The Philippine Consulate General in Milan hosted an online event featuring the first of the Christmas Novena Masses/Simbang Gabi and the launch of COVID-19 An Anthology of Poems of Filipinos in Northern Italy on 16 December 2020.
The mass, held live on the Consulate’s Facebook Page and YouTube channel, was led by Fr. Sonny de Armas of Chiesa di Santo Stefano. In observance of COVID-19 protocols in Italy, only Consulate General personnel were physically present at the Consulate for the celebration.
The Anthology, published on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Philippine Consulate General in Milan (3 April 1995), is a compilation of kababayans’ poems submitted in June 2020 for a poetry-writing contest, with the theme “Ang Buhay ng Pilipino sa Ibang Bansa sa Panahon ng Pandemya.” The book also features entries for the Paligsahan sa Paggawa ng Poster, commemorating Philippine Independence 2020. During the book launch, Philippine Consul General to Milan Bernadette Therese C. Fernandez acknowledged the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and other officials of the Department, whose support to the project made the Consulate’s first literary publication possible.
A simple dinner was served after the ceremonies to celebrate Christmas among Consulate personnel.