Hearts on Fire in Abra Gospel Festival
Upon the invitation of Father Oscar Alunday, Executive Secretary of Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate, PBS representatives went to Bangued, Abra on February 14, 2004 to witness the annual Hearts on Fire (HoF) Gospel Festival. The festival, held on February 15, was attended by more than 2,000 students from private and public schools – from Elementary to College level, their parents, and parishioners of the Diocese of Abra.
Biblical rap on the life of Zacchaeus was a hit among the youth. (Photo by Edna Mae Rabago/ Philippine Bible Society)
The day-long event was marked by exciting contests and colorful presentations such as Biblical Dance Drama, Interpretative Dance of ‘Our Father’, Original Gospel Song, Individual and Choral Speech from the Acts of the Apostles, and Rap Contest on the story of Zacchaeus. The Bible Quiz Bee, which was the culminating event, was held in the afternoon with 43 teams (each having five members) representing schools, seminaries and parishes all over Abra. Organizers showed their support to Philippine Bible Society in promoting the inter-confessional translations by using the Good News Bible and Ti Baro a Naimbag a Damag Biblia (Ilokano Popular Version) as the official Bible versions during the contest.
Pretty faces of Abra. (Photo by Edna Mae Rabago/ Philippine Bible Society)
HoF started in 1981 as the province’s way of encouraging their people to make God’s Word burn in their hearts. Today, they continue to hold the festivities in celebration of the National Bible Week.
The festivities was led by the Archdiocese of Abra’s Bible Director, Fr. Efren Ambre, and Charles Javier. This was attended by about 40 schools and seminaries. Focus of the celebration was on the books of Tobit, Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.