Only in the Philippines
[by : the one who won the world of nowhere]
We Filipinos are known to be hospitable and that we value our families so much. We never forget to wear a smile because of the positive attitude that we possess amidst our problems or even after disasters come our way. These are the main reasons why we should be proud of our race. Because our population is mostly composed of Roman Catholics, our faith and the traditions of the Church become part of our everyday living. From the switching-on of the sun’s light until the back-up lighting from the moon, we practice our Christian values and beliefs -----this is evident in our prayer recitals. We celebrate every special occasion with great preparations, one of which is the Christmas season.
When darkness falls and overrules the sunlight, sparkling eyes rove around the new sights to behold. This usually starts on the first day of September and is only seen in the Philippines. Playful rainbow colors enthusiastically move about in the dark grey walls which were once lifeless and cold. This is but one of the marvelous sights as the most-awaited celebration comes near.
The material things are but usual things to be excited about; it is the different kind of freshness in the air, as if each place we go had been sprayed with the sweetest scent of the most expensive perfume, which makes Christmas a one of a kind celebration. People from all walks of life unite in decorating their homes, inside and out. For the rich ones, dancing colors of green, red, yellow and blue from an expensive lantern rule the night. Human-sized Santa Clauses projected the best smiles as they sit under a humongous Christmas tree bejeweled with gaudy Christmas balls.
On the barrio setting, branches of real trees are placed in the living room dangled with only eight to ten ball candies making it the sweetest Christmas tree ever. From the upper corners of the paintless walls, the stringed hand-made paper decors waltzed to the happy tunes of Christmas songs played on local radio stations. Little children roam the streets and like baby moths they circle the amplified light posts which had been magically turned into a Christmas light post with its boasting Christmas lights.
For the month of October, lovely voices are heard from children and choir groups roaming at night and singing Christmas carols. As the month of December comes, another most-awaited activity is the “Simbang Gabi”, the Holy Mass celebrated for 9 consecutive nights as a preparation for Christmas Eve. These are only some main activities that we long for as it reminds us how special Christmas is.
So, what is Christmas for us Filipinos? With our long preparation and celebration any one can say that it is the longest festival in our country. For young Filipinos, it is the time when most grins are seen, parents are less likely to scold them, school works do not give too much pressure because there’s none, candies and chocolates fill their stomachs, ninangs and ninongs finally appear with their heart-warming gifts, best dresses are worn and new shoes pamper their feet. For older ones, this is the time when ”thank you” becomes a common expression, sweat shirts and long sleeves which were kept in the deepest part of the closet are finally worn, and friends, both old and new, finally meet for the longest time.
Christmas is more than just a celebration; it is a blissful way of welcoming the coming of our savior Jesus Christ. As one united nation bonded with faith in God and love for family, we signify this season as a very special occasion as it is the time when we share precious moments together with our loved ones. Filipinos love Christmas but it does not mean that we should only get excited and prepare for the activities on the month of December, it means that we should feel the Christmas spirit all the time of the year and do good deeds each day of our lives.