So it is that the “ber” months have already began this month – as calendared. So it is that the “ber” spirit goes on to the last “ber” month of 2015 as customary. And so it is that the “ber” months reveal the particular spirit of the Filipinos specially on the occasion of no less three more long months before 25 December. Foreigners find it interesting if not silly. And non-Christians neither know nor feel what is it all about. Saying it more clearly, majority of the People of the Philippines have that rather singular celebratory spirit even long before the actual day of Christmas.
Even during these days – still more than three long months before 25 December 2015 – Christmas songs are already heard sung here and there. The usual signs of and decors for Christmas like the “parol” are already seen here and there plus Christmas songs likewise already heard every now and then. The immediate questions that come to mind are: What special significance has Christmas for Filipinos in particular? Why so special a spirit and why so long a celebration before, during and even some time after Christmas itself. And how come Filipinos appear to be fixated with the Feast of Christmas?
It might be good to begin with the fact that Filipinos are basically a happy people. They love having and celebrating feasts all throughout the year. If there is none for this or that time of the year, they simply invent one or more for their own barangay, city and/or provincial feasts.
It is a given that the Pinoys are by and large a carefree people. Yes, they are also by and large counted among the poor and the needy. But all these notwithstanding, they enjoy laughing, they love celebrating. Feasts - no matter how simple and plain – are good occasions to have, to enjoy.
It is distinct a phenomenon that most Filipinos still love babies, still love their fathers and mothers, still love their families. And all these ground realities are vividly seen in the Nativity Scene in the persons of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The Baby, the mother and the foster father – the Holy Family – are all there gathered in the Belen.
Though painful and lamentable, it can be said that there are marked indications that gradually but surely such a dear and endearing Christmas spirit is slowly but surely being done away with by certain public officials who affirm Birth Control (no children), who promote Divorce (no family), who want Same-Sex Marriage (no father and/or mother). It is a shame that such un-Filipino individuals are made or allowed to hold public offices in the Philippines. Among other things, they are experts in undoing sound Filipino value system – simple yet sound customs and traditions. They are Filipino citizens. They speak Filipino languages. They even look like Filipinos. But in their mentality and consequent value system – they are not. They have sadly and deeply imbibed the amorality of first world countries.
So: Merry Christmas! This is the spirit. This is Filipino. This is the Philippines.