schools, college and university faculty, staff, parents and students, Philippine Olympic Committee regular and associate member national and local athletes, coaches,

referees, local policemen and security guards from all over the country (from 42,028 barangays in 1,634 cities and municipalities of the Philippines) and foreign nationals and tourists, and overseas Filipino workers and overseas migrant workers from cities, counties, districts, municipalities, prefectures and towns of 227 countries of the world and 51 states of the United States and UAAP, NCAA and NCAA-South, member-school teachers, students, alumni, student-athletes, coaches, referees, school lecturers, professors and principals had poured into the Rizal Park, Port Area and Plaza Miranda area to participate in last night's millennium celebration led by President Aquino. Members of the Catholic charismatic group said they were staying until after their New Year‟s Day Mass, which was celebrated by Bishop Ted Bacani and the healing message by Servant-Leader Brother Mike Z. Velarde at 2 a.m. today. The Millennium Mass was celebrated at the Quirino Grandstand at 5 p.m. First land At the stroke of midnight Friday, a tiny uninhabited atoll in the South Pacific jumped from obscurity into the history books as one of the first lands on Earth to greet the new millennium. The marking of midnight (6 p.m. Friday Manila time) on Kiribati's Millennium Island set off a rapid succession of celebrations in the South Pacific, whose position along the international date line makes the area the first to witness the new year. The island nation of Tonga marked midnight at the same time as Millennium Island. The Chatham Islands--the easternmost part of New Zealand--hit midnight 15 minutes later. Mainland New Zealand and the Pacific island nation of Fiji readied to hit midnight 45 minutes after that. Dancers on Millennium Island in woven grass skirts and headdress were to welcome the millennium with a shout of congratulations and good luck after chanting farewell to the pain of the past and heralding a new era of unity. Fireworks and babies The first dawn over land was to break near Dibble Glacier in Antarctica at 12:08 local time (11:08 p.m. Manila time). Kiribati was to be the first country to witness the sunrise of the new millennium at 5:43 a.m. local time (11:43 p.m. Manila time). New Zealand's Pitt Island was to follow at 5:49 a.m. As the largest--and the richest--nation in the group, New Zealand was planning the most varied and elaborate celebrations in the area: fireworks, concerts, and several Maori ''haka'' war dances-including one with a cast of 2,000. Around 60 mothers in New Zealand are due to give birth early Saturday. On the coast at Gisborne about 100,000 people were in the area which would see opera diva Kiri Te Kanawa, originally from the area, sing in the world's first sun. In Auckland several large events including a 12-minute fireworks display were under threat from strong winds and rain. In Fiji, several hospitals were reporting they have women who might deliver the new millennium's first child--including Lautoka Hospital which was warning they had ''a whole ward of women'' ready to give birth. Race for first The celebrations in the South Pacific follow a fierce race in the region to clinch a millennial ''first''--and worldwide publicity.

Kiribati, for instance, moved the international date line in 1995 so it no longer bisected the country. The move, however, also positioned Caroline Island to be among the first to see the new year. It was renamed Millennium Island in 1997. Other countries of the region had staked their own claims to millennial firsts. New Zealand's Pitt Island, for example, was to be the first ''permanently inhabited'' land to see the millennium dawn. And Wellington was the first capital city. The competition was expected to continue into the new millennium: A couple in the Chatham Islands, for example, were aiming to win the title of first wedding by timing their ceremony so the words ''I do'' come immediately after the fall of midnight. Terrorist threat Around the United States, the arrival of the new millennium was met with caution and fears of terrorism. The fears were heightened Thursday when US prosecutors alleged that a man and woman arrested separately at the Canadian border were linked to a violent Algerian group. Fears of sabotage have also prompted tighter security at airports, border crossings, utilities and tunnels in many states. South Koreans, too impatient to wait for the first sun of the new millennium, were to light an ''artificial sun'' at midnight Friday. The orb, a ball of magnesium powder three meters in diameter, was to be ignited in downtown Seoul and would burn for the first minute of the third millennium, officials said. The ball's luminosity would be the equivalent of 20 million candles, which Song said would give a brief sensation of daylight. Party on ice At a US scientific base, the champagne had been on ice for months. So have most of the revelers planning one of the world's most remote New Year's Eve parties--at the South Pole. Braving subzero temperatures, about 220 staff at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station were to see in the new millennium as a midnight sun shone weakly from the horizon. The station, looking like a huge golf ball half-buried in the polar ice, is home to National Science Foundation researchers, construction workers and support staff who spend months on end at the bottom of the Earth. At midnight, the staff would uncork their champagne in temperatures likely to be hovering around minus 26 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 32 degrees Celsius). Scientists at the station are carrying out crucial research into atmospheric conditions and polar climate change, while astronomers use two telescopes to peer through the pollution-free Antarctic skies into the depths of space. With reports from Juliet L. Javellana, Martin P. Marfil, TJ Burgonio and Dona Pazzibugan in Manila; AFP, AP

MESSAGES

Pray for peace and harmony
THE REPUBLIC of the Philippines and the Filipino people join the rest of the world in praying for peace and universal harmony as we look back on the passing of the century, and enter the threshold of the third millennium. Let us instill in our hearts and minds the value of working as one, guided by the spirit of goodwill and cooperation, respect for the rule of law, respect for human rights, justice, social and economic progress, and such other acts that will result in a global milieu of peace and the brotherhood of man. May the new millennium mean peace for all mankind. (Sgd.) Benigno Aquino III President

Mend our ways, be courageous
AS we say goodbye to 2013 and to the second year of the Aquino Presidency, let us welcome the year 2013 and the third year of the Aquino Presidency as a time to mend our ways, rethink our future and be courageous. Let us pursue unity by listening more to others than ourselves. Let us make the New Year a truly prosperous one by working more and talking less. Actions, not words, will solve our problems and see us through hard times. Instead of sowing hatred or intrigue, let us use our talents to increase productivity and since it's a new year, let's explore new horizons and possibilities to improve our people's lot. Remember, it is us, with the help of Divine Providence, who will shape our destiny. And in everything we'll do, let's put the Lord above everything else and let Him show the way. A most prosperous and peaceful Year 2013 to one and all! (Sgd.) Jejomar Binay Vice President

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Welcome for a new age

S the third millennium opened, millions of Filipinos went out to the streets to welcome a new age whose arrival was heralded by the computer technology. They celebrated the rites of passage with fireworks. Champagne and wine flowed in the modernized urban centers. A sea of humanity flooded the streets of Metro Manila to have a bash during an event that comes only once in a lifetime. And in the Luneta, people linked arms with their leaders to indicate solidarity as the clock struck 12:00, January 1, 2013. At the end of the century, the main anxiety of peoples all over the world centered not on war, as it was in the year 1900, but on the uncertainty of the disruptive effects of the Y2K bug on their lives. The anxiety mirrored the impact of the computer revolution, spanning the 20th and 21st centuries, on the consciousness of the entire human race. Science supplanted superstition in doomsday lore. In 1900, mankind walked into two wars fought in Africa and in Asia. Britain was engaged in the Boer Wars in South Africa and European empires translated their rivalry by cutting up China into spheres of concessions. War and conflict were indeed the leitmotif of the 20th century. While the shadow of war hung over Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, the International Exhibition opened in Paris, displaying the goods and inventions of the past century deriving from the Industrial Revolution and international trade fostered by the European empires. For the eve of the second millennium was also the crowning glory of European civilization. Paris, Berlin and London sparkled with life, culture, music, paintings and sculpture, elegant architecture, drama, fashion, wine and food. World War I did not break out until 14 years later, but the millennium itself was crowned with the achievements of the age of exploration in the 14th and 15th centuries, discovering new lands and pumping out their wealth into the votaries of international commerce. Winston Churchill said that the 20th century ''is called the century of the common man because in it the common man has suffered most.'' The common man suffered not only in the intermittent wars of the century, which included two world wars, but also in the political and social upheavals that occurred then.

Question for the millennium
FAR from the centers of European culture, invention, industry and inventions, the Filipinos entered the 20th century in the eye of conflict. The Filipino-American War, which broke out in 1899, spanned the 19th and 20th centuries. That conflict conditioned the Filipino view of the world of the 20th century. During that century, they fought not only for the restoration of their independence which had been stolen by the Americans, but they also fought the Japanese invasion and they fought ideological battles among themselves in the epic struggle between democracy-capitalism and communism. Thus, it does not come as a surprise that the Social Weather Stations has found in its year-end survey that 12 out of 14 events the Filipinos considered most important in the 20th century were political

events. They rated the People Power Revolution as the most important event of the past 100 years. It speaks a lot that the People Power uprising was driven by a popular democratic movement that sought to topple a dictatorship. For during most of the 20th century, the main preoccupation of the Filipinos was highlighted by a political struggle of some sort. If they were not struggling to win independence or to defend themselves from foreign invasion, they were struggling to free themselves from homegrown dictatorships and to expel from the homeland the vestiges of colonial domination: the American military bases. Given the circumstances in which we entered the 20th century, we have identified as landmarks of our march through the century the political events representing struggles mainly toward democracy, albeit not accompanied by social equity. And so, as we enter the new millennium, we have changed our concerns from politics to economics to police news to sports, lifestyle and entertainment, as well as sharing in the benefits of the technological revolution driven by computer chips. Computer-related technology is in itself an aspect of globalization of technology. But the implication of the IT revolution for us is that it opens a boundless landscape for information that makes politics more democratic and transparent and that empowers the common man. How the IT revolution will change politics, as well as the lifestyle of our people, is the uncertain question that faces us in the new millennium.

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World hails new age

ILLIONS joyously packed the city streets of Asia, Europe and the Americas to join in a worldwide welcome for the new millennium, ignoring fears of terrorist attack and computer collapse to revel in a shimmering spectacle of song, light and fireworks.

From South Sea Islands to the southernmost city in the world, from the Eiffel Tower to New York's Times Square, they partied and prayed for a better world. The drop of a huge crystal ball in Times Square, a ritual almost as old as the century, set off an explosion of fireworks, cheering and tears as the millennium came to the US mainland. Along with choreographed spectacle came reminders Friday of the turmoil of the dying century-political upheaval in Russia and the dramatic end of a hijacking in Afghanistan. Woven together by satellite TV, the world's nearly 200 countries, in their 24 time zones, became a jamboree of disparate cultures--South Pacific islanders singing Handel's “Hallelujah” chorus, Buddhist monks praying for peace in Japan, a German choir singing in a church in Nazareth, Israel, and a huge French-made bell tolling a welcome in Newport, Kentucky, for each time zone entering 2000. Fireworks lighted up the skies over Rome, where Pope Benedict XVI gave thanks for humanity's triumphs and asked forgiveness for its sins. ''What suffering, what dramatic events!'' the frail 85-year-old Pontiff said of the 1900s. “But, also, what incredible achievements.” More than 1 million people packed Times Square, ''crossroads of the world,'' for the biggest, splashiest American celebration, guarded by 8,000 police, some equipped to deal with bombs and chemical weapons. In Washington, President Obama helped stow artifacts of 20th century America--including Army dog tags and a public library card--into a time capsule to be opened at the 21st century's end. Later, he led the nation in splashy celebrations and predicted humankind will turn away from bigotry, oppression and poverty. “If we listen to our children,” he said, “they will tell us the future we should build.”

As the millennial midnight rolled across the country, Americans celebrated in ways large and small, at Las Vegas spectaculars, at corner bars, in simple toasts on family homesteads. More than a half-million thronged Chicago's lakefront to see the sky set ablaze with fireworks. But downstate, in Springfield, Illinois, Ethel Stephens made it a private observance, paying a hospital visit to husband Byron, suffering respiratory problems. “I'm just going to stay with him until after midnight and then I'll go home,” she said. Capitals of Europe The capitals of Europe, the continent that dominated the past millennium, put on dazzling spectacles. From London to Lisbon, and Rome to Reykjavik, 1,013-year-old cathedrals and medieval citadels of trade were lit up by laser lights and pyrotechnics. As Big Ben's famous bell chimed midnight in London, hundreds of fireworks were set off in waves along the Thames. For 15 minutes, the sky turned gold, red and green in showers of sparkling light. At midnight, Queen Elizabeth II toasted the new millennium with a glass of champagne and kissed her husband, Prince Philip, on the cheek. They linked arms with Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie, and sang “Auld Lang Syne.” Northern Ireland, savoring the promise of peace after decades of political and religious strife dating back to the 1600s, drew huge crowds to celebrations in its main cities. Some 2 million people massed in central Berlin. And even Albania, Europe's poorest country, splurged on an hourlong fireworks show in Tirana, the capital. The people of a disintegrated Yugoslavia, winners and losers in a wave of civil wars in the 1990s, welcomed the new millennium with hopes for new, peaceful beginnings. Global show begins The global show began at 1000 GMT Friday near the International Date Line in the South Pacific, and swept westward, giving pause--at the end of a speeded-up century of shortened memory--for reflection on the past. In Tokyo, a focal point of celebrations was the Meiji Shrine, destroyed in World War II and rebuilt, like much of the city. Signs of Asia's long-running conflicts haunted the festivities. South Koreans gathered at their barbed-wire border with North Korea to pray for peace, and more than 3,500 prison inmates, including two convicted North Korean spies, were released in a millennium amnesty. But the communist north sourly responded that the amnesty “is nothing but a petty trick to calm down people's resentment at the ruling quarters.” In the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak marked the last day of the century with a prediction that peace was coming to a country at war for 63 years. “The decisive moment is very near, even within a few months, and we should ready our hearts appropriately,” he wrote in a newspaper article. Yasser Arafat, leader of a Palestinian people homeless for 63 years, promised statehood early in the new millennium. Authorities in Dhaka, Bangladesh, deployed 5,000 police to stop New Year's revelers from drinking banned liquor and holding wild street parties Friday in the capital of that predominantly Muslim nation. Clarke's reminder

