Random Thoughts About The Holidays (…on a Holiday)

lights and sounds show at the ayala triangle 2011

i thought of writing a new post about the forthcoming holiday season, but i am just too lazy to write today.  besides, i remember, i already wrote one sometime in the past, and i thought, hey, why not repost it instead?  tamad talaga eh, no?  hehe.. it essentially echoes some of the sentiments that i have this year towards christmas, anyway.  i did however change the last part to “update” it a bit,  but then again no one would really know if it was indeed changed or not.  anyway,  here it is.

* * *

it’s november 30 today.  bonifacio day.  a holiday.  and tomorrow is december 01.

december 01.

wow.  until now, i am amazed how fast days go by, especially during the -ber months.  it seems as though the months themselves could not wait to see the end of the current year.

* * *

i remember when i was younger, i used to look forward to the holiday season; salivate with the idea of cold weather + food + christmas break + reunions + of course, gifts.  i still do now but it has greatly diminished sad to say.  now, my mind is mostly pre-occupied with “december na, wala pa rin akong pera.”

i once mentioned this line to someone during a conversation, and to which she replied.. “oo nga, december na, wala pa rin akong boyfriend.  ayoko pang mag december!!!”

when did the anticipation end and the dread begin??

does it automatically come with age? 

when you’re a kid, time seemed to be such a drag and you just couldn’t wait for the event to arrive, but now, if only possible, you’d stop time so december would not come “early.”  but alas, that would never happen.  instead, december will come and go and you would not even notice it.  ok maybe, a little.  but you’d only do so because you’ve become too harrassed doing christmas shopping, beating the holiday traffic, and cards have all been maxed out.


* * *

no one sends christmas greeting cards during holidays anymore, which is such a shame, because i like receiving letters and cards —  you know, real paper inside a real envelope with a message written with real ink!  receiving and sending emails or text messages is ok, but i still think real cards are way better than what technology has replaced it with. call me old fashioned, but i prefer it that way.  there’s something about postcards,cards, letters — they send out a more personal vibe.  same thing with music — mp3 downloads are great.  it’s made music more accessible and hassle free. you don’t have to go and search for a rare CD in every music store in town ’cause with a click of a button, you can buy all the digital tracks in a website.  but for me, nothing beats a physical CD — from the moment you buy it in a music store to the opening of its plastic cover to the time you plop it inside your player — it’s just lovely. not to mention the booklet that contains pictures and lyrics that will allow you to sing along to the tracks to your heart’s content!  i also like reading the acknowledgment page.  maybe some people would dismiss that part, but i don’t.

taken from philippine business for social progress (pbsp)* website

* * *

about a month ago, i can’t remember exactly when anymore, i woke up with christmas songs playing in my head.  the songs were “merry christmas darling” by the carpenters and “feliz navidad”.  strange. days after that, a neighbor of mine was blasting christmas carols so early in the morning.  the usual songs were present — “jingle bells,” “i’m dreaming of a white christmas,”  “have yourself…,” “winter wonderland,”  and a whole slew of christmas tunes, which led me to remember a question i’ve had for a long time now –

“what is it with the old christmas carols?”

i mean, even though a lot of musicians have already released tons of “new”  christmas songs, they never really stick around unlike the classics.  right now, i could not name a modern and original christmas track that really made it into popular consciousness during the holiday season.  it’s always the oldies.  it’s the same thing with filipino christmas carols — “pasko na naman,”  “pasko na sinta ko,” kumukuti-kutitap, bumubusi-busilak” (i know that’s not the title of the song, but i forget what it is! or is it??) “christmas in our hearts,” “christmas won’t be the same without you,”  and the list goes on and on.

could it be possible that these songs have been embedded with subliminal messages? maybe if we play them backwards, we’d hear a message like “thou shalt not listen to any other christmas carols but mine”

* * *

2 things i’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance to — simbang gabi (yes, even though i’m not catholic!) and caroling.

* * *

i used to make traditional christmas lanterns when i was younger.  all i needed were cellophane, bamboo sticks, japanese and metallic papers, and of course other common tools and materials like hammer, nails, glue, etc.  and voila! my parol was complete.

simpleng parol

bonggang parol

i wonder if kids now are still required to make one as part of their school project.  hmm…

* * *

christmas starts early here in the philippines.  september 01 to be exact.  hehe.. i remember last september, a former colleague of mine sent me a text message saying something like “hey it’s already 09.01. merry christmas!” OA! when i went to a mall on that same day, it was already playing christmas songs.  that’s why some of my foreign students are amazed with the way we pinoys celebrate christmas.

* * *

even when i was a kid, i never believed in santa claus.  my siblings did.  some  of my friends did. but me.. i just couldn’t grasp the idea of a big caucasian dude wearing a red suit flying to all christian countries to give gifts.  besides:

-filipino houses do not have chimneys (well, with the exception of baguio)

-i was well aware that reindeer could not fly.

-and i guess the biggest reason — i never received any present from him.

one of my students told me that maybe i was not “pure and innocent” when i was a kid that’s why i didn’t believe in the magic of santa.   “no, it’s not that i was not pure or innocent,” i told him.  “i just wasn’t gullible!”

* * *

if i heard it correctly, PAGASA said december’s going to be a warm month this year.

damn global warming!

* * *

i am glad that president noynoy aquino decided not to make bonifacio day part of a long weekend.  our holidays and calendars are peppered with “movable” holidays!  what is the point of making these specific dates holidays if they would just be moved closer to weekends all the time?  don’t get me wrong.  i love long weekends.  who doesn’t?  it is just that if we keep moving these holidays to different dates just to have long weekends, this diminishes the value of the day itself.

we have those days to commemorate something or to remember someone.  but if we keep on moving and moving them, then all what people would look forward to is no longer the relevance of the day but of how many days of rest they could gain out of it.

* PBSP is an NGO dedicated to promoting the business sector commitment to social development.  young visayan artists paint christmas inspired artworks and these are transformed into the designs of the christmas cards that they sell.  to know more about it, click here.

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