The display of several crèches fills the lobby of the Arzobispado de Manila, and is open to the public for free and will last all throughout Christmas season.
Now on its eight year, the exhibit, which opened Friday, has expanded through the years with new additional crèches on display.
This year, there are some 200 crèches from different parts of the world such as Italy, Canada, Mexico, China, Spain, Peru, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Mongolia, and others.
Fr. Genaro Diwa of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission said the meaning of Christmas can be gleaned from the Belen and prayerful contemplation because it deepens the understanding of the season.
He said the exhibit also shows the different interpretations of the Belen with one of the displays even featuring the native lechon. The renditions also incorporate various artistic media and materials.
“It’s showing us how the reality of the incarnation of Jesus Christ has given us so many expression,” Diwa said.
“(This also means that) one way of expressing is not enough to each culture, each time and age there’s a way of telling us that God is with us in different manners and medium,” he said.
The smallest crèche in the collection was made from silver and comes in an egg-sized container while the biggest occupies one big table.
“After looking at all of these you come to appreciate that the mystery is so great. We understand it but as we understand it goes beyond us so that one way of expressing it is really not enough,” said.
The yearly exhibit started in 2005 with the modest collection of Diwa, placed on a table at the Arzobispado. His friends and visitors who saw the exhibit began adding the collection. (CBCPNews)