Every year in the Philippines, National Bible Week is backed by Presidential Proclamations, which recognise the Bible as a good guide to moral living that is essential to nation building. This year again, on January 5, incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte officially declared January as National Bible Month, culminating with the celebration of National Bible Week on 23-29 January.
The theme chosen by the Philippines Bible Society (PBS) for these week-long celebrations was ‘The Bible: Our Hope for the Community’s Progress’.
“Throughout the country, the celebrations were vibrant,” says Nora Lucero, PBS’s General Secretary. “We praise and thank God for the partnership of so many churches, ministerial fellowships, government offices, media networks, organizations, and more! We have deployed the staff to many areas. I have been in radio, TV and print interviews. I also spoke at various events.”
The week-long public Bible reading spearheaded by PBS, ‘We Proclaim’, gathered over 600 individuals from different walks of life. The New Testament and the Book of Psalms were read entirely, with almost 100 policemen from the Manila Police District joining in.
One of the volunteer participants, Genet Nicanor, shared her deep encouragement to join the event:
“I was blind but now I see,” she said. “I had a brain tumor, but after being operated on, the tumor has disappeared and now I can see clearly. I decided to join the Bible reading as a way of thanking the Lord for all His goodness.”
The Scripture-advocacy events intended at touching people’s hearts and encouraging a positive transformation also included a Bible parade, Bible quizzes, a poster-making contest, concerts, fun runs and other engagements.
Engage the youth
With the aim of engaging the young people with God’s Word, PBS also initiated a Bible distribution event for high school students of Emilio Aguinaldo College – Affordable Private Education Center. Opportunities to speak about the importance of God’s Word in everyday life and conduct more Bible distributions were also facilitated for the Manila Police District and in several municipal offices in Metro Manila.
“Having this celebration provided another good avenue to show solidarity in honor of the Bible,” says the Bible Society.