The Holiday Season is the chance to remember what matters most. And for the many families around the world, the Holidays are the joyous time, a time to reunite.
But for families who are apart because their loved ones need to attend to work and serve other people (nurses, hotel staff, restaurant crews, police force, security guards, etc.), this time of the year is especially hard. Christmas time also serves as a reminder that affected families too of these hardworking people have to sacrifice. To all the men and women who needs to work and be on duty on this joyous time, thank you.
Please know that you have my highest respect and gratitude for sacrificing and be away from your families this Holiday Season. To you and your families, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May we all experience metric tons of peace and happiness this Christmas!
Yearly, without hardship and difficulty, I can easily capture and feel the spirit of Christmas. But not this year. I guess I can attribute this to the still very hot weather due to the ongoing El Niño phenomenon, my having no time to do any Christmas shopping as well as the need to do and attend to the tons and loads of work in my office.
Thanks to Philippine Airlines because after seeing this heartwarming video, I can somewhat feel what seem to be a elusive Christmas spirit.
The short happy video captures the magical energy and some unique elements of a Filipino Christmas which foreigners seem to marvel and be surprised about. Seeing this video made me realize that no one in the world celebrates Christmas like the way Filipinos (like me) do.
Icelandic legend has it that anyone not dressed with brand new clothes on Christmas Day would be devoured by the ferocious Yule Cat. Though my family is not from the Nordic country of Iceland, we do observe the tradition of wearing new clothes during the festive Christmas Day.
More than five years now, my family has kept a somewhat different variety of tradition in terms of wearing new clothes on Christmas. It is because we opt to be wearing the same design of clothing every year during Christmas Eve. Call if uniform, call it a costume or call it regalia but this tradition has kept us in a way to be more bonded as a family.
And every year, it takes weeks before the final color and design will be agreed upon. Knowing how liberal and outspoken each and every member of my family is, it comes not as a big surprise that there were lots of funny debates, hilarious deliberations and side-splitting discussions on how the style and design would look like.
A way of kicking the Yule Cat’s ass this year, my family opted for a vibrant baby pink color shirt with a somewhat retro chocolate brown design print. Here’s how it looks…
Sino ba ‘yan Yul Kat na ‘yan? Pusang gala lang yata ‘yan!
Nengkoy and I would like to express – through the general parts of speech – our one of a kind 2014 Yuletide greetings and wishes to everyone!
Our wish is for you to possess your most wanted adjective, fulfill your most yearned verb, experience your dream adverb and express nothing but delightful interjections. Nengkoy and I both hope that all these shall be in conjunction with the fulfillment of your dream to be with your most desired noun and pronoun in whatever preposition you may be this Christmas Season.
According to Mahatma Gandhi, “The simplest act of kindness is by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer”. That is why aside from trying to succeed in the 9-day Misa De Gallo challenge, let me encourage everyone to allot even a small portion of their Christmas blessings to charity. I suppose you need not be told that even for a small amount, your donation will indeed go far and would help a lot of people.
I am not the best Catholic this Christmas Season so let me make up for my sins by helping others. This Christmas, my chosen aid organization is Save the Children UK. I know there is Save the Children Philippines but I chose the UK-based branch because I was so touched and was so moved by their YouTube advert for this Christmas season. Entitled Real Giving This Christmas, the advert features Gerald a young boy from an impoverished town of my very own country.
What is very moving about Gerald’s story is his ability to give so much despite having so little. His enthusing narrative along with a touching musical score of the video can indeed inspire and encourage people to share their blessings in whichever form it may be.
It’s like a bunch of angels went down from the heavens and played us some awesome music!
This is the general feeling I felt after having watched and listened to the concert of no less than the Philippine pride, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO). Held at the outdoor amphitheater area of the Bonifacio High Street Central in Bonifacio Gobal City (BGC) the concert was entitled “A Holiday Symphony”. It was organized by the LJC Group, the BGC and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
This PPO event was free to the public that is why I did not let this rare chance pass by. What is so good about the concert was their chosen repertoire. It was pop and popular to the ear and not the usually highfalutin sleep-inducing classical tunes.
Though the program started with a classical piece – to the beat of William Tell Overture – it was nevertheless fun and exhilarating to the ear. It is because the tune was reminiscent of the background music of a Looney Tunes cartoon chase scene. I initially thought Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner would suddenly appear on stage!
One of the highlights of the show was when a good friend Edwin Santos sang two songs in the concert. He started with Pasko Na Cinta Ko (a Tagalog Christmas love song) and capped it with an explosive operatic performance by singing the Mexican song Granada. I was super proud and was cheering like mad for Edwin!
PPO played Donna Summer songs, tunes from Star Wars plus a lot of Christmas songs crafting a very Christmas-ee feeling in the crisp November air. When the orchestra played the gorgeous tunes from the movie Titanic, I initially held on to my seat for I thought a humongous ocean wave would suddenly appear bringing Rose and Jack on the stage! But nothing beats the couple of Beatles songs they played. People in the audience were actually singing along with them!
It is not the first time I heard PPO played yet still the emotions they drew from me was something unexplainable. The nearest words that I can think of is it’s a mix of magic, glee and pride.
A couple of years back my younger sister Joy initiated a family tradition. Every December 24 the whole Langit clan is distributed with shirts of the same design. This is the shirt that every member of the family would wear to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ. Everyone would wear it otherwise you would be considered an outcast.
Each year, the family’s surname is printed on the shirt. This year was something different, in which collaboration and consensus of everyone was carried out. As early as October this year suggestions and wild ideas are aired out and would crop out among family members on what shall be this year’s color and shirt design during simple family gatherings at Nengkoy’s house.
This is our 2011 Christmas shirt…
A Japanese kanji read as Tengoku meaning Heaven in English or Langit if translated to Filipino.