Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmastime WAS Here, as was Sendong

30 Dec

…(Washi) with its flashflood-manifested wrath.  So though the typical Filipino style long-lasting yuletide festivities for the year would be disrupted to heed calls for donations of time, money and other resources for relief, recovery and restoration, that in a span of days are starting to fizzle down.

Over a thousand dead, same number still missing and tens of thousands whose homes and livelihoods that took lifetimes to build now gone forever.

Who in their right minds can genuinely celebrate amidst that situation, knowing, okay, you may even donate every spare penny and time you’ve got and still it won’t be enough for the long-term support these people will need to fully recover.  So of course the tiniest bit of callousness (read: Valerie Concepcion and Kris Aquino) will be called out.

There would also elements of pure evil capitalizing from the disaster and taking advantage of people’s emotions to swindle good-hearted donors for their own benefit.  A lesser evil would be the politicians who would agree to donate this or that given their faces and names would be provided media mileage. Yeah, scum, you suddenly get the urge to want them to have been part of those flooded away forever.

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So does that mean those not directly affected be prohibited from having a good time? The survivors also need to understand that everyone in their own little way suffers, and to believe that the yuletide season is a reprieve from the constant negative things and asking them to NOT celebrate at all is like cutting off air.  There’s no good answer coming out of this because though personally if I were one of the dead (found or still missing), I would not seriously mind if the living acts to move on with their lives. Death after all is the final comfort.  Any left energies of those who remain should be focused on rebuilding the pieces of their life.

The Sendong survivors will continue to need help for a long time, so I hope & pray that:

  • The donors (of time, money & other items) to keep giving, to not get numbed by overwhelming calls for help
  • The government (national & LGU) and NGOs to not allow politics and egos to get in the way serving the survivors
  • The survivors themselves to be strong to keep the despair and darkness at bay
  • The rest of the world to not look the other way and act as if thise never happened, as wherever we are now, there is a good possibility that we may experience the ordeal they’ve had

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Oh, and I almost forgot to greet the Celebrant.  Happy Birthday! Was it?

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Also, the Philippines celebrate Rizal Day today.  As if it wasn’t enough that we just celebrated last June his 150th birthday that we have to honor him again on the day of his martyrdom. Meh. Told you I was a Bonifacio fan.

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The world and life does go on.  Outside Sendong, there are still a lot of people that need help one way or the other.

Playing with Perceptions this Holiday Season

15 Dec

The reason for the season?

The Philippines is known to have the longest Christmas celebration period in the world with the fact that we start as early as the ber months begin.  Some cultures perceive this practice as crass due to the holiday’s association with how commercialized the occassion has become.  Others see the Filipino spirit as courageous and contagious, given in some countries it is said that most of the suicides occur during this lonely time for those who don’t have anyone significant in their lives.

If your household has an Overseas Filipino going home for the holidays you’re awash with joy for the chance to again be with this loved one (additional excitement for their neighbors, godsons, goddaughters and relatives).  For the common salaried employee, it’ll be exciting to receive the Christmas bonuses to pay off debts or upgrade existing gadgets or wardrobe or other things.

With the secular and other organizations starting to rise in numbers, alternatives to a Jesus’ birthday centered occassion (oh well, not really for the most of us, admit it!)

 

Human rights with current events.

Taking some excerpts from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to play with the recent events that struck me with good and bad vibes at some point.

Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading   treatment or punishment.

Article 11.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed   innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has   had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or   omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or   international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier   penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal   offence was committed

Article 12.  No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family,   home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Money-induced family feud resulting in a murder.

Forcibly outed homosexuality on national television by a reputed UN Ambassador and being ostracized by the rest of the nation really leaves a bad taste in anyone’s mind in comparison to an implied outing via a viral mic dropping reaction video that was eventually  brushed aside with class.

Malicious intent to malign is present when one does not exercise diligent care on preventing the leak of private and very sensitive data as seen on that video confession.  If your accusations are indeed true, you are encouraged to go to court and file the necessary charges rather than fuel the fire further.  It would have been easy to have contacted that video sharing site at the first instance of viewing that you were made aware of and formally request that it be removed instead of releasing more inflammatory statements.

Executive and Judiciary go into battle as Legislative are made dogs out grappling for pork while sitting on the Reproductive Health and Freedom of Information bills that continues to rot.

I’ve never been part of the sample surveyed for the public opinion polls.  I guess that goes into the bucket list.  Recent release on approval ratings really off me.  Uhm, in the presidential elections may I remind you, more people did not vote for you than the actual ballots under your name.  It is not equivalent to public mandate authorizing you to do your every whim.  Each day I get more convinced that Pinoy Monkey Pride was correct in assuming that the story of the mentally-challenged kid on TV is your life story and that it’s being used to condition the public to have confidence on your decisions. In short: You’re more and more proving to be a douche!

