MANILA, Philippines --- An official of the Catholic Church said the food for the traditional Noche Buena feast need not be extravagant as it could be as simple as ''tuyo'' or dried fish.
Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA), said the food that one will eat during Noche Buena could be as simple as tuyo because Christmas is not about food rather about sharing.
''To me that's not important. It doesn't really matter what food we have on the table,'' he said.
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''Christmas is in the heart and not in the food that we eat,'' added Gariguez.
The CBCP official said instead of worrying what food to prepare for Noche Buena, the faithful should think about the countless poor and the thousands of victims of typhoon ''Pablo'' in Mindanao, who could not even afford a simple meal.
''We should share our blessings to the needy. It's saddening that while we are feasting there are people who have nothing to eat,'' Gariguez said.
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He said at present NASSA and the different dioceses are still focused in giving relief assistance to the typhoon victims.
''We are really focused in giving what they really need and their immediate need right now is roof,'' said Gariguez.
He said he already made an appeal to their international partners for aid for this purpose.
''We appealed for assistance for the housing material and food,'' Gariguez said.
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Philippine President Benigno Aquino is to seek more aid when he meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week, more than a month after a monster typhoon killed thousands and left millions homeless. Aquino and Abe are expected to witness the signing of "exchanges of notes", including a post-disaster standby loan worth about 10 billion yen ($100 million), foreign office spokesman Raul Hernandez said Monday. "During the meeting the two leaders will discuss cooperation on disaster …