Friday, December 5, 2008


[The first of the series of entries I decided to run here about the celebration they call Christmas.]

I would like to start this thing off with one of the IDs of a local TV station which goes something like this: “We may not have snow here in the Philippines, but we have the longest Christmas…” Just where did this tradition[?] (loud Christmas medleys heard as early as September; early Christmas sales; etc.) originate, I really don’t have any idea.


Although I have become quite hostile to the idea of what they loosely call Christmas, I could still recall that it was once a big part of my childhood. Having been raised in a Catholic-Baptist mix of a family, it was a central activity for us.
Never will I forget the time I spent playing at the foot of lola’s* old Christmas Tree, decorated with colorful shiny balls, small fruit replicas, baskets of flowers, reindeers, snowman, and other seeming lucky objects. The design enhanced by the Christmas lights of different colors, I would play with the decorations, making stories and then act them out using those objects. Tito Roy also used to have gifts prepared for his inaanak**. I just don’t understand why I always feel so sad whenever I see blinking lights and lights with accompanying sounds…does this have anything to do with my past? Tss. Whatever.


Being the one who initiates the decorating of the house, I was somewhat compelled to do it still this year despite my resolve not to partake in any aspect of the celebration. Well, I put up the ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’ but mother finished the task using wall designs of flowers and those shiny stuff usually used to decorate Christmas trees.


© 2008 Francis Emralino . Lantern (Parol) picture taken in downtown Lucena City, 2007.

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