Philippines would probably be the only country in the world where people starts playing Christmas songs as early as September, begins the Christmas shopping by October, gift-giving (including the most awaited Christmas bonus) by November, and non stop eating, drinking and partying by December. It continues until January for the New Year and extends to February for the Three Kings celebration.
For me, our Christmas means meeting all my relatives and spending the day with them. This Christmas is just as the same as the other years that passed by. I realized that as I grew older, it becomes less extravagant for most families. It becomes less significant to my life, or maybe it’s just me.
It’s just like an ordinary day with more food and some gifts. But maybe just for some families but not for all.
As we travel from my home to our relatives house, I couldn’t help but notice everything that we passed by. A lot of people are still on the streets. Children were singing Christmas carols hoping to be given a few pesos. Some vendors were still working on the streets, selling anything from cheap toys to candies, cigarettes and bottled water.
Maybe for most people in my homeland, Christmas is just like an ordinary day at work.
According to SWS, “The September 2009 survey also found that 41% of Filipino families (est. 7.5 million) consider themselves as Food-Poor, 35% put themselves on the Food-Borderline, and 24% consider themselves as Not Food-Poor.”
One thing that I admire the most though is the resiliency of the Filipino spirit. Despite the fact that most of us have been living on or below the poverty line for decades, despite the fact that we’ve just been battered by typhoons and was technically under water a few months ago, despite the fact that Mayon Volcano is on the verge of eruption, you could still see and feel the warmth of a Filipino’s smile.
How about you? What is Christmas like in your country?
I drank too much brandy… blame it to my cousins and uncle. I promised myself (after throwing up everything that I ate and drank yesterday) I won’t drink again!!! (hohum!!! maybe I’ll break this promise too together with my New Year’s resolution)