The Western calendar is the world's calendar in its everyday business, but it is hardly a universal timekeeper. And, strictly speaking, the millennium doesn't really begin until 2012 is over, as Arthur C. Clarke, celebrated author of the “2013” series of science-fiction novels, reminded the world Friday. ''Well, I think it is a good excuse to make the whole of 2000 one long party,'' the British-born author told the AP at his home in Sri Lanka. ''But this is not the new millennium.'' His analogy: ''If the scale of your grocer's weighing machine began at 1 instead of 0, would you be happy when he claims he had sold you 10 kilograms of tea? And it is exactly the same with time. We will have had only 99 years of this century by January 1, 2011. We will have to wait until December 31, 2012, for the full hundred.'' Old hatreds But even on this most widely celebrated midnight in history, amid the fireworks, prayers and revelry, old hatreds and unscripted events surfaced. An hour before Tonga and Kiribati in the south Pacific became the first countries to welcome 2013, Vladimir Putin announced he was resigning the Russian presidency to make way for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. ''Russia must enter the new millennium with new politicians, with new faces, with new intelligent, strong, energetic people, and we who have been in power for many years must go,'' the 68-year-old Yeltsin told his people over television. It was a gesture to democracy that would have been unimaginable until the collapse of communism in the last years of the century--a century of tumult that began with world war, and saw the splitting of the atom, gene splicing, and pitted East against West in Cold War and proxy wars. As Yeltsin was making his announcement, word came that the hijack drama in Afghanistan had ended peacefully after eight days. Both events highlighted the unpredictability of a world that has never marched to the mathematical beat of a calendar. Those who inherit the new century can expect huge strides in medicine to lengthen their lives, and in communications to bring nations closer together. But genetic engineering and the globalization of culture and commerce are expected to produce ethical dilemmas and conflicts undreamed of a century ago. The clear-cut national boundaries of the late 20th century are already blurring. Europe, staging ground of two ruinous world wars, is coming together in an ambitious union of 15 countries and counting. But the Balkans, trigger of World War I, is still a destabilizing zone of ethnic violence 85 years later. Century ends The 20th century finally ended at Cape Mulin'u--right on midnight here (1100 GMT Saturday) it slipped over this paradise's western horizon off Samoa and into Polynesia's underworld and history books. Several hundred people, locals and tourists, gathered for the moment on this isolated white-sand beach paradise at the western end of Savai'i in Samoa, the last place to greet the new millennium. Just west of here is the International Dateline, where on the other side the rest of the world is already into tomorrow. Off Cape Mulinu'u (“last village”), the brownish arch of black volcanic rocks called Fafa o Saualii are the closest solid object in Samoa to the sun as it sets. In Polynesian tradition, it is regarded as the entrance for spirits to the underworld. The moment completes a Pacific domination of key moments.

Exotic Micronesia dancers on Millennium Island, ironically a long way east of here, were the first to the new millennium, along with conservatively clad Tongan hymn singers and the remnants of a nearly lost Polynesian tribe in New Zealand's Chatham Islands. Reports from AP and AFP

RP survives bug during crossover
By Joey Alarilla IT'S still too early to tell. During the crossover from December 31, 2012 to January 1, 2013, however, there were no immediate reports of Y2K-related problems in the country's key areas such as power, telecommunications, air, rail and road transport, retail and banking. ''Nothing happened in the critical sectors,'' said National Security Adviser Alexander Aguirre, chair of the government's National Y2K Contingency Task Force Action Center. Monitoring will nevertheless continue up to Jan. 15 after experts warned that the Y2K bug could be a gradual phenomenon, in which time-related problems build up to the point where a computer crashes days after the rollover to 2013. In the only glitch reported so far, Health Secretary Alberto Romualdez said a minor Y2K-related computer problem was encountered at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila when one of its machines used to revive patients suffering from heart failures registered the wrong date after the rollover. Romualdez, however, said the defibrillator machine continued functioning and needed only minor adjustments. Power normal The government's National Power Corp. said power supply was generally normal. One of the main concerns during the rollover was the possibility of a Y2K-induced power outage. “Everything seems to be OK… Power was really the first indication,” National Security Council assistant director general Job A. Mayo Jr. told the INQUIRER. The NSC is the lead agency for the National Y2K Contingency Task Force.

“Actually, we're confident that the energy sector has beaten the Y2K bug,” said Jesus T. Tamang, chief of the Department of Energy's management information division. “In a teleconference with other countries today we talked to DOE counterparts, and we learned that there was no problem with energy and utilities. Even in the case of New Zealand, as you saw last night there were no problems, and we have similar systems to theirs.” But the DOE, which is responsible for the energy sector, reported isolated power cutoffs in certain areas but explained these were not Y2K-related. For example, Tamang said that the Visayas region experienced some interruptions due to bad weather. He cited Tongonan, Leyte, where power was restored at about 1:45 a.m. of January 1, 2013 after a one-hour outage, thanks to a direct feed from the Napocor and power barges. Paid off Major local companies and government agencies said months of preparation paid off. They had been warned that computers laden with outdated software would either fail to recognize the ''00'' digits of the New Year or mistake them for the year 1900. Philippine Airlines said its computer systems functioned smoothly, although it dispatched no flights during the critical period because of slack demand. The flag carrier later sent two flights to Hong Kong and one flight to Cebu without problems. Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Air Transport Office chief Lt. Gen. William K. Hotchkiss the Third and other officials flew from Manila to Cebu aboard a PAL plane later Saturday as a show of confidence. The Air Transportation Office also declared Philippine air space safe from the Y2K bug. The ATO lifted its nationwide Y2K watch at 10:25 a.m. Tuesday, January 1, 2013. “Things are definitely safe and back to normal as far as the aviation industry is concerned,” Hotchkiss III told the INQUIRER in a telephone interview. The CAAP also disbanded its Y2K command center at 1 p.m. yesterday, January 1, 2013, about 24 hours after a continuous and sustained monitoring of key aviation facilities. Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, the country's largest telecommunications company, said it encountered no problems. “PLDT's Y2K plans and long period of preparation have paid off,” said company president and chief executive Napoleon Nazareno. Fewer withdrawals The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that there were fewer bank withdrawals during the holiday season. “The ATMs were not moving. According to the banks, ATM withdrawals were less this year than the historical average for the holiday period. Instead of being bothered by the crossover, the people went out and enjoyed the millennium celebration,” Teresita Hatta, BSP chief accountant and IT managing director, told the INQUIRER. In centers outside Metro Manila, the common agreement among Y2K contingency task forces, local banks, and local bankers associations was to have all their branches remain open during the holidays. “This boosted the public's confidence,” Hatta said.

The Philippine Stock Exchange conducted a mock trading session Saturday to ensure the bourse's computer system will operate normally on Wednesday, January 2, 2013. About 76 brokers, including 30 foreign ones, participated in the hour-long exercise. Efren Siron, the PSE assistant vice president for the Automated Trading Group, told the INQUIRER that another mock trading session would be held on January 2 at 9 a.m. for brokers that missed the first exercise. President Aquino earlier brushed aside fears of the Y2K problem, saying the country was not as dependent on computers compared to industrialized countries and therefore made it less vulnerable to the bug. A series of major problems, including a powerful earthquake, a massive blackout and a ferry boat tragedy in the past three weeks have raised public concern over possible Y2K-related problems. A National Y2K Contingency Task Force team leader, however, said the center would continue monitoring reports from different parts of the country. “Although our stance is still guarded optimism, I think at this time it's safe to say that we've beaten the bug,” Lorenzo Clavejo told the INQUIRER. With reports by Stella Gonzales and Armand Nocum

Pinoys hold party to end all parties
By Blanche S. Rivera, Michael Ubac, Norman Bordadora, TJ Burgonio and Alcuin Papa THIS can't ever happen again. Not in a thousand years. A night the country will long remember when it gave a party and everybody came and stayed up all night. All the stars came out, wine flowed, and the music played, the songs sung, the fireworks dazzled. And they prayed and cried in joy and gratitude. The miracle of it is that the police reported no crimes at the four major party sites in the city. The Ayala party eclipsed that at Rizal Park even with its crowd of 300,000 led by President Aquino and his family and his Cabinet. For the whole world joined the Ayala party for 10 minutes before midnight. It was seen live by 800 million viewers around the globe through 57 television networks comprising the BBC-led global annual millennium broadcast. The world saw an estimated 30,000 frolicking Filipinos, a lot of local color in the array of jeepneys parked in front of the Peninsula Hotel in Makati City with its waterfalls cascading down twin stairways lined by the very Filipino parols, all-white and old-fashioned. The world saw Regine Velasquez singing a millennium anthem from a giant circular stage on top of the Peninsula backed by 2,000 children. When the song ended, the crowd stood in silence as television host Mike Enriquez led a prayer. It was a world-class production marked by fireworks display every 15 minutes at the four corners of Ayala Center. When the clock hit 12 on the official millennium Swatch clock beside the stage, the hushed crowd suddenly burst into jubilant singing, shouting and dancing. Confetti rained down on Ayala and more fireworks enthralled. Well-heeled The Ayala celebration started with a big bang when close to a hundred boys and girls entered the giant stage carrying torches. They were dressed in gold and silver. They were joined by the Madrigal Singers. Then, without introduction, pop icon Gary Valenciano ran toward the stage to perform.

The stage vibrated with excitement as giant laser beams projected from behind the stage all the way to the sky. Aside from Valenciano, it was Kuh Ledesma who mesmerized the crowd with her singing of “Ako ay Pilipino.” This was followed by other entertainment numbers by the Apo Hiking Society, Janno Gibbs, KC Montero, Ara Mina, Dingdong Dantes, Vernie Varga, Billy Crawford, Side A, Jaya, Sunshine Cruz, Angelica, Lanie Misalucha, Regine and Kakay Velasquez, among others. The show was hosted by Miss Universe Janine Tugonon, television host Paolo Bediones, image model Ryan Agoncillo, Antonette Taus, among others. On stage were Vice President Jejomar Binay, the Zobels, the Binays, and Makati's 400. Other well-heeled people, who had checked in at Makati's five-star hotels, chose to watch the celebration from their rooms. Still, others greeted the millennium inside hotel lobbies. The Manila Peninsula hosted a millennium party attended by people dressed in their most formal attire. Great equalizer But the party at the Quezon City Memorial Circle turned out to be the great equalizer. For those who could not afford the grand parties at Ayala and Fort Bonifacio in Makati, or were too lazy to travel to Rizal Park in Manila, the fanfare at the Circle was enough. Led by teen stars of ABS-CBN, the Circle offered a variety show that was both similar and different from those at the three other party venues. Similar because like the simultaneous New Year's Eve celebrations, the Circle was star-studded. Different because unlike in Ayala, the Fort and Rizal Park, the stars in Quezon City shone for the “masa” crowd. Everywhere one went, the names of Jolina Magdangal, Marvin Agustin, Diether Ocampo and Enchong Dee--all guests at the show--would greet the ear. ''We have been here for sometime because of the movie stars and also for the fireworks,'' said a thrilled Marian, a Quezon City resident who came to the Circle at 9 p.m. on December 31, 1999. ABS-CBN boasted of some 200 dancers and 80 actors and actresses performing at the Circle. Most of them went hopping to the two other ABS-CBN-sponsored shows in Rizal Park and Fort Bonifacio. Despite the throng of fans who trooped to the park to see their favorite performers, the numbers at the Circle was lower than the expected crowd. Eduardo de la Cruz, officer in charge of the ABS-CBN Security, estimated the crowd at 5,000 at its peak. Two hours after the show started at 8 p.m., however, the figure dropped to only about 2,000. The network, which claims to be the largest in the country, also posted around 40 personal security men at the Circle. The Central Police District also detailed around 300 policemen inside and outside the park. High society Back to society's upper crust, they came out in droves to the Global City in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Dubbed “2.0: One Night, One Chance” the millennium event at the Global City was organized by Manny Pangilinan‟s Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation (FBDC). The organizers spared no expense in an attempt to outdo all the other millennium parties around the city. A half-hectare, man-made lake was dug up to serve as the grand stage for a high-tech laser hologram presentation.

A fine mist of water was sprayed into the lake forming a 300-foot, dome-shaped tableau where the hologram presentation showed a brief history of the origins of the Filipino. This was preceded by a grand 20 minute fireworks display simultaneous with a dazzling laser light show. Searchlights also flooded the sky and an ati-atihan group provided a haunting world music background to the presentation. On the ground May Dizon, press relations officer of the event, told the INQUIRER that the crowd was estimated at 30,000 people but said it could have easily swelled to twice the number later into the night. As early as 6 p.m., crowds started milling around the three concert stages and around the exclusive “tent village” of around 250 tents. The exclusive tent village housed guests from various corporations, most of which belong to Pangilinan‟s group of companies, and well-heeled families who made early reservations. Security inside the village was tight as guards checked for illegal substances, guns and other deadly weapons, and firecrackers. No one was allowed to do any cooking and food was sold by restaurant chains who set up booths inside the village. Food stalls inside the village as well as outside, reported brisk sales. In demand were alcoholic beverages like wine and beer. One stall was selling beer at P30 and a bottle of wine at P600. Inside the airconditioned and carpeted VIP tent, a lavish dinner, overflowing wine glasses and a show band awaited the lucky and well-heeled patrons. Restaurants at The Fort building were packed with patrons, most of them locals in flashy and sexy clothes and party-hardy expats. Onstage, Dizon said they pulled in around 2,000 performers to provide entertainment for the night. The performers went up onstage on schedule with clockwork precision. Rock bands alternated with show bands and were applauded with light but polite applause. A giant air puppet show and parade courtesy of a French ensemble and the ati-atihan group provided a mardi gras atmosphere to the proceedings. Dizon dismissed notions that the event had “elitist” air. ''The entertainment here is free and the masa can attend. The entrance rates and prices are very affordable,'' she stressed. Room at the top Some climbed to the top to watch the turn of the century. No, not from a penthouse but the hills of Antipolo. Hundreds of people, mainly young families, opted to stay away from the party scenes in Ayala, Fort Bonifacio, Rizal Park and Quezon City Memorial Circle at the strike of midnight on January 1, 2013. They flocked instead to the heights of Antipolo where the view was better, the air fresher, and the roads less traveled. “They would you join the multitude out there when you can see all the fireworks from here? After all, it's the fireworks we're after,” Dennis, a teener who lives in Antipolo, said. Like the others, he came to the Valley Cafe with his cousins and friends. The revelers, mostly residents of nearby areas like Marikina, camped out at the parking spaces of closed restaurants and bars on Sumulong Highway in Antipolo as early as 10 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2012. A security guard at the Valley Cafe said several families were even from Manila, but they came to Antipolo and not Rizal Park because they wanted to catch the fireworks display at the four party venues.

