PH Consulate General in SF Paskuhan Brings Christmas Cheer

SF Christmas 1

 Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. and Madame Mariza Bensurto with the Fil-Am community during the Simbang Gabi held at the occasion of the Paskuhan sa Konsulado on 07 December 2018 at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center. (San Francisco PCG photo)

SAN FRANCISCO 18 January 2019 — Featuring the lighting of Pampanga parols (Christmas lanterns) adorning the façade of the Philippine Center, the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco held the annual Paskuhan sa Konsulado on 07 December 2018 at the Philippine Center on Sutter Street.

The Paskuhan mirrored Christmas traditions observed in the Philippines. A simbang gabi (evening Mass) was celebrated by Fr. Arnold Zamora before the program proper, and a brief procession was held in the Consulate’s premises during which the figurine of the baby Jesus was laid in the manger by Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr., Madame Ann Mariza S. Bensurto, and Matthew Bensurto, accompanied by general Filipino-American community leaders, and representatives from the Philippine Consulate, including its attached agencies.

In his Christmas message, Consul General Bensurto emphasized that the annual Paskuhan was conceived to bring the Philippines closer to the Filipino-American Community and to keep alive Filipino traditions and customs, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He thanked the Filipino-American community for celebrating the traditional Paskuhan with the Consulate as well as the City Government of San Fernando in Pampanga for the beautiful parols.

In line with the Consulate-led Spark*Connect*Empower* Movement, the Consul General encouraged the community to help in building back some of the disaster-affected communities in the Philippines and in the United States, especially after the wildfires in California and earthquake in Alaska.

“We seek to spark not only love for our country, but compassion for our people. We connect with one another as Filipinos and Americans being part of the bigger family of mankind…We strive to empower our communities by uplifting the lives of those who have less in life,” Consul General Bensurto said.

The St. Catherine Vocal Ensemble led by Joseph Namoc, the Sincerity Girls Ensemble led by Henry Torres, and the Bessie Carmichael School children’s choir led by Peter Sroka, provided yuletide entertainment. Guests also enjoyed the Christmas noche buena, which featured lechon (roast pig), bibingka (rice cake), and other traditional holiday food. END

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SF Christmas 2

The Consulate choir singing Filipino Christmas carols, accompanied on the piano by Fr. Arnold Zamora, and Mr. Matthew Bensurto, on saxophone, with Consul General Bensurto as the choral conductor. (San Francisco PCG photo)