The appearance of urgency during the season’s mall, road and public transport congestion.  Bazaars. Sales.

Being “authorized” to redesign a rotting airport by apparently an overscoping government representative turns 8 months of free work with implied contract approvals ends up to nothing.

Opportunities for volunteering and giving to charities abound, a short-term “spiritual cleansing’ of sorts. Campaigns, tons of T-shirts. Gourmet coffee notebook planners.

Being more excited on the release of the latest gadget the following day.

Commission of Appointment grilling and rejecting confirmation of appointed diplomatic envoy to China and DSWD secretary.

Social media and it’s impact on the public’s easily swayed attention span. Occupy movements losing momentum and traction without measurable accomplishments.  Sigh.

Closure and hope for new beginnings.

Ups and downs included, it has been a fruitful year.  Windows and doors opening that allows me to pursue the life that could have been continues to overflow. Inspite of the difficult decisions one has to make to commit, it has all been worth it.  Pruning and trimming stages are both done.  Now is the time to let everything fall into place. THANK YOU UNIVERSE, MORE PLEASE.  Here’s to another great year ahead!

Policarpio Street @ Mandaluyong City (2008)

5 Jan

Day after Christmas, we finally had a chance to go.

You have probably seen this street on TV for several years now, especially during the holiday season, to have a lot of Christmas Decorations on all the houses residing there, including a flea market as a tourist attraction.

Sad thing about it is several friends and I have tried going there twice but we got lost so it was only this time that it finally pushed through.

To our disappointment, there were only 4 of I think 30 houses on that street were lighted. 

We have managed to have our pictures by the houses that were there.  Only then we saw the signs saying that what made Policarpio stand out in previous years is no more:

Apparently the neighborhood association has agreed on cutting down costs by limiting the houses that have Christmas decorations on display.

Even the flea market is gone.  But they have managed to put stalls on the adjacent street (Ilagan), where you can find the latest trend on fashion, specifically clothing, bags and other gift items.

Looking at this sign made me instinctively want to kill the previous companions I had on trying to find this place years back.  Like, they shouldn’t have been guys who were to proud to ask for directions or that had decided to give up right away after getting quite miserably lost for a couple of times.

I can not really blame the neighborhood association for deciding on doing this.  It is really just a pity of having a tradition gone in an instant.  Sure, we can go to Greenhills to view the latest C.O.D. display and we can go to the other commercial areas that have the good lights.  Thing is, there is a distinct flavor of the Policarpio Street during the holidays that feels so much like home as it is in the residential area so now that it is hanging by a thread, it’s so sad.  Maybe if they had commericalized the place (like charging people to enter the street and such), the tradition might have survived.  It might put a bad taste for a bit, but I’m sure people will understand.

Then maybe next year, we can find a new homey venue to go to that is not so commercial.

Realizations – 9

24 Dec

5 things this month as summed up this Christmas Eve:

  1. Nature is NICE
  2. I have resolved the uncertainties from previous months.  I have what I need, I know what I want and once again I will exert my best efforts to achieve it
  3. Some people will do or say anything for a Starbucks Planner
  4. I have recovered from a crush
  5. The last two of 12-year generation of our cats have passed

Bottomline – 2007 is perfect!  Tomorrow, being Jesus’ official birthday, would be the best time to celebrate and be grateful for everything that has happened.

Realizations – 7

25 Dec

 

Got annoyed again by last minute Christmas shopping.  Come to think of it, it was the only instance that I had the chance to shop for gifts this year.

Rummaging through the stores I kept telling myself, “It will be better next year, I’ll really plan on how to do this.”  Yeah right.

I got away with free dinners as presents for some.

Our Family’s Christmas Traditions (Though I guess this is also the same with other families out there):

  1. Chicken Salad
  2. Buko Salad
  3. Hamon
  4. Keso de Bola
  5. Leche Flan
  6. Ignoring the carollers (hehehe our parents have successfully passed that on to us – they always whined on how “poor” their performances are
  7. Family Pictures – see above
  8. Rolling on the floor laughing while dissing the family pictures – quicker this time due to technological advances
  9. Gift giving
  10. Sleeping at 4 in the morning (movie marathon, eating, talking, eating, singing, eating) and having to wake up at 7 or 8 because you need to attend more reunions this time!

As I have grown tired of having #1 to #5, I have proposed of having something else for next year.  When they turned to me to ask what should we be having instead, I said “same”.

Hihihi. 

Xmas06family_9

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