Jul 17, 2024

News and Views from Manila

Photo by Emmy Buccat

After two years of pandemic Christmases of gloom and dreariness, this 2022 Christmas  is beginning to look like  a traditional Filipino Christmas  of joy  and cheer. 

People are more enthusiastic and energetic in preparing for  the holidays  this year. Major streets are already decorated with colorful lanterns and lights that twinkle at night.  Sidewalk vendors have set up  makeshift stands to sell their lanterns and homemade Christmas decorations. Shopping malls have put up their window displays  of toys and gifts.  Although  Covid 19 is still around,  the malls hum with the hustle and bustle of crowds all day long  as shoppers  and children rush from store to store looking for the perfect gifts for friends and kins

Many homes have star-shaped  lanterns  brightening up  their  windows at night. They stay lit  until early dawn  for people going to church to attend simbang gabi, the early morning  novena of Masses in preparation for Christmas. Big houses show beautifully decorated Christmas trees through  their bay windows  and huge glowing  multi-colored lanterns   adorn their gates. Christmas carols are being aired over the radios and in the shops again.

There are concerns over the soaring prices  of food  particularly  such noche buena  fares as  ham, queso de bola, canned  fruit cocktail and cream but grocery stores are still full of shoppers looking for on- sale goodies for their special Christmas meal. The department stores are having brisk sales of Christmas items and supermarkets are thankful that people are buying their goods again as they constantly re-stock their shelves. 

It looks like it will be a joyful Christmas this year. People are upbeat and more enthusiastic in celebrating this Christmas just as they did before the pandemic outbreak  What is the reason for this optimism? The availability of vaccines and other preventive measures and the  reported decrease in the number of cases of illness and death have brought back Christmas joy and cheer. The atmosphere is festive again. Allelluia!

Adelaida Lacaba-Bago, Ph.D. is a retired professor of education at De La Salle University in the Philippines where she handled courses in the graduate programs. She has published four books on curriculum development, supervision of instruction, social dimensions of Philippine education and the most recent one, Thesis Writing with Confidence.

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