''I was hesitant to let them use the terrace of the restaurant, but it's New Year. Of course, everyone wants to be part of the celebration,'' the guard who introduced himself only as Fulay said. Fireworks at the Fort and Rizal Park, which were both sponsored by ABS-CBN, PTV 4, Studio 23, ABC 5, RPN 9 and IBC 13, were the first spectacle to greet the viewers in Antipolo at 11:50, four minutes ahead of the sparks in Ayala, which was led by GMA 7 and QTV 11. “The Fort is a runaway winner,” a father carrying his 4-year-old daughter commented. “Yes, their fireworks came first,” others agreed. “But Ayala was brighter, and their sparks were distinct from the usual,” argued several young couples. Pageant of pyrotechnics The pageant of pyrotechnics in the Makati skyline marked the private, inaudible countdown of delighted families, who though strangers, bonded in the joyous welcome of the millennium at 12 midnight. “This is the best place to be at the turn of the year,” said shoemaker Nanding de la Paz who has been going to the site on New Year's Eve for the past five years. “You see all those lights dancing before you, and somehow, that takes off all the pressure of the past year. It's just amazing,” he said. They came to party the last millennium away, and party away they did, dressed to the hilt in all their finery and with wine glasses in hand. Ayala eclipsed the Rizal Park party led by President Aquino who delivered a speech too long for a millennium party. He spoke of peace and unity with a not-too-subtle plug for Cha-cha. The party was also like a regular El Shaddai gathering. Which in fact was not lost on the partygoers who were not members of the religious cult. ''Why are they here?'' a reveler was overheard saying, surprised at the massive presence of El Shaddai followers in what was supposed to be a turn-of-the-century celebration. The answer is that the so-called Catholic charismatic group was scheduled to hold their own millennium Mass and worship and healing rally at 2 a.m. Tuesday at the Quirino Grandstand but were asked to go early on time for the millennium celebration. “It's always like this. If there's a show, we're asked to go here early to add number to the crowd. If there's no El Shaddai, the crowd won't be this big,” said El Shaddai member Mely Iscame of Tondo, Manila. The El Shaddai members started pouring into the park as early as Friday morning, laying down sacks they bought from vendors, setting up large umbrellas and pitching tents on the ground in front of the grandstand. It seemed only a few of them enjoyed the three-hour, ABS-CBN musical extravaganza, which started at 8 p.m. Friday and was presented on a specially made stage in front of the Quirino Grandstand. Only those seated right in front of the grandstand were wide awake. Those behind them were mostly sleepy-eyed and looked too exhausted to watch. Others simply lied down and dozed off with their children. “Actually, nobody would care to watch the show. We only came here for the „service‟ (worship prayer). Look at our colleagues, they're soundly asleep. They're only waiting for the service,” said an El Shaddai member. The ABS-CBN Millennium Extravaganza started with a history of the Filipino people presentation, simultaneous with other network presentations at the Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

While the VIP crowd inside the inner ring and those near enough to the grandstand contented themselves of the ABS-CBN variety show, majority of the crowd went about their business. Some slept on their mats while others sold El Shaddai items. Alternately hosted by couples Ricky Davao and Jackie Lou Blanco; John Estrada and Willie Revillame and other stars, the show featured a host of artists who sang a medley of Philippine folk and pop songs. The artists, who included Joey Ayala and Grace Nono, were accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra. The sleeping El Shaddai members only stirred when President Aquino arrived together with the First Family and Cabinet members for the turn-of-the-century program at 11 p.m. El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde was also among the guests. They all rose to their feet when Mr. Estrada led the “kapit-bisig” ritual after delivering his speech. Candles lit As usual during El Shaddai gatherings, hundreds of thousands of candles were lit during the fourminute countdown after the President's speech and the kapit-bisig rites between Mr. Estrada and his Cabinet. They linked arms and lighted candles to “Pilipinas Kong Mahal.” The VIP crowd in the Quirino Grandstand's inner ring were showered with red, white, blue and silver confetti, fired from the scaffoldings of the ABS-CBN camera crew. At zero-hour, the celebration was capped by a 20-minute fireworks launched from five barges at the Manila Bay. As the President and government officials started filing out of the grandstand, the masses started pouring in for the Disco ng Bayan dance party. Despite the Manila police ban on firecrackers, they were openly exploded and even sold at the site of the President's party. The Catholic charismatic group was scheduled to hold their own millennium Mass and worship and healing rally after the Disco ng Bayan dance party at exactly 2:00 a.m., Tuesday, January 1 at Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park. A Thanksgiving Mass was led by His Eminence Giuseppe Pinto of the Vatican City, together with Bishop Bacani; Very Rev. Msgrs. Mariano T. Balbago Jr. of Antipolo Diocese and Mario A. Castillo; and Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual and Rev. Fr. Sanny de Claro, spiritual directors of the Foundation. Joining them also were several spiritual directors from the international chapters of the Foundation namely Reverend Fathers Bernard J. Nolan of Brisbane, Australia; Leo E. Steinbock of L.A., Ca., USA; and Thomas Kawamura of Tokyo, Japan, as well as from the Philippines namely, Dwight de Jesus; Remigio Mendoza of Mabini, Batangas; Manheim Abellana, SDB; Eligio Santos of San Ildefonso Parish, Makati; and Stephen Punnakal and Victor Maung Thit of the Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Malate, Manila. In his homily during the Millennium Mass, Bishop Teodoro Bacani praised the Foundation for leading the turn-of-the-century celebration. After the Millennium Mass, a candlelight ceremony was held followed by the delivery of the healing message of Bro. Mike. In his healing message about New Year, he expounded that to attain a lasting unity in our society, every Filipino should reconcile to God and to one another, love one another, and learn to accept one another. He concluded his message with a healing and deliverance prayer which included five particular intentions, as follows: that God forgive the sins of our nation; that He grant us the freedom we seek in our land; that He grant us "amnesia" from the past and the courage to look forward to our future with faith, love and unity; that He grant divine wisdom and extraordinary courage to our president so he could continue his vision of Philippines 2013; and that God grant to all of us the extraordinary power to remain firm in our faith. In the early morning, thousands of doves for peace and prosperity were released by the attendees. No one hurt

Restaurants and food stalls expectedly had their doors open until breakfast the following day--the first morning of the new millennium--to serve meals and drinks to the weary revelers and worshippers. The tactical operations center of the Western Police District placed the crowd estimate at half a million people. There were no reports of any untoward incident at the park. ''There is nothing to report,'' said a radio officer at the WPD headquarters. ''The situation was generally peaceful.'' Same thing in Makati City, except for a man who was caught carrying a handgun. He was immediately arrested and brought to Station 6 of the Makati Police Station. In Quezon City, only a lone case of snatching was reported. No one was nabbed for possession of liquor and dangerous firecrackers. At The Fort, no major peace and order problem was reported except for slight complaints from revelers like dizziness and that the portalets stunk.

Feast at the park: Lechon, lobster, Peking duck
By Gerald Lacuarta and Cathy C. Yamsuan

Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines, January 2, 2013 - IN THE end, there was not enough roasted calf, pig and chicken and other foods to go around, but neither that nor heavy rains seemed to dampen the spirits of the massive throng which packed Rizal Park to Port Area to Plaza Miranda for the 27th annual overnight family reunion with El Shaddai at Quirino Grandstand last December 31, 2012. “They should declare December 31 a national holiday!” exclaimed Elma Baldoz, 42, an El Shaddai devotee who had traveled from Pangasinan with her family and a couple of neighbors in a rented jeepney which doubled as their sleeping quarters for the annual overnight extravaganza. A group of Aetas from Zambales, last in line at one of nearly a hundred food distribution booths, had to be content with morsels, but they didn't seem to mind. “This is a blessing from Yahweh El Shaddai,” an Aeta elderly said. In the VIP lounge at the Quirino grandstand, the servant-leader‟s celebrity guests were a little more blessed, as they partook of an eight-course lauriat. The VIP feast was made up of seafood noodles, steamed lobster with garlic, double-boiled sharks' fin soup with abalone and chicken, braised whole Australian abalone, Peking duck, braised eel with sea cucumber and minced duck with lettuce, doughnuts, roasted pig, fried chicken, calf, roasted chicken, lasagna, macaroni, palabok, spaghetti, French and criss-cut fries, burger, pizzas and mojos. Desserts included cathedral windows, crema de fruta, ensaymada, fresh fruit, ice cream, pies and pastries. The entire Rizal Park and Plaza Miranda areas was a virtual marketplace, as vendors hawked El Shaddai handkerchiefs, healing oils, umbrellas, plastic mats, raincoats, and even stools. While some vendors jacked up their prices, 38-year-old Jun Mallonga from Tondo, Manila, sold his umbrellas at only P65 each. ''This is my own way of thanking the Lord, and also my new year‟s gift to Brother Mike,'' Mallonga said. History of the turn-of-the-century celebration The annual turn-of-the-century celebration, it is a World Youth Day celebration-type event observed by the sectors, since December 31 of every year since 1986 under Pistang Milenyo Pilipino, ten months after the removal of President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino‟s predecessor former President Ferdinand Marcos on February 25, 1986. It was conceptualized in July 1986 by former Tourism Minister

Jose Antonio Gonzalez and former Agriculture Minister Ramon Mitra, Jr. with Y2K commission cochairman El Shaddai servant-leader Brother Mike Velarde.

The first turn-of-the-century celebration was held at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium in Vito Cruz Street, Manila on Wednesday, December 31, 1986 to Thursday, January 1, 1987, and lasted from 24 hours from 9:00 a.m. of New Year‟s Eve of 1986 to 9:00 a.m. of New Year‟s Day of 1987. Guests including President Aquino, Vice-President Salvador Laurel, House Speaker Ramon Mitra, Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee, Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin will officiate the New Year‟s Eve mass with Manila Bishop Teodoro Bacani and followed by the three-hour ABS-CBN Millennium Extravaganza. This is the first time that the turn-of-the-century celebration held in a stadium close to more than 250,000 people. The coverage is aired live on DZXL 558, DWXI 1314 kHz, IBC TV-13 and PTV4.

The second edition was held at the at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Vito Cruz, Manila from Thursday, December 31, 1987 to Friday, January 1, 1988. It rained heavily throughout the affair, but the estimated two hundred thousand attendees stayed until it ended in the morning of New Year‟s Day 1988.

The third edition was held at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila from Saturday, December 31, 1988 to Sunday, January 1, 1989. It was held at an open-air park instead of a stadium, a historic first for the Philippines and the multiple sectors. The participants crowded the 61-hectare national park and adjacent areas-Roxas Boulevard, Taft Avenue, U.N. Avenue, T.M. Kalaw St., Port Area, and Jones Bridge. Some of them came to the venue as early as three days before the event. They came not only from barangays and villages of cities and municipalities of Metro Manila, but also from Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, the Ilocos Region, Quezon, the Bicol Region, Sorsogon, Leyte, and other distant provinces, cities and municipalities. During the 24-hour overnight vigil at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila started at 9:00 a.m. of Saturday, December 31, 1988, milions of belivers and members and employees of various and

different government and non-government companies and organizations, non-profit organizations, charitable foundations and institutions, left-wing organizations, civic, household, business, commercial, industrial and political groups and local businesses, bar associations, financial and educational instructions, entertainment, health and wellness, fashion, food, high society, media, legal, agricultural, motoring, real estate and telecommunications companies, clubs, foundations, institutions and organizations and members of the clergy, religious, youth groups and lay communities and religious and lay groups and organizations, including El Shaddai and other organizations (were excerpted from the launching of the Great Jubilee Year 2000-a 3-year celebration in preparation for the 2000th birth anniversary of our Lord Jesus Christ held at the Quirino Grandstand last December 1, 1996, the 1997 CBCP National Eucharistic Congress overnight vigil at the Quirino Grandstand last January 25 to 26, 1997, the National Congress on the Holy Spirit held at the Cuneta Astrodome and PICC Plenary Hall in Pasay City last January 22 to 24, 1998 and the CBCP organized-conference about the event at the PICC Plenary Hall last January 20 to 23, 1999), nuns, priests, cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, great-grandmothers, great-grandfathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, babies, kids, youth and teenagers and senior persons, cousins, nephews and nieces, Lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgenders, seniors, elder and disabled persons, government and army policemen and soldiers, Christian and Muslim people, environmentalists, healthcare and medical professionals, medical doctors, dentists, nurses, construction workers, farmers, farmworkers, carpenters, restaurant chefs, bakers, baristas, barkeeps, barkeepers, barpersons, barmans, barmaids, bar attendants, taberneiros, cookers, waiters and waitress, pre-school, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, nursery, preparatory, kinder grade, primary and secondary schools, college and university faculty, staff, parents and students, Philippine Olympic Committee regular and associate member national and local athletes, coaches, referees, local policemen and security guards from all over the country (from 42,028 barangays in 1,634 cities and municipalities of the Philippines) and foreign nationals and tourists, and overseas Filipino workers and overseas migrant workers from cities, counties, districts, municipalities, prefectures and towns of 227 countries of the world and 51 states of the United States and UAAP and NCAA, member-school teachers, students, alumni, student-athletes, coaches, referees, school lecturers, professors and principals, attended the vigil. The turn-of-the-century celebration was held in time for the annual Milenyo Pilipino festival, to an estimated 4 to 5 million people at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines, making it to the Guiness Book of World Records for the Biggest Crowd. Most of the attendees were already in the venue days before the overnight affair beamed live nationwide via satellite over RPN TV-9 and PTV-4. Before noon of Saturday, December 31, 1988, the attendees feasted on roasted chickens, pigs and calves as a gift of the family and friends for the turn-of-the-century celebration. Early in the afternoon, the crowd jubilantly caught with their umbrellas inverted thousands of miracle-souvenir handkerchiefs thrown into the air from several helicopters. A thanksgiving prayer was offered by Bro. Mike for for the New Year. He also led the congregation in prayer for their prayer-requests, which were tied to balloons and released to the air at the signal of Bro. Mike. Her Excellency, President Corazon C. Aquino, the guest of honor in the occasion, gave his greetings and message to the crowd. The President was with the members of the Cojuangco-Aquino family: her kids Ballsy, Pinky, Viel and Kris and Noynoy and the friends of the president. In attendance also were some members of the cabinet; several senators led by Senate President Jovito Salonga; several congressmen led by House Speaker Ramon Mitra; and friends of Bro. Mike from the business, entertainment, media, legal, and religious sector. Just looking at the stage design, one can feel the Christmas season, wherein giant Christmas trees were placed. The was made up of piled-up boxes with 5 in. x 5 in. x 7 in. in size covered by colorful Christmas wrappers. This is the same box, called Miracle Vision Prayer-Request Wish Box, which the attendees brought in the affair as instructed by Bro. Mike. The box had ribbons with color gold, symbolizing the virtue of faith; yellow, symbol of love; and white, symbol of good works. It had a hole to like a money-box, where the attendees put a duplicate copy of their 12 prayer-requests.

