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A proud Joseph and Mary in Tondo

MANILA (UCAN) : It was a really proud moment for two young people from the Santo Niño parish in Tondo, on December 15, as they took the parts of Joseph and Mary in a street nativity scene which ended up at the church for a Mass with Bishop Broderick Pabillo.

Some 2,000 people from poor communities in the Payatas marched through the streets of Manila in a re-enactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for a place to stay.

Carrying lanterns, banners and giant puppets, they re-enacted the nativity scene, repeating the question asked by Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem, “Do you have a decent place where we can stay?”

Bishop Pabillo greeted the marchers and celebrated Mass at the parish church.

The bishop said, “A few days ago some families were evicted nearby. Now they live in tents on the sidewalk and have nowhere to go. Everyone should have their own decent place to live, because it is a human right and not because they have money to buy it.”

Eighty-year-old Adelina Benedicto said that she is thankful because the government has agreed to develop their squatter community along Estero de San Sebastian for an on-site slum-upgrading.

“I hope they can help us fix our roof,” said Benedicto, a candle vendor