MANILA – Two senators commemorated Monday the country's National Bible Day, set annually every last Monday of January.
In a privilege speech, Sen. Joel Villanueva, the son of Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide's Bro. Eddie Villanueva, said the National Bible Day Law was not only a landmark legislation but "a national celebration that highlights the Philippines as "the only predominantly Christian country in Asia."
"Binanggit po natin ito para ipakita na kung ang halaga po ng Bibliya sa ating lipunan ang pag-uusapan, klaro po na noon at hanggang ngayon, binibigyang diin na ito sa ating mga batas. Hindi po mapasusubalian ninuman na ang Bibliya ang sentro at buhay ng marami sa ating mga kababayan," he said.
Villanueva also recalled how his "small talk" with colleague Sen. Manny Pacquiao about crafting the law "turned into reality."
'BRING THE BIBLE CLOSER' TO PINOYS
The senator said that bringing the teachings of the Bible to Filipinos has never been more important than now, amid the pandemic that caused misery to many people globally.
"Amid the pandemic, the sickness, and loneliness, many of our Kababayans feel impossible to navigate their way out... This is the reason why we should more bring the Bible closer to our kababayans and to encourage them to read the Bible to learn wisdom and find hope and experience the transformative power of the Word of God," Villanueva said.
"Hangga't ang Bibliya po ang sandigan ng ating Republika, mapagtatagumpayan natin ang pandemya. At ang Salita ng Diyos ang magsisilbi po nating 'bakuna' sa takot at mga pangamba sa mga pagbabago sa daigdig natin sa kasalukuyan," Villanueva said.
'TESTING THE FAITH'
Pacquiao, in his own privilege speech, echoed Villanueva's reflections.
"This pandemic has been testing our faith and our strength as a nation, but it could not stop us from finding opportunities to share the biblical teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ... Today, more than ever, our country needs the Lord," Pacquiao said.
The senator-boxer also lamented how the pandemic affected the operations of religious places, but praised them as they adapted to the "new normal."
"The pandemic has caused the religious places all over the world to confront closures because of limitations in physical gatherings, but we are finding creative platforms to declare the good news of salvation. Online worship services have been established so that we can continue reaching more people for the Lord even during lockdowns," he said.