Though the Filipino natives are not familiar with the word and meaning of Thanksgiving celebration back in our motherland, the Filipinos who have migrated to the U.S. have easily adopted, recognized and celebrated this very special holiday of Thanksgiving together with the native Americans and other immigrants of this country, making it everyone’s favorite holiday.
It is because Thanksgiving is not actually some kind of a religious holiday, which Filipinos’ holiday celebrations mainly center on. It is a secular holiday but deeply rooted in biblical principles.
What is there to thank for on Thanksgiving, a national holiday which is always celebrated and falls on the fourth Thursday of November in this country? History and stories tell us that Thanksgiving originated as harvest festival by the Pilgrims (English colonists) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people in 1621.
In modern times, these exciting times that we live in, Thanksgiving in families is a time for love, giving thanks, and the simple joy of being with family. We set aside time to give thanks for our blessings. As we are very busy greeting, eating, and socializing with family on this blissful and bless-ful day, everyone has that one favorite moment during the day that they will personally love and cherish for the rest of their lives. Time to pray quietly. Time to cherish our lives and our loved ones.
We make sure to thank God for the freedoms that we are enjoying in our lives, particularly the religious freedom on this Thanksgiving Day because God created us for freedom. Thanksgiving has a simple, secular, and universal message, and every one with different backgrounds, different religions, and different cultures can follow it.
Maraming salamat sa aming biyaya (thank you so much for our blessings) on this Thanksgiving Day! Mabuhay tayong lahat (Long Live for all of us)! (Guest Editorialist )