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Good Morning Judge: The real joy of Christmas

I AM writing this column from the Municipality of Panglao, Tagbilaran in Bohol, where I and my wife Minda are spending cherished moments with our children from Los Angeles -- Cecille, Tessie and Arnel -- our newly-wed and Manila-based daughter Gigi, our Naga-based daughter Pinky and our granddaughter Samantha Noelle. We are billeted at the Henann Resort Alona Beach, perfect for family relaxation and fun, with an impressive quality of service by its staff who acquiesced to our every need and request with such graciousness and generous spirit --- no doubt the best kind of advertising there is, and a big boost to Philippine tourism in this part of the country. With this awe-inspiring place as backdrop, one cannot help but be grateful that the seasons of Advent and Christmas give us this much needed break to make happy memories with our loved ones. It brings us back to the real meaning of the season ---which is not really the material gifts given to each other, but the more essential gift of presence and of persons. After all, the Christmas belen always reminds us that it is in the human family that Christ gave us the gift of His very person. It’s in “family-times” such as these where we await the coming of Christ once again in our midst, in the love and belonging shared together with loved ones. And let us not forget that beyond our own families, there is also the family of families -- our communities. Let us share the gift of presence with them, too, especially the poorest among them... the least, the lost and the last. TRIVIA The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Naga and Camarines Sur Chapter, will have its Family Day on December 22, Friday, starting at 3:00 pm. It will also be the blessing of the newly refurbished IBP Hall and at the same time Christmas Party of its officers and members. QUOTATION FOR THE WEEK: “THE BEST LOVE IS THE KIND THAT AWAKENS THE SOUL; THAT MAKES US REACH FOR MORE, THAT PLANTS THE FIRE IN OUR HEARTS AND BRINGS PEACE TO OUR MINDS.” - THE NOTEBOOK FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE: MANY WATERS CANNOT QUENCH LOVE, NEITHER CAN FLOODS DROWN IT. SONG OF SOLOMON 8:6-7

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