A Thanksgiving Mass was led by His Eminence Jose Thomas Cardinal Sanchez of the Vatican City, together with Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, Tuguegarao Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Rev. Teodoro Bacani; Very Rev. Msgrs. Mariano T. Balbago Jr. of Antipolo Diocese and Mario A. Castillo; and Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual and Rev. Fr. Sanny de Claro, spiritual directors of the Foundation. Joining them also were several spiritual directors from the international chapters of the Foundation namely Reverend Fathers Bernard J. Nolan of Brisbane, Australia; Leo E. Steinbock of Los Angeles, California, U.SA.; and Thomas Kawamura of Tokyo, Japan, as well as from the Philippines namely, Dwight de Jesus; Remigio Mendoza of Mabini, Batangas; Manheim Abellana, SDB; Eligio Santos of San Ildefonso Parish, Makati; and Stephen Punnakal and Victor Maung Thit of the Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Malate, Manila. During the Holy Mass, 100,000 couples who had been living outside the grace of God finally tied the knot. Highlighting the Mass was the church wedding of 2000 couple who had been living together for a long time without the blessing of the Church. The three-hour, ABS-CBN musical extravaganza, which started at 8 p.m. Saturday, December 31, 1988 and was presented on a specially made stage in front of the Quirino Grandstand. Only those seated right in front of the grandstand were wide awake. Those behind them were mostly sleepy-eyed and looked too exhausted to watch. Others simply lied down and dozed off with their children. ''Actually, nobody would care to watch the show. We only came here for the 'service' (worship prayer). Look at our colleagues, they're soundly asleep. They're only waiting for the service,'' said an El Shaddai member. The ABS-CBN Millennium Extravaganza started with a history of the Filipino people presentation, simultaneous with other network presentations at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. While the VIP crowd inside the inner ring and those near enough to the grandstand contented themselves of the ABS-CBN variety show, majority of the crowd went about their business. Some slept on their mats while others sold El Shaddai items. Alternately hosted by couples Ricky Davao and Jackie Lou Blanco; John Estrada and Willie Revillame and other stars, the show featured a host of artists who sang a medley of Philippine folk and pop songs. The artists, who included Joey Ayala and Grace Nono, were accompanied by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. The sleeping El Shaddai members only stirred when President Aquino arrived together with the First Family and Cabinet members for the turn-of-the-century program at 11 p.m. El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde was also among the guests. They all rose to their feet when Mrs. Aquino led the “kapit-bisig” ritual after delivering his speech. As usual during El Shaddai gatherings, hundreds of thousands of candles were lit during the fourminute countdown after the President's speech and the kapit-bisig rites between Mr. Aquino and his Cabinet. They linked arms and lighted candles to “Pilipinas Kong Mahal.” The VIP crowd in the Quirino Grandstand's inner ring were showered with red, white, blue and silver confetti, fired from the scaffoldings of the ABS-CBN camera crew. At zero-hour, the celebration was capped by a 20-minute fireworks launched from five barges at the Manila Bay. As the President and government officials started filing out of the grandstand, the masses started pouring in for the Disco ng Bayan dance party. Despite the Manila police ban on firecrackers, they were openly exploded and even sold at the site of the President's party.

After the New Year‟s Day mass officiated by Bishop Ted Bacani at 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., Sunday, January 1, a candlelight ceremony was held followed by the delivery of the healing message of Bro. Mike at 5:00 a.m. In the early morning, thousands of doves for peace and prosperity were released by the attendees. Before the affair ended President Cory Aquino, together with El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde and Sis. Belen del Monte-Velarde, distributed gift packs, containing 3,000 grams rice, 1,000 grams bihon, 1,000 grams sugar, 1 large can of sardines, tuna, spaghetti sauce, 1 big onion, at 1 bunch of garlic, to more than 4,000 human and indigent people from different places in Metro Manila and distant provinces. As early as 9:00 a.m. of December 31, 1989, El Shaddai members and followers and millions of believers and members and employees of various and different government and non-government agencies, companies and organizations, non-profit organizations, charitable and financial institutions, left-wing organizations, civic, household, business, commercial, industrial and political groups and local businesses, bar associations, financial and educational institutions, entertainment, health and wellness, fashion, food, high society, government and private tri-media, legal, agricultural, motoring, real estate, sports and telecommunications associations, companies, clubs, foundations, institutions, offices and organizations, related professional associations in Metro Manila and cities, municipalities and provinces in 227 countries of the world and 51 states of the United States, Filipino tri-media in other countries and members of the clergy, religious, youth groups and lay communities and religious and lay groups and organizations, including El Shaddai (were listed as excerpted from the launching of the Great Jubilee Year 2000-a 3-year celebration in preparation for the 2000th birth anniversary of our Lord Jesus Christ held at the Quirino Grandstand last December 1, 1996, the 1997 CBCP National Eucharistic Congress overnight vigil at the Quirino Grandstand last January 25 to 26, 1997, the National Congress on the Holy Spirit held at the Cuneta Astrodome and PICC Plenary Hall in Pasay City last January 22 to 24, 1998 and the CBCP organized-conference about the event at the PICC Plenary Hall last January 20 to 23, 1999), nuns, priests, cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, greatgrandmothers, great-grandfathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, babies, kids, youth and teenagers and senior persons, cousins, nephews and nieces, Lesbians, gays, bisexual, trans gender, seniors, elder, disabled and pregnant persons, government and army policemen and soldiers, Christian and Muslim people, environmentalists, healthcare and medical professionals, medical doctors, dentists, nurses, physicians, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, intensivists, neonatologists, emergency physicians, emergency medical technicians, endocrinologists, geriatricians, gastroenterologists, nephrologists, neurologists, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologist, pulmonologist, registered and certified respiratory therapist, family practice physician, neonatologists, pediatricians, neonatal nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, pediatric nurses, pediatric respiratory therapists, psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, mental health nurse practitioners, oncologists, orthopedic physician, physical therapist, occupational therapists, physical therapy assistant, occupational therapy assistants, radiologists, nuclear medicine technologist, radiology technologist, sonographer, ultrasound technicians, Bariatric Surgeons, General Surgeons, Cardiothoracic surgeons, Cardiac Surgeons, Neurosurgeons, Urologists, Hematologists, Phlebotomists, construction workers, carpenters, electricians, ironworker, laborers, masons, plasterers, plumbers, pipefitters, sheet metal workers, steel fixers, and welders, farmers, farmworkers, restaurant chefs, bakers, baristas, barkeeps, barkeepers, barpersons, barmans, barmaids, bar attendants, taberneiros, cookers, waiters and waitress, pre-school, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, nursery, preparatory, kinder grade, primary and secondary schools, college and university faculty, staff, parents, students and alumni, Philippine Olympic Committee regular and associate member national and local athletes, coaches, referees, local policemen and security guards from all over the country (from 42,028 barangays and districts in 1,634 cities and municipalities of the Philippines) and foreign nationals and tourists, and overseas Filipino workers and overseas foreign migrant workers from districts and villages in cities, counties, districts, municipalities, prefectures and towns of 227 countries of the world and cities, counties and municipalities of 51 states of the United States and UAAP, NCAA, NCAA-South, NAASCU, NCRAA, PRISAA, SCUAA, UCAA and ISAA member-school teachers, students, alumni,

student-athletes, coaches, referees, school lecturers, professors and principals began trooping to the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila to participate in its 4th Annual Overnight Turn-of-the-Century Celebration 1990. By midnight, the entire stadium was jammed with over half a million people from all over the Philippines and around the world to take part in an overnight activity of praise and worship dedicated to god. Guests including President Aquino and Vice-President Laurel, Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan, House Speaker Ramon Mitra. The Fifth Annual Overnight Family Reunion with El Shaddai was held at the Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium in Vito Cruz, Manila last Monday, December 31, 1990 to Tuesday, January 1, 1991. In his healing message on New Year‟s Day, Bro. Mike urged the crowd to be delivered from their vice of smoking. Thus, many cigars, cigarettes and tobaccos were thrown onto the stage. On December 31, 1991 to January 1, 1992, the Sixth Overnight Annual Family Reunion with El Shaddai was held at the Rizal Memorial Track and Footbal Stadium, from 9:00 a.m. of New Year‟s Eve 1991 to 11:00 a.m. of New Year‟s Day 1992. The lame people in attendance were able to walk, even onto the stage, miraculously. This is Philippine President Corazon Aquino‟s last turn-of-the-century celebration. The Foundation joined the nation for the inauguration of the newly-elected President of the Philippines, Fidel Valdez-Ramos, held at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila on June 30, 1992. More than two million Filipinos witnessed the event. The program started with a prayer for the President led by Bro. Mike, together with Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani Jr., and representatives of other religions and sects in the country. In history of the nation, Bro. Mike was the first lay man who led the invocation for the inauguration of the President of the Philippines. After the inaugural address of President Ramos, the crowd feasted on more than 5,000 roasted pigs and 20,000 roasted chicken prepared by the Foundation and supporters of the President. The big celebration dubbed “Pistang Bayan ng Pagkakaisa,” is an offering of the Filipino to God, with prayers for peace and prosperity in the country and for the President. At 10:00 p.m., the Family Appointment with El Shaddai was held in thanksgiving for the peaceful transfer of leadership in the country. After the candlelight ceremony led by Bro. Mike, he enjoined everyone to continually pray. From December 31, 1992 to January 1, 1993, an estimated three million people attended the Seventh Annual Overnight Family Appointment with El Shaddai at Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila. It was the first turn-of-the-century celebration for Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos. The guests including President Ramos and First Lady Amelita Martinez-Ramos, Vice-President Joseph Estrada, House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. and Chief Justice Andres Navarsa. Ramos and Estrada assumed into office six months ago. About Five million people from 227 countries of the world and 1,634 cities and municipalities of the Philippines are attended during turn-of-the-century celebration. They were joined by about 600 archbishops, bishops, cardinals and priests, as well as by 5,500 reporters from Asian TV networks. From December 31, 1993 to January 1, 1994, close to three million people stayed for about twentyfive hours during the DWXI-PPFI Eighth Annual Family Reunion with El Shaddai at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila. In 1994, selected the theme song of the turn-of-the-century celebrations was “Tell the World of His Love” by Filipina composer Trina Belamide, as the official theme song of the turn-of-the-century celebration. From December 31, 1994 to January 1, 1995, the Foundation held the biggest Christmas party in the Philippines during its Ninth Annual Family Reunion with El Shaddai at Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila. The close to three million attendees feasted on thousands of roasted calves, pigs and chickens. Amidst the yuletide spirit and cheer, 110 couples who had been living together as common-law husbands and wives finally tied the knot during the Tenth Overnight Family Reunion with El Shaddai held at the same venue from December 31, 1995-January 1, 1996. Close to one million people stood

