Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Only in the Philippines: 100 Day Christmas

Too know people better, their thought and consequent behavioral patterns, it is advisable to ask foreigners who know them firsthand and who are more objective in their perspective:perception. It can be thus said that as a norm, foreigners know Filipinos better than Filipinos themselves. This is particularly true about their certain cultural traits and given value system. It is not exactly unknown even abroad that there are certain thoughts and practices, certain ways of understanding and doing things, that are markedly Filipino. No. Such do not in anyway make them queer - but simply distinct. Yes. The same make them one people - on3 rce, one color, one culture.

Among many other realities and facts that make Filipinos quite different from other people in the whole world, is precisely the yearly commemoration of the birth of Christ, the celebration of Christmas. It is not really a secret that in the Philippines, the spirit of Christmas starts with the coming of the "ber" months. For Filipinos, there is no advent season - practically speaking. There is but one long Christmas time. Considering that the first "ber" month of every year is September and the last  "ber" month is December, it is said that Christmas in the Philippines is about a 100-day celebration. This is discounting the fact taht it is the Feast of the Holy Child in January that really ends the Christmas season in the Philippines. Why? Why such a long Christmas crlebration? Why is such a prolonged observance in the country? Why such an "Only in the Philippines" phenomenon? Among the many possible answers forwarded by foreigners are the following:

Love of children: The Filipinos love children and wherefore love Christmas precisely because its centerpiece is tr birth of a Child. There are foreigners eho, among other things, are very much amused and delighted when they see children playing, runnung around here and there. Reason: There are practically no more children in their countries.

Closeness of families: The Filipinos treasure in their families and thus readily understand Christmas showing the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph -- the eminent figures of the "Belen" that is seen not only in churches but also in many secular places. And there are foreigners who are impressed by Filipino families whereas there are less and less families in their countries.

Understanding of poverty: The Filipinos are mostly poor. They understand poverty because they have long live in poverty. So it is that they emphatize with Someone born in a manger because there was no place for Him anywhere else. Foreigners marvel how Filipinos manage to combine life and poverty.