Sa kabila ng “Yolanda”, ang Pasko ay Pasko pa rin…
Kaya magtigil na sana ang mga taong ANALYZE NG ANALYZE diyan, o CRITICIZE NG CRITICIZE…
Ang mahihirap na masang Pinoy ay naghahanap din ng kaligayahan-
Maski simple lang
Maski mababaw na kaligayahan lang…
Dahil ang tunay na diwa ng Pasko
ay hindi ‘yung nagtatago sa diwa “kuno” ng pagtulong…
kundi sa pagbubukas ng KALIGAYAHAN sa pagsilang
ng isang kakaibang NILALANG-
sa araw ng Pasko!
MALIGAYANG PASKO SA LAHAT NG MASANG PILIPINO!
ANG PASKO AY KAY SAYA…
(MULA SA LABINDALAWANG MAGKAKAIBIGAN, AS THE WORDS WERE WRITTEN: DECEMBER 21, 2013)
BONUS ADDED FEATURE:
AN ESSAY ON “CHRISTMAS IN THE PHILIPPINES” (FROM SUNSTAR.COM)
FOR some countries, Christmas is only a one-day celebration during the month of December, but not in the Philippines. Out of all the number of festivals celebrated by Filipinos all over the country, Christmas is the longest one to be celebrated.
Even before the month of December arrives, Christmas songs are already being played on the radio or in the malls and Christmas trees, lights and decors are already sold in the market. This is how early the spirit of Christmas can be felt in the Philippines.
However, the yuletide season in the country really begins at the 16th up until the 24th day of the last month of the year where Misa de Gallo (Night Mass), a nine-day devotion which is usually done as early as 3 o’clock in the morning, starts.
Most of the time people are encouraged to participate in this series of “simbang gabi” because of the belief that if one completes the nine mornings of epiphany; one wish shall be granted to them.
Filipinos, just like the rest of the world, are fond of carolling during Christmas season too. Most of them are children who tend to ask for their “aginaldo” or Christmas present which is often cash and coins.
These Christmas parties which Filipinos are also fond of organizing are also classified in many celebrations.
The school and office party which is usually celebrated one week before Christmas is different from the party which is meant only for the family. These parties usually serve as a reunion wherein relatives outside the country reunite with their family here in the Philippines.
Most of the time, the local government, churches and even private institutions conduct fund raising Christmas contests like Parol (Christmas lantern) making, carolling and Christmas lights exhibition to be donated to an orphanage, school or hospital for example.
The most traditional and preferred way of how Filipinos celebrate this season is staying up late on 24th for the night-long party of the “Noche Buena”, a feast usually done on the Christmas eve with the family.
Ham, Queso de bola (Cheese) and lechon, three of the classic Pinoy Christmas food, are usually served this night.
However, this picture of how Filipinos celebrate Christmas has deepened more since the last three Decembers where the country suffered devastation brought by raging Christmas typhoons Sendong (2011), Ondoy (2012) and Yolanda (2013).
After these series of unfortunate events, the bazaar and extravagant celebration of Christmas became more frugal and meaningful.
Those people who used to go shopping with the use of their Christmas bonuses learned to set aside their wish lists to give way to the basic needs of those who were in need of help.
Meanwhile, those who follow the traditional simbang gabi, do not limit their prayers and wishes only to themselves but also to other people who are suffering crisis in their lives.
Other institutions, public or not, has also become more particular on how they will spend their hard-earned money. In fact, there are some companies and organizations who chose to gather all their cash bonuses to donate cash and kinds to the typhoon victims.
Some Filipinos who already planned on going home during the Christmas holiday decided to volunteer themselves on charity works like packing and distributing relief goods and donations instead of celebrating with their family.
Different institutions and organizations that used to do fund-raising charity events became more determined to raise money and find sponsors or donors to be given to the thousand homeless people in the remote areas.
Families who used to serve excessive servings of food during Noche Buena learned to limit their cooking and share the extra ones to others instead of leaving it spoiled on the fridge.
These are only a few positive changes on how Filipino Christmas celebration has become today.
The Philippines may not be among the list of the first world countries but celebrating Christmas here is one thing that this country will always be known for –celebrating Christmas not only for one’s self but for the whole country as well. (By Ms. Necta Casiple)