Since its first staging in 2007, Belenismo has become an annual pre-Christmas tradition in Tarlac, dubbed the Belen Capital of the Philippines. Organized by the Tarlac Heritage Foundation, the widely-anticipated event depicts the birth of Jesus Christ in a humble manger through the belen as a meaningful way of representing the Christmas season.
This year is no different as a total of 51 eye-popping “belen” were showcased at the launch of Belenismo’s15th edition. What makes each of these belens unique are the creative ways they replicate the iconic nativity scene.
Easily one of the most standout belens is The Armor Division Confectionery Belen at Camp O’ Donnel Sta Lucia in Capas Tarlac as characterized by the sweet peppermint candy cane in the shape of the letter J as a reference to Baby Jesus.
Another standout belen is the massive structure made of banig and pamaypay from indigenous and recyclable materials by the NolCom command based in Camp Servillano Aquino in San Miguel, Tarlac.
Tarlac Heritage Foundation co-founders Isabel and Dra. Isa Cojuangco Sunday led the ceremonial lighting of Belenismo as well as the opening of the two entries from the Philippine Army. Also gracing the occasion were Department of National Defense Secretary Jose Faustino, Jr.; Philippine Army Commanding General LtGen. Romeo Brawner; Armor Division commander Major Gen. Efren Baluyot and other guests.
A folk dance presented by the Tarlac State University capped the event. (Photos by Bernard Testa/BM)
Image credits: Bernard Testa