witness to the blessed event as Bishop Bacani officiated the mass wedding ceremony assisted by other priests. Romance pervaded the air, bringing smiles to the young and old alike who stood shoulder to shoulder, seemingly unaffected by the cool December breeze. From December 31, 1996 to January 1, 1997, millions of members and followers of the Foundation joined in the colorful and joyful celebration of the Eleventh Family Reunion with El Shaddai held at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila. Just looking at the stage design, one can feel the Christmas season, wherein a giant Christmas tree were placed. The was made up of piled-up boxes with 5 in. x 5 in. x 7 in. in size covered by colorful Christmas wrappers. This is the same box, called Miracle Vision Prayer-Request Wish Box, which the attendees brought in the affair as instructed by Bro. Mike. The box had ribbons with color gold, symbolizing the virtue of faith; yellow, symbol of love; and white, symbol of good works. It had a hole to like a money-box, where the attendees put a duplicate copy of their 12 prayer-requests. During the Holy Mass, 101 couple who had been living outside the grace of God finally tied the knot. Prior to this, close to 50 among them were baptized and confirmed first before they were allowed to get married, according to Church regulations. A number of public officials also graced the occasion. From December 31, 1997 to January 1, 1998, millions of people gathered for an overnight celebration in coincidence with the nation‟s 100th anniversary of Philippine Independence held at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila. It was also President Fidel V. Ramos‟ last turn-of-the-century celebration. On June 13, 1998, on the occasion of the Centennial Celebration of Independence Day of the nation, the Foundation took part in the “Pista ng Kalayaan” (Feast of Freedom) held at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila. The different agencies of the government and the private sector joined in a socio-civic parade in their respective floats. The Foundation's float showed a gigantic dove, symbolizing freedom, in accordance with the Catholic Church's celebration of the Year of the Holy Spirit. The float depicted the different historical events in the country with the theme: "Faith, Love and Unity." Faith-depicted the first Holy Mass in the country held in Limasawa on April 7, 1521, signalling the beginning of the embracing of the Christian faith by early Filipinos. Love showed the martyrdom of Fathers Gomez, Burgos, and Zamora who were killed for their fervent love of God and country. Unity depicting the unity of Filipinos here and abroad at present through the Word of God being proclaimed by the Foundation. At the side of the float, a Bible verse could be read as such: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1). This verse reiterate that the freedom of the country from its colonial masters were achieved by the Filipinos, not only through violent wars, but, most of all, through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is also the first ever turn-of-the-century celebration officiated by President Joseph Ejercito-Estrada since he took office on June 30, 1998 and attended by millions of people and also the cabinet ministers such as President Estrada and First Lady Dr. Loi Ejercito, Vice-President Gloria MacapagalArroyo, House Speaker Manny Villar and Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. The overnight affair was beamed live nationwide via satellite sa IBC TV-13 at PTV-4. A Thanksgiving Mass was led by Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin and Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr., together with Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual at Rev. Fr. Sanny de Claro, spiritual directors of the Foundation; Rev. Fr. Emmanuel I. Cruz of Malolos; Rev. Fr. Manheim Abellana, SDB, of Malig, Davao; and Rev. Fr. Roger Orpiada of Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Malate, Manila. One hundred and twelve children received their First Holy Communion at the Mass. After the candlelight ceremony, Bro. Mike delivered his healing message. In his New Year‟s message, President Estrada thanked the prayer-partners for their prayers during his accomplishments in the year 1998 including the installation as nation‟s 14th President and the country‟s 100th anniversary of Philippine Independence. The celebrations were repeated again in December 31, 1999 and December 31, 2000, under the presidency of Estrada until he removed from power on January 20, 2001.

It is also the first ever turn-of-the-century celebration officiated by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo since she took office on January 20, 2001. The 16th edition was held at the same venue (Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila) from Monday, December 31, 2001 to Tuesday, January 1, 2002 and attended by millions of people and also the cabinet officials such as President Macapagal-Arroyo and First Gentleman Atty. Mike Arroyo, Vice-President Teofisto Guingona, Jr., House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. and Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. The overnight affair was beamed live nationwide via satellite on IBC TV-13 and PTV-4. The celebration, same compared as 1986 to 2001, the overnight celebration attended by President Arroyo and Vice-President Guingona from 2001, 2002 and 2003 at the same venue, when El Shaddai continues to renting stadiums and open grounds for its fellowship activities at Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila because of high costs. It is also the fourth time that the turn-of-the-century celebration officiated by Philippine President Macapagal-Arroyo since she took office on June 30, 2004. The 19th edition was held at the same venue (Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila) from Friday, December 31, 2004 to Saturday, January 1, 2005 and attended by millions of people and also the cabinet officials such as President Macapagal-Arroyo and First Gentleman Atty. Mike Arroyo, Vice-President Noli de Castro, House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. and Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. The overnight affair was beamed live nationwide via satellite on RPN TV-9 and ABC TV-5. In September 2006, the celebration was returned after twelve-month hiatus (due to The Philippines‟ hosting of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games). President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo‟s 7th, 8th and 9th turn-of-the-century celebrations in 2007-January 1, 2008, 2008-January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009 to January 1, 2010 held at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila before she ended her 9-year rule as president on June 30, 2010. By the advent of social media on November 15, 2007 and in July 1, 2012, the Pistang Milenyo Pilipino now offers social networking through its‟ Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and RSS pages and feeds. The 2009-2010 turn-of-the-century celebration program was updated on December 2, 2009, the addition of showbiz personalities from television network giants GMA-7 and ABS-CBN were spotted at special mass for then-Senator Noynoy Aquino before filing of his certificate of candidacy at the Manila Cathedral last Saturday morning, November 28, 2009 together with future husband and wife of Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez, Derek Ramsay and Bea Alonzo, Bianca Gonzales, Jim Paredes, Charlene Gonzales, Angel Aquino, Maricel Soriano, Ryan Agoncillo, Cristalle Belo-Henares, Miriam Quiambao, Ruffa Gutierrez, Vice Ganda and Ai-Ai delas Alas and society columnists Anton San Diego and Tessa Prieto-Valdes as invited guests. That was in the file video of the ABS-CBN's showbiz-oriented show “The Buzz” aired last Sunday, November 29, 2009 showing the mass for Senator Noynoy Aquino's candidacy at the Manila Cathedral where celebrities spotted here and before filing of his certificate of candidacy at the Comelec office in Manila. It is also the first ever Turn-of-the-Century Celebration officiated by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III held at the same venue on Friday, December 31, 2010 to Saturday, January 1, 2011. It was continued again in 2011 with the devastation of Typhoon Sendong and 2012 with new government officials: the removal of Renato Corona as chief justice on May 31, 2012 and Lourdes Sereno as new and first female chief justice, the death of Jesse Robredo as DILG secretary on August 18, 2012 and Mar Roxas takes over on September 20, 2012, Jun Abaya as DOTC secretary on October 19, 2012. The 27th edition of the Pistang Milenyo Pilipino continues with the unveiling of the national millennium marker with digital countdown clock on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 4:30 P.M. with President Aquino as guest of honor.

The Millennium Festivities in Visayas and Mindnaao are threated by the warth of Typhoon Bopha, the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Philippines it hit a southern Mindanao on December 4, destroying homes, cutting power and forcing the cancellation of flights and ferry services. There was only one confirmed death at that moment, but local media said people were injured by flying debris and falling trees. In the 2012-2013 turn-of-the-century program, same guests in the 2009-2010 celebration, and adding guests including: Brazilian-Japanese model-actor Daniel Matsunaga and model-comedian Wilma Doesnt (near Charlene, Lucy and Angel), Thou Reyes, DJ Callum David, Tirso Cruz III, Gloria Sevilla, Ian Veneracion, Smokey Manaloto, Emilio Garcia, Karla Estrada, Laureen Uy, Miles Ocampo, Marco Gumabao, Xyriel Manabat, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla to the celebration, wearing of barong Tagalog‟s, tuxedos and dresses. Then, a music video of the Philippine Millennium Anthem "Written in the Sand" as composed by Danny Tan and lyrics by Agnes Sicam Caballa and sung by Regine Velasquez was shot at the rooftop of the Peninsula Manila in Makati City and the full video of GMA Millennium Day broadcast aired from December 31, 1999 at 5:30 p.m. to January 1, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. courtesy of GMA Network Archives and the ABS-CBN Millennium Extravaganza aired from 5:00 p.m. of December 31, 1999 to 12:00 noon of January 1, 2000 courtesy of ABS-CBN Central Library was screened at the SM Mall of Asia Atrium last December 7. Followed by the scale model of the Millennium Celebration specialtymade stage with Milenyo Pilipino markera at the Quirino Grandstand on December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000 and the full photos of mass for former Senator Noynoy Aquino‟s candidacy at the Manila Cathedral where celebrities spotted at the Manila Cathedral last November 28, 2009 and the full photos of the December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000 millennium celebrations in Metro Manila were displayed at the Lobby of the Manila Hotel. Record breaker The “birthday party” unofficially broke the Guinness Book record for the world's biggest birthday bash, which was attended by 35,000 and hosted by Col. Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, on his 89th birthday on September 8, 1979. Sixteen years ago, the Guinness Book record for the world's largest Papal gathering, which was attended by 5,000,000 people on the occasion of 10th World Youth Day 1995 for the final mass led by the late Pope Emeritus John Paul the Second at Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila on January 15, 1995. Many of the El Shaddai members and followers and millions of believers and members and employees of various and different government and non-government agencies, companies and organizations, non-profit organizations, charitable and financial institutions, left-wing organizations, civic, household, business, commercial, industrial and political groups and local businesses, bar associations, financial and educational institutions, arts and culture, entertainment, fashion, food, health and wellness, high society, government and private tri-media, legal, agricultural, motoring, real estate, sports and telecommunications associations, companies, clubs, foundations, groups, institutions, offices and organizations, related professional associations in Metro Manila and cities, municipalities and provinces in 227 countries of the world and 51 states of the United States, Filipino tri-media in other countries and members of the clergy, religious, youth groups and lay communities and religious and lay groups and organizations (were listed as excerpted from the launching of the Great Jubilee Year 2000-a 3-year celebration in preparation for the 2000th birth anniversary of our Lord Jesus Christ held at the Quirino Grandstand last December 1, 1996, the 1997 CBCP National Eucharistic Congress overnight vigil at the Quirino Grandstand last January 25 to 26, 1997, the National Congress on the Holy Spirit held at the Cuneta Astrodome and PICC Plenary Hall in Pasay City last January 22 to 24, 1998 and the CBCP organized-conference about the event at the PICC Plenary Hall last January 20 to 23, 1999), nuns, priests, cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, greatgrandmothers, great-grandfathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, babies, kids, youth and teenagers and senior persons, cousins, nephews and nieces, Lesbians, gays, bisexual, trans

gender, seniors, elder, disabled and pregnant persons, government and army policemen and soldiers, Christian and Muslim people, environmentalists, healthcare and medical professionals, medical doctors, dentists, nurses, physicians, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, intensivists, neonatologists, emergency physicians, emergency medical technicians, endocrinologists, geriatricians, gastroenterologists, nephrologists, neurologists, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologist, pulmonologist, registered and certified respiratory therapist, family practice physician, neonatologists, pediatricians, neonatal nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, pediatric nurses, pediatric respiratory therapists, psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, mental health nurse practitioners, oncologists, orthopedic physician, physical therapist, occupational therapists, physical therapy assistant, occupational therapy assistants, radiologists, nuclear medicine technologist, radiology technologist, sonographer, ultrasound technicians, Bariatric Surgeons, General Surgeons, Cardiothoracic surgeons, Cardiac Surgeons, Neurosurgeons, Urologists, Hematologists, Phlebotomists, construction workers, carpenters, electricians, ironworker, laborers, masons, plasterers, plumbers, pipefitters, sheet metal workers, steel fixers, and welders, farmers, farmworkers, restaurant chefs, bakers, baristas, barkeeps, barkeepers, barpersons, barmans, barmaids, bar attendants, taberneiros, cookers, waiters and waitress, pre-school, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, nursery, preparatory, kinder grade, primary and secondary schools, college and university faculty, staff, parents, students and alumni, Philippine Olympic Committee regular and associate member national and local athletes, coaches, referees, local policemen and security guards from all over the country (from 42,028 barangays and districts in 1,634 cities and municipalities of the Philippines) and foreign nationals and tourists, and overseas Filipino workers and overseas foreign migrant workers from districts and villages in cities, counties, districts, municipalities, prefectures and towns of 227 countries of the world and cities, counties and municipalities of 51 states of the United States and UAAP, NCAA, NCAA-South, NAASCU, NCRAA, PRISAA, SCUAA, UCAA and ISAA member-school teachers, students, alumni, student-athletes, coaches, referees, school lecturers, professors and principals were crowded camped out overnight in tents. The rain did not stop more from arriving, with many coming on family buses and school buses, tricycles, jeepneys from the provinces, cities and municipalities, private and public primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities in the Philippines. At 9:00 a.m. of December 31, 2012, the whole of the 61-heactre Rizal Park, Roxas Boulevard, Padre Burgos Drive, Taft Avenue, T.M. Kalaw, United Nations Avenue, Port Area, Jones, McArthur and Quezon Bridges, Plaza Miranda, Villalobos, Carlos Palanca, P. Gomez, P. Paterno, Quezon Boulevard, Globo de Oro, Gunao, Arlegui, Fraternal, Vergara, Duque de Alba, Castillejos, Farnecio, Concepcion Aguila, Carcer, R. Hidalgo, Bilibid Viejo, Gil Puyat, Mendoza, R. Hidalgo and Barbosa streets was filled with people. The attendance that day alone was 5 million people. An unbeatable record holder in the Guinesss Book of World Records for the largest human assembly. Families who had positioned themselves on mattresses on the ground stayed put, though there was little protection from the rain. Children made up almost 40 percent of the throng in Rizal Park, Port Area and Plaza Miranda. Political banners and streamers had reportedly been prohibited in Quirino Grandstand, Port Area and Plaza Miranda areas, and there were none in sight. The much-touted free meals of roasted pig, calf and chicken, fried chicken, pizza, doughnuts, mojos, burgers, Palabok, lasagna, spaghetti, French and criss-cut fries, ice creams, pies, loafs, ensaymada, rolls, soups and salads from SM City Manila‟s SM Supermarket section at the lower ground floor and 42 restaurants and were served around 11 a.m. In less than an hour, all of the 11 roasted calves and other foods at one booth beside Quirino Grandstand were picked to the bone. At some food booths, though, people were turned away by the smell of some roasted calves and chickens which were only half-cooked and foods which were from 42 fast-food restaurants of SM City Manila shopping mall.

