Ingenious Celebration of the Lord Supper Using Mango Leaves

Central Philippine University Blog

In 1999, I had the opportunity to live with the Hanonoo Mangyans of Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro as part of my course in Theology.

Together with two interns, we stayed in the Mangyan village from April 19 to May 4. My previous post “Learning with the Mangyans” provides some details of that internship.

On April 29, Amâ Anghel invited us to his farm way up the mountains. He guided us to Sitio Lumboy, an hour’s walk from Sitio Amaga.

He wanted us to witness the worship gathering of born-again Mangyans, which was being held in that place.

There I saw a very unique experience in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

Their church building is made of bamboo and cogon grass thatched roof. The congregation sat on the bamboo floor.

Mango branches with unripe fruits

Mango branches with unripe fruits

I was very quizzical upon seeing a Mangyan deacon walked around the congregation with a branch full of leaves. It was a branch from a Mango tree.

As the Mangyan pastor read 1 Corinthians 11:1-13 in the native language, each worshipper plucked a leaf from the branch. There were two deacons who carried the branch around.

Then I saw them distribute pieces of “Marie” biscuits.

In the Mangyan language, I gathered that the pastor instructed the members to get one and wait till each one has a biscuit for they will eat together. The pastor read a Bible passage and together they ate the biscuit.

The pastor bade everyone to be silent while he prayed. Then the two deacons went around again, each carrying a pitcher of water.

For a moment, I thought the people will eat the Mango leaves to represent the cup. I was naively wrong.

As they went around, each member scooped water from the pitcher using the leaves they formed into a cone. After everyone had drunk, they sang the hymn “Break Thou the Bread” in the Mangyan dialect.

As they sang, the deacons gathered back the used leaves and placed them on the altar.

La Santa Biblia – The Hiligaynon Translation of the Bible 1912 #ThrowBackThursday

Here’s a copy of the Hiligaynon Bible published in 1912.

Those who want to know and learn the Hiligaynon language of almost a century ago, this is a very excellent reference.

CLICK on the image below to see the full copy of La Santa Biblia (The Holy Bible) 1912.

Caution! Please know the file is too large and opening the PDF might take time depending on your internet speed.

La Santa Biblia

ministering to the elderly

The Magic of Psalms, Singing Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another
with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)


ministering to the elderly Yesterday, we had the opportunity to hold a devotional with some residents of The Terrace Rest Home.

The place is home to elderly people offering care, comfort and companionship.

I asked Jewel and Errol to come with me.

We started the meeting with the singing of two stanzas of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”.

Then after I gave the invocation, Jewel sang “His Strength is Perfect

Errol read Psalm 27, the scriptural basis of my devotional message.

I gave a very short reflection, maybe five sentences because prior to speaking the Holy Spirit prompted me to dwell more on singing hymns and spiritual songs.

I asked for prayer requests and prayed for them.

Then, I called on Jewel to sing the second song she prepared for the moment, “O Holy Night”.

I told them that this will be our closing song and I thanked them for listening and spending time with us.

As Jewel sang “O Holy Night”, the audience became animated and I could see several lips singing with her.

They clapped in appreciation of Jewel’s singing.  Just when we thought we’re done, one of the staff members came to us and requested Jewel to sing another song.

Smiling, the lady said, “I’m sure she has one more song to sing”.

Running through our memory as to what song to sing, Errol suggested “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.

Again, perhaps being familiar with the hymn, some sang with Jewel.

Thus, we ended the devotional with that hymn.

What peace and joy seeing the residents and staff very happy and thankful for what we have shared them.

The atmosphere yesterday reminded me of the lines of the popular chorus, “The Time To Be Happy“, which says:

And the way to be happy is to make others happy
And to have a little heaven down here

Yes, I saw a glimpse of heaven yesterday because we taught and admonished with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.


… Errol for your presence and reading Psalm 27.

… my dear wife, Jewel for sharing your talent and ministering to the elderly through singing.


From Earthquake to Typhoon Yolanda – Philippines Find A Shelter in the Time of Storms

Super Typhoon Haiyan as of 8:00 AM (Philippine Time)

Haiyan 2013  Tracking Map  Weather Wunderground


Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) has started whipping its fury on the Philippines as of writing, particularly towards the Visayas, the central area of the country.

Still recovering from the 15 October earthquake, here comes Super Typhoon HAIYAN (Philippine name: YOLANDA)… when would my beloved country have a respite from all these calamities?

Complicating the situation is the on-going Senate investigation on the issue of squandering billions of public funds by politicians.

Let us pray for the Philippines.

I believe that the Sovereign and Almighty God has the best options for the Filipinos.

Please calm the storm Lord, spare your people, hoist them to safe and higher ground.

Having been through all trials and storms in life, I testify that Jesus is still and only the rock in the weary land and our strong shelter in the time of storm.

Now is the time to be strong in our faith in Jesus Christ.

May this hymn encourage us all:


Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of strongest storms ever, heads for central Philippines

Friday classes suspended in metro, affected provinces

Storm Signal No. 4 raised as mighty Yolanda barrels toward the Visayas

As of November 8 – 1:00 AM (Philippine time):

PAGASA update on Typhoon Yolanda (November 8, 1AM)

Monster storm roars into Philippines

Taking A Reckless Leap of Faith

Bungee Jumping New Zealand by Karl Hipolito

A reckless leap of faith could be like bungee jumping except you’re jumping with one “Mighty Invisible cable”.

Have you ever tried taking a reckless leap of faith?

It’s like the man who found a treasure on a field and hid it; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field (Matthew 13:44).

A reckless leap of faith could be an action where you are proving that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

I haven’t experienced bungee jumping but I guess it’s more like it except that you are jumping with one “Mighty Invisible cable” attached.

Today is my last day of working as home support worker of Idea Services.

The home support work was quite a learning experience as it enabled me to work with persons and families around Timaru.

Two weeks ago, I submitted my resignation in favour of working more for the Multicultural Response ministry we have started with Wilson Street Baptist Church and Multicultural Believers Fellowship.

We humbly submit to God’s guidance and providence. Ventures in faith make life exciting.

We have done it before and we have witnessed God’s hand working through Him and His people. Thus, no doubt it will be all right.

If you’re looking for exciting and meaningful life, you are most welcome to also take a reckless leap of faith.

We will soon be announcing how you may be able to work out your faith with us in the Multicultural Response ministry.

Meanwhile, please pray for our faith journey as we take another wonderful and exciting turn.


PHOTO CREDIT: Bungee Jumping New Zealand by Karl Hipolito