BIBA! BIBA! BIBA! This acclamation to honor the patron saints has been a traditional and popular custom in every parish fiesta celebration at the end of the lukao. In his homily during the celebration of the fiesta of Kristo Rai, Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez reflected on the deeper significance whenever we say: “Biba. Kristo Rai!”
The expression Biba Kristo Rai (or in Spanish, Que vive Cristo Rey!) originated in Mexico about a hundred years ago. There was then a popular church movement called Cristeros which was the Church’s response to the oppressive anti-Catholic government of Mexico. These Christians wanted to be patriotic but they know that there are more important things in life such as faith, values and God. Those were turbulent times for the Church in Mexico which saw the martyrdom of many Christians, both clergy and lay people. These martyrs showed that their love towards their faith, values and God is far more important than their allegiance to the state.
Bishop Ryan invited the parishioners of Kristo Rai to reflect that whenever we say: “Biba, Kristo Rai!”, it means that God must come first! “This means that first, there are better things in life than the momentary whims in life or instant gratification,” said Bishop Ryan. “Do we sacrifice, the values and faith which our parents, our Pali`, our CCD teachers have handed on to us in exchange for the momentary whims in life?”
“Whenever we say: ‘Biba Kristo Rai’, it means also that everything we do in life should be done for the greater glory of God”, said Bishop Ryan. “Even if we fail in what we do or our best is never enough, as long as we do everything for God, then that’s okay.”
Bishop Ryan also reminded the parishioners that this fiesta celebration is for every member of the parish including those in the peripheries. “We who acclaim: ‘Biba Kristo Rai’ should be welcoming to everyone and acknowledge that our church today is a church of diverse culture.
Fr. Ken Hezel, SJ, the pastor of Kristo Rai concelebrated in the Mass along with Fr. Neil, the parochial vicar and Fr. Noli. Hundreds of parishioners attended the Fiesta Mass and the Lukao.