But even this did not deter a few eager devotees who took some raw ribs just the same. “This can still be cooked at home,” said a Pampanga resident, who said he didn't want to miss the lechon either. The turnout for the turn-of-the-century celebration of the Philippine President was enormous. El Shaddai officials estimated the crowd at between 2 and 5 million, including the hundreds of thousands of packed streets kilometers away from the celebration venue at Rizal Park. The heaviest downpour came at 4:30 p.m. just before President Aquino and the First Family arrived. The rain lasted for 15 minutes, and sent people rushing for cover under stalls, trees, umbrellas and large pieces of plastic. The original plan of President Aquino was arrived towards the Quirino Grandstand were the mass will be held at 5:00 p.m., but because of throngs of people in all existent routes, the President walked to the Grandstand from the Manila Hotel just to get to the venue. The concluding rites started at 5:00 p.m., estimated to number than five million, prevented the President from travelling the short distance from the Manila Hotel to the park grounds in his limousine. Instead, the president was brought to the Quirino Grandstand by helicopter. The New Year‟s Eve mass officiated by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, together with local and foreign archbishops, bishops, deacons and priests from churches in cities and municipalities of the Philippines and cities, counties, municipalities and prefectures from 227 countries concelebrating. The mass celebrated yesterday coincided with the closing ceremony of the Milenyo Pilipino on New Year‟s eve. The mass of the people stretched from north to south from the Manila Hotel all the way down to the Ramon Magsaysay Building, both on Roxas Boulevard. No blacktop was visible from far as huge portions of Roxas Boulevard, Padre Burgos Street, T.M. Kalaw, United Nations Avenue, A. Mabini, Maria Orosa Avenue, Padre Faura and Pedro Gil, eight major streets perpendicular to the main road fronting the venue of the PHMF closing ceremony. In his homily during the New Year‟s Eve Mass, Cardinal Tagle praised the President for leading the multi-sectorial turn-of-the-century celebration. Highlighting the mass was the wedding ceremony – a church wedding of 60,000 couples, when couples saying “I do” on New Year‟s Eve. During the mass, the President and other people led the congregation for the singing of “Our Father.” Sixty thousand people received their First Holy Communion at the Mass, following by the final blessing of the priest, while Brother Mike, led the crowd in prayer for the President and a blessing of the priests for the birthday celebrants during birthday prayer and a thousand-voice choir repeatedly singing “Happy Birthday” for 15 minutes as the December 31 to March 31 birthday celebrants shook hands with their well wishers. The prayer before the singing of the happy birthday song it says by the priest and sprinkled: “God our Father, the birth of your Son Jesus Christ brought great joy to Mary and Joseph. We give thanks to you for name whose birthday we celebrate today. May he/she/their ever grow in your faith, hope, and love. We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.” Security nightmare When two helicopters bearing white handkerchiefs printed with a message from El Shaddai began dropping them as “miraculous gifts,” the crowd went wild. As the hankies fell, the faithful ran, jumped and jostled in unison for each of those supposedly miraculous items that can cure any disease of the believer.

Velarde told newsmen he spent “a few million” on the handkerchiefs and other freebies and props, including colored flying balloons of colors of the country flags and school flags and white doves. Star-studded event The 2009-2010 turn-of-the-century celebration program was updated on December 2, 2009, the addition of showbiz personalities from television network giants GMA-7 and ABS-CBN spotted at morning special mass for Senator Noynoy Aquino before filing of his certificate of candidacy at the Manila Cathedral last Saturday November 28, 2009, they joined by future husband and wife of Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez, Derek Ramsay and Bea Alonzo, Bianca Gonzales, Jim Paredes, Pops Fernandez, Lorna Tolentino, Sharon Cuneta, Charlene Gonzales, Dawn Zulueta, Helen GamboaSotto, Angel Aquino, Maricel Soriano, Ryan Agoncillo, Cristalle Belo-Henares, Miriam Quiambao, Ruffa Gutierrez, Vice Ganda and Ai-Ai delas Alas and society columnists Anton San Diego and Tessa PrietoValdes as invited guests. That was in the file video of the ABS-CBN's showbiz-oriented show "The Buzz" aired last Sunday, November 29, 2009 showing the mass for Senator Noynoy Aquino's candidacy at the Manila Cathedral where celebrities spotted here and before filing of his certificate of candidacy at the Comelec office in Manila. This is Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo‟s last turn-of-the-century celebration before she steps down from power on June 30, 2010. It is also the first ever Turn-of-the-Century Celebration officiated by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III held at the same venue on Friday, December 31, 2010 to Saturday, January 1, 2011. In the 2012-2013 turn-of-the-century program, the same guests in the 2009-2010 celebration, and adding the guests including: “Sisterakas” cast members Brazilian-Japanese model-actor Daniel Matsunaga and model-comedian Wilma Doesnt (near Charlene, Lucy and Angel), Thou Reyes, Joy Viado, DJ Callum David, Rubi Rubi, Epi Quizon, Beauty Gonzales, Maliksi Morales, Abby Bautista and Negi, and the stars of the upcoming primetime television drama series “Kailangan Ko‟y Ikaw”: Tirso Cruz III, Gloria Sevilla, Ian Veneracion, Smokey Manaloto, Emilio Garcia, Karla Estrada, Laureen Uy, Miles Ocampo, Marco Gumabao and Xyriel Manabat, and from “Princess and I”, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla to the celebration, wearing of barong Tagalog‟s, tuxedos and dresses.

Then, a music video of the Philippine Millennium Anthem "Written in the Sand" as composed by Danny Tan and lyrics by Agnes Sicam Caballa and sung by Regine Velasquez was shot at the rooftop of the Peninsula Manila in Makati City and the full video of GMA Millennium Day broadcast aired from December 31, 1999 at 5:30 p.m. to January 1, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. courtesy of GMA Network Archives and the ABS-CBN Millennium Extravaganza aired from 5:00 p.m. of December 31, 1999 to 12:00 noon of January 1, 2000 courtesy of ABS-CBN Central Library was screened at the SM Mall of Asia Atrium last December 7. Followed by the scale model of the Millennium Celebration specialtymade stage with Milenyo Pilipino markera at the Quirino Grandstand on December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000 and the full photos of mass for former Senator Noynoy Aquino‟s candidacy at the Manila Cathedral where celebrities spotted at the Manila Cathedral last November 28, 2009 and the full photos of the December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000 millennium celebrations in Metro Manila including the turn-of-the-century celebration at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila were displayed at the Lobby of the Manila Hotel. Aside from the same guests, Metrobank president Fabian Dee was seated next to Velarde. Two tables away were former Negros and Philippine National Bank director, Rep. Miguel “Mike” Romero, Philippine Daily Inquirer chairman Marixi Rufino-Prieto, socialites-TV personalities Maurice Arcache, Becky Garcia, Johnny Litton, Cory Quirino, Anton San Diego and Tim Yap and designers Veejay Floresca, Dennis Lustico, Patrice Ramos-Diaz, Tonichi Nocom, Rhett Eala, Rajo Laurel, Randy Ortiz, Gian Romano, Joey Samson, James Reyes, Louis Claparols, Ivarluski Aseron, Sylvia Santos, Albert Andrada, Chris Jasler, Sassa Jimenez, Michael Cinco, Furne One, Cary Santiago, Val Taguba and Ezra Santos, Atty. Esperidion Laxa, celebrities Jeanne Young, Boots Anson-Roa, Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera, Cesar Montano, Gretchen Barretto, Agot Isidro, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Batangas Governor Vilma Santos and Senator Ralph Recto, Kim Chiu, Erich Gonzales, Enchong Dee, and Coco Martin, Tony Ferrer, Mother Lily Monteverde and Wilson Tieng, TV hosts Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino, known personalities in the movie and television industry, former Ilocos Rep. Roque “Roquito” Ablan, Tarlac Governor Victor Yap were around. Aside from other showbiz personalities at the morning mass for then-senator Noynoy Aquino and then-senator Mar Roxas at the Manila Cathedral before filing of their certificates of candidacy last November 28, 2009 were captioned and photos courtesy of Kris Aquino-Yap‟s old facebook page in 2009, the recent additions are adding to the guests list are Richard Gomez, Anne Curtis, Sarah

Geronimo, Karen Davila, Maja Salvador, Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Ruffa Gutierrez, Eddie Gutierrez and Annabelle Rama, Richard Gutierrez, and Daisy Reyes and the inaanaks of talent manager Keren Pascual are Luke Jickain, Joseph Marco, David Chua, Miko Raval, Peter Norrdell, Luisito Rabat and Mark Lopez. Up front The Cabinet came in full force with President Aquino. Onstage with the President were his battalion of Cabinet secretaries, including Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Proceso Alcala of agriculture; Ricky Carandang of Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, Sonny Coloma, of Presidential Communications Operations Office; Voltaire Gazmin, defense; Ramon Paje, environment; Butch Abad, budget; Dr. Enrique Ona, health; Albert del Rosario, foreign affairs; Gregory Domingo, trade and investment; Cesar Purisima, finance; Joseph Emilio Abaya, transportation and communication; Jericho Petilla, energy; Julia Abad-Razon, presidential management staff; Jose Rene Almendras, appointments secretary; and spokesperson Atty. Edwin Lacierda. Senators Velarde's well-wishers from the Senate included Jinggoy Estrada, Manny Villar, Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero, Sergio Osmeña III, Pia Cayetano, Alan Peter Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Koko Pimentel. Congressmen present were House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas III, General Santos City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custidio and Caloocan Representative Mary Mitzi L. Cajayon. Also present were the San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Marichu Vera Perez, Fr. Sonny Ramirez, Pagcor President Crisano Naguiat, Philippine Olympic Committee President Peping Cojuangco, Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez and representatives of businessman Lucio Tan. Loyalists Predictably, thousands of Marcos loyalists joined the El Shaddai gathering to raise their prayer requests to “Yahweh El Shaddai,” who, they said, is “the only hope of Ma'am Imelda (Marcos).” Some 2,000 members of Marcos Loyalists Foundation based in the National Capital Region came in several jeeps to “pray for justice for the Marcoses, who have suffered a lot since Ferdinand (Marcos) was ousted from power.” “We can do nothing without prayer. We believe that Yahweh will guide Ma'am Imelda in all the trials she is facing,” said Juliet Mendoza, a coordinator of the Marcos Loyalists Foundation in the NCR. The former first lady has nearly a hundred cases of graft pending in the Sandiganbayan. Mendoza, who claimed that almost all members of their group are also members of El Shaddai and other religious groups, added that the wife of former President Ferdinand Marcos will be “used by Yahweh to answer the needs of the Filipino people.” Pageant of pyrotechnics The party was also like a regular El Shaddai gathering. Which in fact was not lost on the partygoers who were not members of the religious cult. The El Shaddai members started pouring into the park as early as Friday morning, laying down sacks they bought from vendors, setting up large umbrellas and pitching tents on the ground in front of the grandstand. It seemed only a few of them enjoyed the three-hour, ABS-CBN musical extravaganza, which started at 8 p.m. Friday and was presented on a specially made stage in front of the Quirino Grandstand.

Only those seated right in front of the grandstand were wide awake. Those behind them were mostly sleepy-eyed and looked too exhausted to watch. Others simply lied down and dozed off with their children. “Actually, nobody would care to watch the show. We only came here for the „service‟ (worship and healing prayer rally). Look at our colleagues, they're soundly asleep. They're only waiting for the service,” said an El Shaddai member. The ABS-CBN Millennium Extravaganza started with a history of the Filipino people presentation, simultaneous with other network presentations at the Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. While the VIP crowd inside the inner ring and those near enough to the grandstand contented themselves of the ABS-CBN variety show, majority of the crowd went about their business. Some slept on their mats while others sold El Shaddai items. Alternately hosted by couples Ricky Davao and Jackie Lou Blanco; John Estrada and Willie Revillame and other stars, the show featured a host of artists who sang a medley of Philippine folk and pop songs. The artists, who included Joey Ayala and Grace Nono and novelty singers Jose and Wally with Ryzza Mae Dizon, were accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra. The sleeping El Shaddai members only stirred when President Aquino arrived together with the First Family and Cabinet members for the turn-of-the-century program at 11 p.m. El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde was also among the guests. They all rose to their feet when Mr. Aquino led the “kapit-bisig” ritual after delivering his speech.

As usual during El Shaddai gatherings, hundreds and millions of thousands of candles were lit during the four-minute countdown after the President's speech and the kapit-bisig rites between Mr. Aquino and his Cabinet. They linked arms and lighted candles to “Pilipinas Kong Mahal.” The VIP crowd in the Quirino Grandstand‟s inner ring were showered with red, white, green, blue, yellow, maroon, and silver confetti, fired from the scaffoldings of the ABS-CBN camera crew.

Just a minute (11:58:00 PM) before 2012 exited, President Aquino wished and hoped for prosperity, progress, and stability for the nation. Leaders of various religious groups recited their prayers one by one for the entire nation. El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde joined government officials, high society and showbiz personalities present at the affair in a “Kapit-Bisig,” a gesture of unity and peace in the country.

At zero-hour of Tuesday, January 1, 2013, the celebration was capped by 20-minute fireworks launched from five barges at the Manila Bay.

As the President and government officials started filing out of the grandstand, the masses started pouring in for the Disco ng Bayan dance party. Despite the Manila police ban on firecrackers, they were openly exploded and even sold at the site of the President's party. The scheduled New Year‟s Day Mass officiated by Bishop Ted Bacani held from 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., a praise and worship by the El Shaddai Gospel Music Ministry Choir and Band at 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., and the candle lighting ceremony was held followed by the delivery of the healing message of Bro. Mike lasted from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. of January 1, 2013. In his homily during the New Year‟s Day Mass, Bishop Teodoro Bacani praised the Foundation for leading the annual turn-of-the-century celebration.

