In this period when almost all the Filipinos are gearing up for the festivity that is Christmas, a rather ugly event cuts through an otherwise pristine season of celebration. Typhoon Sendong may not have devastated Luzon this time but it almost turned the southern cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro into wastelands. We see cars overturned, muds flowing through the streets, and dead people being piled up like unusable logs. We then see the survivors lining up to get drinking water which has become a boon for them.
It is really a contrasting view, a view of brown and mud as compared to a view of red and green pine trees of Christmas. But then it is quite more saddening to note how much of our happiness, at least in the Philippine setting, is anchored on how pompous our Christmas celebrations would be. Is it the only time of the year when happiness can be found? Is it the only time of the year when we could gather together and prepare for lavish food? Is it the only time of the year when giving can be a common sight?
“Araw araw ay magiging Pasko lagi...” It may not be conducive for the people of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro to celebrate Christmas and so let us give them the rest of December for mourning. And since we have all been harking how Christmas can be celebrated any time of the the year, then we might as well reserve the festivity for them in the coming of the new year. The pain and hurt might still be there but we, as a nation, can only move on and press on forward. For now let us give all the assistance we could extend to our fellow Filipinos affected by the tragedy on the south.
Photo Credit: Bobby Lagsa/NPPA Images