The Barangay Christ the King Community
The Barangay Choir hailed from the Barangay Christ the King (BCK), a Filipino community in our parish conceptualized on April 22, 1993. Recognizing that the Filipino community is a significant part of Singapore’s multi-racial society, Rev. Fr. Anthony Ho – the parish priest then, approached a few Filipinos in the parish to organize a Filipino group. A small group of Filipinos then got together and on July 4, 1993 Barangay Christ was formed with the objective to cultivate the “Bayanihan Spirit” (Spirit of Cooperation) amongst the Filipinos in Singapore. The major goals of the group are:
- To provide a venue for fellowship as a means of spiritual growth.
- To nurture a sense of belonging amongst Filipinos in the parish.
- To promote camaraderie amongst Filipinos in Singapore.
- To promote active participation in church activities.
To promote and realize the above goals, the community has been organizing and has been involved in different spiritual and social activities in and out of the parish. These activities include retreats, visits to hospices, religious collaborations with other Filipino communities in other parishes, Block Rosaries, outings, and parties on special occasions like Christmas and birthdays of members of the group.
One of the major activities that the community has undertaken is the community Block Rosary which started in 1994 among Filipino families who are parishioners of Church of Christ the King. The Block Rosary involves moving the images of our Mother Mary and of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from house to house every Saturday evening. At the gathering, besides praying the Rosary, testimonies of God’s blessings and experiences are also shared.
The prayer sessions ends with fellowship where refreshment or meals prepared by the host is shared among the participants. The host will have an opportunity to re-kindle their prayer life by praying the Rosary together as a family for a week and after which the images will be transferred to another house and the movement goes on. BCK has brought this beautiful homeland tradition of prayer invoking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to Singapore and shared with others.
In October 1995, the community organized its first Rosary Rally in the parish which has then become an annual coming together of all Block Rosary groups here in Singapore. Inspired by the many blessings received and favours granted through their prayers , the number of families wanting to welcome the Block Rosary in their homes increased steadily.
Through the efforts of past members of the group and its friends in various parts of Singapore, there are now eleven Block Rosary communities here namely – Admiralty, Ang Mo Kio, Batam (Indonesia), Choa Chu Kang, Holland Road, Hougang, Pasir Ris / Tampines, Sengkang, Toa Payoh, Yishun, and Yishun – Orchid Park Block Rosary groups.
All the Block Rosary groups come together as one family in a Rosary Rally held every 1st Sunday of October. In this year of the Lord 2012, we are celebrating the 17th Year of our Rosary Rally. The Rosary Rally involves a Living Rosary followed by the Eucharistic Celebration and ends with a fellowship where food prepared by each group is shared among all.
The Rosary Rally is our way of praise and thanking GOD for the many blessings showered on us. All these spiritual and social activities are organized not only for its members but are open to all our migrants and local brothers and sisters who are interested and are searching to re-kindle their Christian faith in service to GOD.
The main involvement of the BCK community in our parish is serving as a choir. It was on the sunset mass of Easter Sunday of 1994 when the community rendered its first choir service with Jacqueline Enoch as our choir master and Paul Grosse as our organist. Their untiring efforts have helped develop the members’ sense of belonging to the community and in their service to GOD.
The choir had trying situations during the recent economic crisis when job retrenchments were at large. Many members were affected by the situation and left Singapore in pursuit of job opportunities in other countries thus leaving behind just a handful members. But with GOD`s grace, new members started to join, though at a slow pace initially, and the choir pulled through. Today, we are blessed with a good number of new and dedicated members comprising of Filipinos and Singaporeans alike.
Elections of group leaders are held in October every two years. From 1993, the leadership carried on from Elvira Palmeda, Joel Macaranas, Noel Pangilinan, Johnson Yap, Armando Bangsal, Allan Sato, Annalisa Wang, Fred Sumagaysay, Robert Mendoza, Marlon Capuz, Bro Andaya, Marvin Arrabaca, and again the current leadership back to Robert Mendoza.
Our efforts to reach out to others continue, as the fluid nature of the residential status of our members in Singapore results in constant turnover. We all know that to most of us, our stay here in Singapore is temporary. Whilst this stay is just another episode in our lives, we hope that this will be a rewarding experience – spiritually as well as intellectually.
We hope that through this humble act of service, we will bring glory to our GOD and our Creator and to recognize ourselves as an active and significant part of the Christian community in this foreign land.
We continue to invite our brothers and sisters to join and unite with us as one to answer Jesus’ call to be his instruments of love and peace in this parish. We will continue to pray that the Lord will make us mindful of our mission as Christian and increase our spirit of commitment in doing His will.
New members are always welcomed. For enquiries, please contact;
GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!!!
The Barangay Christ the King (BCK)
Church of Christ the King, Singapore