After the millennium day mass, a candlelight ceremony was held followed by the delivery of the healing message of Bro. Mike. In his healing message, Bro. Mike talked about having a peaceful and prosperous life. He concluded his message with a healing and deliverance prayer which included five particular intentions, as follows: that God forgive the sins of our nation; that He grant us the freedom we seek in our land; that He grant us "amnesia" from the past and the courage to look forward to our future with faith, love and unity; that He grant divine wisdom and extra-ordinary courage to our president so he could continue his vision of Philippines 2013; and that God grant to all of us the extraordinary power to remain firm in our faith. In the early morning of January 1, 2013, thousands of doves for peace and prosperity for the New Year were released by the attendees. After the healing message of the servant-leader, the breakfast salo-salo was held at 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. In his New Year‟s Day message at 7:00 a.m. of January 1, 2013, President Aquino thanked the prayerpartners for their prayers during his accomplishments in the year 2012 including his stint in the APEC Summit in Vladivostok, Russia on September 9-10, 2012 and accomplishments and events in the Philippine government and business sectors, the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, who is ousted from power on May 31, 2012, the death of Dolphy, the monsoon rains and the death of former DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo in August, the Aman Futures scam in November and the devastation of Typhoon Pablo in December 2012. Before the affair ended, the President, together with Brother Mike and Sister Belen, distributed gift packs, containing 3,000 grams plain rice, 1,000 grams bihon, 2,500 gram spaghetti, 1,000 grams palabok, 1,000 grams sugar, 1 large can of sardines and spaghetti sauce, 1 big onion, and 1 bunch of garlic, to more than 4,000 human and indigent people from different places in Metro Manila and distant provinces. The fellowship ended at 11:00 a.m., January 1, 2013. Sources:                  TV Patrol, Saturday, November 28, 2009, ABS-CBN Channel 2, “„Yellow‟ fiesta in Noy-Mar COCs filing” reported by Anthony Taberna www.youtube.com/watch?v=YChLKFLfe48 The Buzz, Sunday, November 29, 2009 episode, ABS-CBN Channel 2 on Senator Noynoy Aquino‟s mass before filing of certificate of candidacy at Manila Cathedral SNN: Showbiz News Ngayon, Monday, November 30, 2009 episode, ABS-CBN Channel 2: “Misa para kay Senador Noynoy Aquino, nag-sama-sama ang mga malalaking pangalan sa showbiz!” reported by Cesca Litton www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfVRGqgrJF8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc72rzc3vdk http://web.archive.org/web/20001207043000/http://www.inquirer.net/issues/aug99/aug20/ne ws/news_12.htm http://web.archive.org/web/20001212030100/http://www.inquirer.net/issues/aug99/aug21/ne ws/news_4.htm http://web.archive.org/web/20001212030100/http://www.inquirer.net/issues/aug99/aug21/ne ws/news_4.htm http://web.archive.org/web/20010108102100/http://www.inquirer.net/issues/jan2000/jan02/ne ws/news_3.htm http://filipinasinshowbiz.com/?p=1486 www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/11/28/09/noy-mar-ticket-files-cocs http://www.philstar.com/headlines/527490/noynoy-mar-file-cocs http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php?title=El_Shaddai_(movement) Balita.ph (revival) http://www.philstar.com/metro/190748/re-routing-scheme-black-nazarene www.jollibee.com.ph www.krispykreme.com.ph www.shakeyspizza.ph

www.pizzahut.com.ph

Homily of the Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
Held at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila last Monday, December 31, 2012. Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, magandang, magandang hapon po at manigong, manigong bagong taon sa inyong lahat! 1. We are celebrating the New Year‟s Eve, the Child Jesus whose birth at Bethlehem the Church has just commemorated at Christmas. Bethlehem signifies the beginning on earth of the mission which the Son received from the Father, the mission which is at the heart of our reflections during this Twenty-Seventh Turn-of-the-Century Celebration. In today‟s liturgy we find a magnificent commentary on the theme of the Turn-of-the-Century Celebration: “Go and make disciples of all nations”. Isaiah says: "For there is a child born for us, a son given to us: and dominion is laid on his shoulders" (Is. 9: 5). That Child came from the Father as the Prince of Peace, and his coming brought light into the world (Cf. John 1: 5). The Prophet goes on: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: on those who live in a land of deep shadow, a light has shone. You have made their gladness greater, you have made their joy increase" (Isaiah 9: 1-2). The happy event which the Prophet foretold took place at Bethlehem, the Christmas event which Christians everywhere celebrate with great joy: in Rome, in the Philippines and in all the countries of Asia and throughout the rest of the world. Dear brothers and sisters of the Church in the Philippines, dear people of the Twenty-Seventh Philippine Millennium Festival all gathered here from different peoples from agencies, local businesses, companies, foundations, institutions, organizations, schools, and languages, cultures, countries, and continents of the world, and local Churches of demonstrations: What is the deepest joy of our common joy? The deepest source of our joy is the fact that the Father sent the Son to save the world. The Son takes upon himself the weight of the sins of humanity, and in this way redeems us and guides us on the path that leads to union with the Most Blessed Trinity with God. This is the deepest source of our joy, of the joy of all of us, and also the joy of myself. It is my joy and it is your joy. 2. When we repeat in the Responsorial Psalm: "Here I am Lord, send me", we hear a distant echo of what the Eternal Son said to the Father on coming into the world: "I have come to do your will, O God" (Heb. 10: 7). Here I am, Father, send me. He has come to do the will of the Father. The Father so loved the world that he gave his only Son for man‟s salvation (Cf. Jn. 3: 16). In turn, the Son so loved the Father that he made his own the Father‟s love for sinful and needy humanity. In this eternal dialogue between the Father and the Son, the Son declared his readiness to come into the world to achieve through his Passion and Death the redemption of mankind. Today‟s Gospel is a commentary on how Jesus lived that Messianic mission. It shows us that when Jesus was twelve years old so you are older a little, perhaps he was already aware of his destiny. Tired after the long search for her Son, Mary said to him: "My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been looking for you". And he replied: "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father‟s affairs? (Luke 2: 48-49) This awareness deepened and grew in Jesus with the years, until it burst forth in all its strength when he began his public preaching. The Father‟s power at work in him was then gradually revealed in his words and works. It was revealed in a definitive way when he gave himself completely to the Father on the Cross. In Gethsemane, the night before his Passion, Jesus renewed his obedience: "Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me, yet not my will but yours is done" (Ibid. 22: 42). He remained faithful to what he had said at twelve years of age: "I must be busy with my Father‟s affairs. I must do his will". You have more than 12 years and you could understand that better. And you understand that better, for you are singing. 3. "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!" Here I am, here, in the Philippines, and everywhere! With our gaze fixed on Christ we repeat this verse of the Responsorial Psalm as the

answer of the 27th Philippine Millennium Festival to what the Lord said to the Apostles but now says to everyone: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) to the Apostles and to you the same because these words of Christ have become not just the theme but also the guiding force of this magnificent gathering here in Manila. What does this mean? It means that we are ready to do our part in the Lord‟s mission. Every Christian shares in the mission of Christ in a unique and personal way. Bishops, priests and deacons share in Christ‟s mission through the ordained ministry. Men and women Religious share in it through the spousal love manifested in the spirit of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience. The Christian laity shares in Christ‟s mission: the fathers and mothers of families, old people, young people and children; simple people and those who are highly educated; people who till the soil, factory workers, engineers, technicians, doctors, nurses and healthcare personnel. Christ‟s mission is shared by teachers, by men and women in the legal professions, and those who serve in public life. Writers, people who work in the theatre and cinema and the media, artists, musicians, sculptors and painters – all have a part in this mission, part in the messianic mission of Jesus Christ. In this mission there is a role for university professors, scientists, specialists in every field, and people in the world of culture. In Christ‟s mission a part belongs to you, the citizens of the Philippines and people of the Far East: Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Indians; Christians from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific; Christians from the Middle East, Europe and Africa, the Americas. Every baptized person has a part in Christ‟s mission, in the Church and through the Church. And this participation in Christ‟s mission constitutes the Church. That is the Church: a living participation in Christ‟s mission! Do you all understand that? 4. On the occasion of its sixtieth anniversary of Philippine television and the setting up of its own digital television broadcasting in 2007, the Media in the Philippines is called to the worst place for the journalists for mass killings and for the so-called TV network wars and rivalries and news features in national news, business, sports, entertainment, lifestyle in the last 25 years. The direction of this renewal has already been indicated in the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines held in 1991. That Synod committed the Filipino Catholic community to look more fully to Christ and to find in him its pattern and its inspiration. The Synod exhorted the laity to play a fuller role in the Church‟s elevating and liberating service to the human family. The Final Document says: "All the lay faithful are called to heal and transform society, to prepare the temporal order for the final establishment of the Kingdom of God" (Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, Council Document, 435). That is for you, for the youth and senior people of the Philippines, young and senior Filipinos. And that is also for all of us, if a part is doing something of the Church, the whole Church and multi-sectorial participates. It is also for us, for me, the Bishop of Rome, for European Bishops, for African Bishops, American Bishops and for the great pilgrimage of youth from other countries and other continents. That is for us! It is not a private affair of the Filipino Church. It is our common affair. We are all involved in what a part of the Church, a local Church, are doing, are undertaking. Res nostra agitur. Do you understand Latin? 5. Within this commitment of the whole People of God, what is the role of young people in continuing the Messianic mission of Christ? What is your part, your role? We have already meditated on this during the World Youth Day and especially last night at the Vigil. Somebody could say, "They danced, they sang, but they meditated!". It was a creative meditation of the sending they received from Christ. Meditation can also be done through dancing and through singing, through entertainment. And it was a very entertaining meditation yesterday. Finally after this meditation, I was able to sleep. And now after sleep I will add one specific challenge and appeal, which involves the healing of a source of immense frustration and suffering in many families all over the world. Parents and older people sometimes feel that they have lost contact with you, and they are upset, just as Mary and Joseph felt anguish when they realized that Jesus had stayed behind in Jerusalem. Many elderly parents feel abandoned because of us. Is it true, or no? It should not be true! It should be otherwise! But sometimes it is true. Sometimes you are very critical of the world of adults (and I was also like you) and sometimes they are very critical of you (that is also true). Sometimes you are very

critical of the world of adults, and sometimes they are very critical of you. This is not something new, and it is not always without a real basis in life. But always remember that you owe your life and upbringing to your parents, remember that: what your debt is to your parents and the Fourth Commandment expresses in a concise way the demands of justice towards them (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2215). In most cases they have provided for your education at the cost of personal sacrifice. Thanks to them you have been introduced into the cultural and social heritage of your community and country, your homeland. Generally speaking, your parents have been your first teachers in the faith. Parents therefore have a right to expect from their sons and daughters the mature fruits of their efforts, just as children and young people have the right to expect from their parents the love and care which leads to a healthy development. All that is the Fourth Commandment. The Fourth Commandment is very rich. I suggest that you meditate about the Fourth Commandment of the Decalogue of God. I am asking you to build bridges of dialogue and communication with your parents. No splendid isolation! Communication! Love! Be a healthy influence on society to help to break down the barriers which have been raised between generations! No barriers! No barriers! Communion between generations, between parents and sons and daughters. Communion! In this atmosphere, Jesus can say I send you! It begins in the family home where Jesus says first, "I send you". And to the parents he says, "I send your son. I send your daughter. I say to them, „Follow me!‟". All that requires the right atmosphere, complete image of the social life in the Philippines and everywhere. And it is also this spiritual environment in which our sending is realized. "As the Father sent me", says Christ, "I am sending you". How many young people think they are free because they have thrown off every restraint and every principle of responsibility? How many of them think that because certain forms of behavior are socially accepted they are therefore morally right? They abuse the beautiful gift of sexuality; they abuse drink and drugs, thinking that such behavior is all right because certain sectors of society tolerate it. Objective moral norms are abandoned under peer pressure and under the pervasive influence of trends and fashions publicized by the media. Millions of young people the world over are falling into subtle but real forms of moral slavery. And you understand what Jesus means when he says, "I send you to confront this situation, among your brothers and sisters, other young people". 6. Beloved ones, sisters and brothers: build your lives on the one model that will not deceive you! I invite you to open the Gospel and discover that Jesus Christ wants to be your "friend" (Cf. Jn. 15: 14). He wants to be your "companion" at every stage on the road of life (Cf. Lk. 24: 13-35). He wants to be the "way", your path through the anxieties, doubts, hopes and dreams of happiness (Cf. Jn. 14: 6). He is the "truth" that gives meaning to your efforts and your struggles. He wants to give you "life", as he gave new life to the young man of Nain (Cf. Luke 7: 11-17), and gave a whole new future to Zacchaeus who was dead in spirit through ambition and greed (Cf. ibid. 19: 1-10). He is your "resurrection", your victory over sin and death, the fulfillment of your desire to live forever (Cf. Jn. 11: 25). Because of this he will be your "joy", the "rock" on which your weakness will be turned into strength and optimism. He is our salvation, our hope and happiness and peace. Christ! Christ! Christ! I speak without abbreviation. Worse! I am adding something. When Christ becomes all of this for you, the world and the Church will have solid reasons for hope for the future. For on you will depend the Third Millennium, which sometimes appears as a marvelous new epoch for humanity but which also raises not a few fears and anxieties. I say this as one who has lived through a large portion of the twentieth century which is now coming to an end. In this century many sad and destructive things have happened, but at the same time we have experienced so many good things which sustain our hope and optimism. The future depends on your maturity! The Church looks to the future with confidence when she hears from your lips the same answer that Jesus gave Mary and Joseph when they found him in the Temple: "Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father‟s affairs?" (Luke 2: 49). He answered your answer, the same! He was younger, you‟re older.

