December 22, 2012
Boat to Bethlehem
The Christmas Parks of the Ateneo de Manila University are also thematic, with each group randomly assigned one of the regions of the Philippines to incorporate into their Nativity scene. Probably one of the most challenging regions is the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). How does one sensitively depict a very Christian belief in a Muslim setting? By not making any direct reference to the Muslim faith, of course. The Nativity scene is set on a vinta, a traditional boat with a sail of colorful vertical strips which has long been used in the islands of Mindanao. And as an additional detail, Joseph is also wearing a taqiyah.