Simbang Gabi kicks off with Anti-Marcos mass at EDSA monument

MANILA, Philippines – Protests against the hero's burial for dictator Ferdinand Marcos will culminate this year in an anticipated Simbang Gabi (night mass) on Thursday, December 15, at the People Power Monument in EDSA.

The Coalition Against the Marcos Burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (CAMB-LNMB) said it will hold the mass at the EDSA monument at 9 pm  Thursday as a collective prayer of hope for Filipinos amid the challenges the country faced this year, among them the state interment of Marcos.

“The anticipated Simbang Gabi is a call to prayer and faith. Let us all join hands in praying for our country,’’ said CAMB-LNMB convenor Bong Banal.

"[This] hopes to give the celebration of Christmas a deeper meaning, imbuing the Filipino nation with strength and succor and the courage to unite together to seek truth and justice and the preservation of our hard-won and most cherished," Banal added.

Simbang Gabi is a devotional 9-day series of masses from December 16 until Christmas eve.

While CAMB-LNMB will hold the mass at the People Power Monument only on Thursday, it urged participants to complete the 9-day Simbang Gabi on their own. 

Participants at the EDSA monument mass were also asked to wear black and bring candles, just like in previous mass actions in recent weeks. (READ: Protesters to Duterte, Marcoses: 'This is what democracy looks like'

The mass will be celebrated by Fr Robert Reyes and Fr Dante Funelas. Prominent Martial Law victims such as former senator Lorenzo Tañada, former human rights chair Loretta Rosales, and editor Joann Maglipon will be attending the mass.

Groups such as the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Miriam College Women and Gender Institute, Millennials Against Dictatorship, Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka, Kilos Maralita, and The Silent Majority Claimants 1081 will also join the event.

The Thursday mass will be the last public event of CAMB-LNMB and other protesters for this year. 

Another anti-Marcos group, the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses in Malacañang (Carmma) joined militant groups at a rally to mark International Human Rights Day on December 10, its culminating activity after a series of protests sparked by Marcos' burial. – Rappler.com

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.

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