7. Dear people: the Twenty-Seventh Philippine Millennium Festival is coming to a close. It is time to commit you more fully to following Christ in the fulfillment of his saving mission. Every form of the apostolate and every kind of service must have its source in Christ. When he says: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn. 20: 21), he also makes you capable of this mission. In a sense he shares him with you. This is precisely what Saint Paul writes about: God chose us in Christ before the world began, to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love; he likewise predestined us through Christ Jesus to be his adopted sons and daughters (Cf. Eph. 1: 4-5). It is precisely through the grace of being the adopted children of God that we are capable of taking up the mission entrusted to us by Christ. We must leave Luneta Park with a more confident awareness of this extraordinary fact! I see if you applaud, it is still reason to be applauded. That is a good sign that you are thinking, reflecting. And I admire your reflection. I admire the grace of our Lord dwelling in your reflection, in your applauding also. So the President not only speaks. He is having a dialogue. He speaks and he hears, he listens and you are speaking. And what you speak is perhaps more important. But you speak by applauding! We have today a great delay. But this day should not finish. It should continue for ever and ever. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Heb. 13: 8). If you take up his cause, and the mission which he gives you, then the whole human family, and the Church in every part of the world, can look to the Third Millennium with hope and trust. Dear young people of the Philippines, of Asia, of the Far East and of the entire world: be a sign of hope for the Church, for your countries and for all humanity! Be a sign of hope! Like the "great light"... May your light spread out from Manila to the farthest corners of the world? Like the "great light" which shone in the night at Bethlehem? Be sons and daughters of the Light! Yesterday I said, "At the beginning, more and more shining points". And today all are shining! Very nice, very nice people, young people! Before, Spanish was also spoken in the Philippines. Tomorrow, America. But of mostly Filipino language, not American. A common language, a Christian language. 8. Dear People of God in the Philippines, go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth – your own world first, your families, your communities and the nation to which you belong and which you love; and the wider world of Asia, towards which the Church in the Philippines has a special responsibility before the Lord; you Filipino young people have a special responsibility before the Lord for Asia. And all of you, not only the Filipino people (Mabuhay!), have the same responsibility before the Lord and the world beyond, working through faith for the renewal of God‟s whole creation. That is your responsibility, your calling, everywhere, in Europe, in Africa, in both Americas, in Australia, everywhere! (Cf. Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, Acts and Decrees, n. 7) May God who began this work in you – four hundred years ago for others, many centuries ago, some more, some less – bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ! (Cf. Phil. 1: 6) That is my conclusion and my cordial wish for all of you – conclusion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ! Amen! RITE OF MARRIAGE LIGHTING OF THE WEDDING CANDLES Commentator: Please remain seated as we begin the Marriage Rites. May we request the candle sponsors, NAMES, to please come forward and light the wedding candles. Commentator: Lord, you have given COUPLE‟S NAMES through your Son, Jesus, the gift of light that brightens their path. Bless their lives with the warmth of your presence and the light of Your wisdom as symbolized by these candles that they may also lead others to Your truth and love. ALLOCUTION

Commentator: May we request the principal sponsors and the parents who will act as witnesses to the ceremony to please stand. Priest: Dearly beloved COUPLE‟S NAMES, you are here today to seal your love with an eternal bond before the Church. I assure you of the prayers of our community that God may pour his abundant blessings on your love and help you to carry out the duties of the married state. And you dear brothers and sisters, may I ask you to help them with your prayers and accept them as a new couple in our Christian community. SCRUTINY Priest: May I now ask you to answer truthfully the following questions: Priest (to the bride): BRIDE‟S NAME, Did you come here of your own free will to bind yourself forever in the love and service of your husband? Bride: Yes, Father. Priest (to the groom): GROOM‟S NAME, Did you come here of your own free will to bind yourself forever in the love and service of your wife? Groom: Yes, Father. Are you both ready to raise as good Christians the children whom God will give Yes, Father. Priest (to both): you? Groom and Bride:

EXCHANGE OF CONSENT (to Groom & Bride): COUPLE‟S NAMES, since you wish to contract Holy Matrimony, please join your right hands and express your intention before God and His Church. Priest will first ask Bride Priest: BRIDE‟S NAME do you take GROOM‟S NAME, here present for your lawful husband according to the rite of our Holy Mother, the Church? Bride: Yes, I do. Priest: Do you give yourself to him as his wife? Bride: Yes, I do. Priest: Do you accept him as your lawful husband? Bride: Yes, I do. Then Priest will ask Groom: Priest: GROOM‟S NAME, do you take BRIDE‟S NAME, here present. for your lawful wife according to the rite of our Holy Mother, the Church? Groom: Yes, I do. Priest: Do you give yourself to her as her husband? Groom: Yes, I do. Priest: Do you accept her as your lawful wife? Groom: Yes, I do. Priest: Now, please say your marriage vows to each other. BRIDE‟S VOW GROOM‟S VOW Couple: Grant us, O Lord, to be one heart and one soul, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, from this day forward, until death do us part.

CONFIRMATION OF THE MARRIAGE BOND Priest: And I, by the authority of the Church, calling on all those present here as witnesses, confirm and bless the bond of the marriage which you have contracted. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. All: Amen. BLESSING AND GIVING OF THE ARRHAE AND RINGS Commentator: May we request ring and coin bearers, NAMES, to please come up and stand at the right side of the priest. Priest: COUPLE‟S NAMES, we shall now bless your arrhae and rings. Our help is in the name of the Lord All: He made heaven and earth. Priest: Lord God, bless your children, COUPLE‟S NAMES with sufficiency of material possessions which these arrhae symbolizes so that they may use them to attain eternal life through Christ our Lord. All: Amen. Priest: Bless † O Lord, these rings, symbols of faithfulness and unending love so that your children, COUPLE‟S NAMES, may live long in mutual love and unbroken loyalty, through Christ our Lord. All: Amen. Priest: Now give these rings to one another, and say after me: The groom takes the bride‟s ring from the priest and puts in on the bride‟s ring finger. Groom: BRIDE‟S NAME, wear this ring as a sign of my love and loyalty, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Then the bride takes the groom‟s ring from the priest and puts it on the groom‟s ring finger. Bride: GROOM‟S NAME, wear this ring as a sign of my love and loyalty, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The groom takes now the arrhae in both hands; the bride places her cupped hands under those of the groom. The groom lets them fall into her hands, saying after the priest. Groom: I give you these arrhae as a pledge of my dedication to your welfare. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Bride: And I accept them. Priest: COUPLE‟S NAME, now I pronounce you husband and wife. PROFESSION OF FAITH Priest: All: Let us now profess our faith and saying: I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL Priest: Dearly beloved, let us now pray for the Church and for our newly wedded couple whose marriage reflects their union with Christ. Let our response be: Lord, graciously hear us. For the Holy Church spread all over the world, for its leader and for the rulers of our nation, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, graciously hear us. For COUPLE‟S NAMES, that God may keep their hearts united forever in the sacrament of marriage, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, graciously hear us. That He may protect tem from evil, lighten their burdens and fortify them in their trials, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, graciously hear us. Almighty, eternal God, Look down with favour upon your servants. Grant them to remain faithful to you and to one another. At the end of a long and well-spent life, reward them with eternal happiness together with their children and with those who love them, through Christ our Lord. Amen. Please be seated. May we request COUPLE‟S NAMES to kneel down.

Commentator: All: Commentator: All: Commentator: All: Priest:

All: Commentator:

LAYING OF THE VEIL AND CORD Commentator: May we ask the veil sponsors, NAMES, to offer the symbol of purity. COUPLE‟S NAMES, this veil symbolizes our prayer for holiness in your life. May you be guided to love and care for each other. Commentator: The cord sponsors, NAMES, will now lay the cord. COUPLE‟S NAMES, this cord symbolizes our prayer for your union and bond of love. May nothing ever come between you. LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST OFFERTORY PROCESSION CHOIR: Offertory Song Presentation and Preparation of the Gifts: Priest: Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life. All: Blessed be God for ever. Priest: Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands it will become our spiritual drink. All: Blessed be God for ever. After the priest washes his hands, the congregation will now stand.

Commentator: Please all stand. Priest: All: Pray brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the Almighty Father. May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of His name, for our good and the good of all His Church. Lord, accept our offering for this newly married couple COUPLE‟S NAMES by Your love and providence, You have brought them together; now bless them all the days of their married life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. The Lord be with you. And with your spirit. Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right and just. It is truly right and just, our duty and salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Father most holy, through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, your Word through whom you made all things, whom you sent as our Savior and Redeemer, incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin. Fulfilling your will and gaining for you a holy people, he stretched out his hands as he endured his Passion, so as to break the bonds of death and manifest the resurrection. And so, with the Angels and all the Saints we declare your glory, as with one voice we acclaim:

PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS Priest:

All: Priest: All: Priest: All: Priest: All: Priest:

Eucharistic Prayer II

CHOIR / All: Commentator: Please all kneel. CONTINUATION OF THE EUCHARISTIC PRAYER The priest, with hands extended, says: You are indeed Holy, O Lord, the fount of all holiness. He joins his hands and, holding them outstretched over the offerings, says: Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body + and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He joins his hands. The words of the Lord in the following formulas should be spoken clearly and distinctly, as their meaning demands. At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion, he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: He bows slightly TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT: FOR THIS IS MY BODY WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU. He shows the consecrated host to the people, places it on the paten, and genuflects in adoration. Then he continues: In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice and, once more giving thanks, he gave it to his disciples, saying: He bows slightly

TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT: FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME. Then he sings: Priest: The mystery of faith: Therefore, as we celebrate the memorial of his Death and Resurrection, we offer you, Lord, the Bread of life and the Chalice of salvation, giving thanks that you have held us worthy to be in your presence and minister to you. Humbly we pray that, partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit. Remember, Lord, your Church, spread throughout the world, and bring her to the fullness of charity, together with Benedict the Sixteenth our Pope and Luis Antonio our Archbishop and all the clergy. Remember your servants, the children in Connecticut, the people in Mindanao, whom you have called from this world to yourself. Grant that who was united with your Son in a death like his, may also be one with him in his Resurrection. Remember also our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection and all who have died in your mercy: welcome them into the light of your face. Have mercy on us all, we pray, that with the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with the blessed Apostles, and all the Saints who have pleased you throughout the ages, we may merit to be co-heirs to eternal life, and may praise and glorify you through your Son, Jesus Christ. Doxology and Great Amen: Priest: Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever. Amen, a- men, a-men, amen, amen, aMen, a- men. COMMUNION RITE CHOIR: LORD‟S PRAYER to be sung Priest: Let us pray with confidence to the Father in the words our Savior gave us. NUPTIAL BLESSING Priest: My dear friends, let us turn to the Lord and pray that he will bless with his grace GROOM‟S NAME, now married in Christ to BRIDE‟S NAME and that he will unite in love the couple he has joined in this holy bond. Father, by your power you have made everything out of nothing. IN the beginning you created the universe and made mankind in your own likeness. You gave man the constant help of woman so that man and woman should no longer be two, but one flesh, and you teach us that what you have united may never be divided. Father, you have made the union of man and wife so holy a mystery that it symbolizes the marriage of Christ and his Church. Father, by your plan man and woman are united, and married life has been establish as the one blessing that was not forfeited by original sin or washed away in the flood. Look with love upon this woman, your daughter, now joined to her husband in marriage. She asks you blessing. Give her the grace of love and peace. May she always follow the example of the holy women whose praises are sung in the scriptures. May her husband put his trust in her and recognize

that she is the equal and the heir with him to the life of grace. May he always hone her and love her as Christ loves his bride, the Church. Father, keep them always true to your commandments. Keep them faithful in marriage and let them be living example of Christian life. Give them the strength which comes from the gospel so that they may be witnesses of Christ to other. Bless them with children and help them to be good parents. May they live to see their children‟s children. And after a happy old age, grant them fullness of life with Your saints in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. All: Amen. SIGN OF PEACE Priest: Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles, Peace I leave you, my peace I give you, look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will. Who live and reign for ever and ever. All: Amen. Priest: The Peace of the Lord be with you always. All: And with your spirit. BREAKING OF THE BREAD CHOIR / All: Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, grant us peace. Priest: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb. All: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. Priest: May the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring it to eternal life everlasting. COMMUNION Communion Antiphon Prayer for Spiritual Communion: Commentator: My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Holy Sacrament... I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen! CHOIR: Communion Song After the communion, the secondary sponsors will remove the cord and veil. Commentator: May we request the cord and veil sponsors to remove the cord and the veil from the wedded couple. PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION Commentator: Please all stand. Priest: Let us pray… Lord, in your love you have given us this Eucharist to unite us with one another and with you. As you have made GROOM‟S NAME and BRIDE‟S NAME one in this sacrament of marriage and in the sharing of the one bread and the one cup, so now make them one in love for each other. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. CONCLUDING RITE FINAL ADMONITION Priest: COUPLE‟S NAMES, now you have received the holy sacrament of Matrimony, I admonish you to remain faithful to one another. (to the bride) BRIDE‟S NAME, love your husband and be a good housewife; persevere in faith and love and holiness (to the bridegroom) GROOM‟S NAME, love you wife as Christ loves His Church and live with her in the holy fear of the Lord. FINAL BLESSINGS Priest: The Lord be with you. All: And with your spirit! Priest: COUPLE‟S NAMES, bow your heads and pray for God‟s blessing. Priest: May He unite your hearts in an enduring bond of pure love. All: Amen. Priest: May you be blessed in your children and may the love that you lavish on them be returned a hundredfold. All: Amen. Priest: May the peace of Christ dwell always in your hearts and in your home; may you have true friends to stand by you, both in joy and in sorrow. All: Amen. Priest: May you be ready with help and consolation for all those who come to you in need; and may the blessing promised to the compassionate descend in abundance on you house. All: Amen. Priest: May you be blessed in you work and enjoy its fruits. May care never cause you distress, nor the desire for earthly possessions lead you astray; but may your hearts‟ concern be always for the treasures laid up for you in the life of heaven. All: Amen. Priest: May the Lord grant you fullness of years, so that you may reap the harvest of a good life and after you have served Him with loyalty in his kingdom on earth, may He take you up into His eternal dominions in heaven. All: Amen. Priest: And may the almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All: Amen. DISMISSAL Priest: The Mass is ended, go in peace. All: Thanks be to God. Priest: Ladies and gentlemen, once again, Mister and Miss SURNAME! GROOM, you may now kiss the bride. SIGNING OF THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT

Commentator: Please be seated for the signing of the marriage contract and for the photo session. CHOIR: song to be sung