PRETTY girls holding small bamboo arches festooned with paper flowers or waving their loose skirts as if they were winnowing baskets and boys in shawls beating their tambourines or colorful castanets.

These are the first steps in Pastores-A-Belen, a song and dance ritual that marks the start of a festive re-enactment of the oldest Yuletide celebration in Bicol, especially in Legazpi City. It is staged before the celebration of the Mass on first day of the Misa de Gallo.

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