The two worst places to be in last Christmas season were SM (collectively taken as one) and EDSA. A far third is the opening day of Enteng Kabisote 3. At least, may choice kang manood muna ng Tatlong Baraha.
Bakit naman kasi lahat ng kumpanya sabay-sabay mag-celebrate ng kanilang Christmas Party. So, you'd bring your family to the party, kasi libre pagkain. At saka sabi ni Boss, eh. Then, sabay-sabay ding matatapos ang mga party kaya ang hirap kumuha ng taxi. Siksikan na sa daan, 'di lamang sa dami ng sasakyan, kun'di dahil na rin sa dami ng tao.
And one has to go to SM and buy gifts. Kasi, lahat ng kumare at kumpare mo sa office dala-dala rin ang pamilya nila sa party. Wala ka tuloy lusot sa mga inaanak mo.
The Philippines is said to celebrate the longest Christmas season in the world. Officially, it starts on Advent (sabi ng pari, it should start on December 25) and ends on the Feast of the Epiphany (or, sa tulad naming matatanda, the Feast of the Three Kings). Unofficially, it starts on the first 'ber' month (when you'd already hear Michael Jackson singing "Give Love On Christmas Day") and ends on Valentine's Day (the next gift-giving, money-spending season). However, even on December 25, people don't celebrate Christmas at EDSA. 'Kala ko nga, Christmas means giving. But you'll never see that at EDSA. And the bigger the vehicle, the more "un-giving" is the driver.
EDSA has become a virtually parking lot last month. Buti na lang at malamig ang panahon. I would always look at the temperature gauge of my car, praying that the needle will not hover the red area. As for the gasoline, lagi naman nasa E 'yung needle. I'm just hoping my car will not suddenly stop. At least, alam ko kung ano ang dahilan, kung nagkataon.
But I still have to be thankful for. I have my 1990 Toyota Corolla, listening to 98.7 DZFE, The Master's Touch, and my Wheeler's Club card. Kahit ano'ng mangyari, makakauwi rin ako.
One time, I passed by Five Star, the bus liner, not the firecracker. I saw a family of five at the sidewalk. The father was carrying two heavy luggages, the mother was carrying a baby on her right arm, while holding a boy of three with her left hand, and a girl of five was in between the adults, holding a Barbie-like doll, bought at Divisoria. Malayo ang mga tingin, hoping to see an empty taxi that will bring them home. Swerte na lang nila kung makakita sila ng bakante. At kung ang driver ay hindi pa mamimili o magtuturing, well, they would have experienced a true Christmas miracle.
It has always been like this, every Christmas. No, I'm wrong. I think the situation is getting worse. Every year we always say that we should lessen the "Ho! Ho! Ho's!" and add more "Hossanas". Unfortunately, the world is getting more materialistic. And we get caught in this giving so that we can receive. Thus, I would never give in to the driver entering my lane because he will not give in if I were to enter his lane. Unahan lang 'yan! Buti na lang siningil ako ng City of Las Pinas sa amelyar ko, which I have not paid in the last five years. At least, may dahilan akong hindi mamigay noong Pasko.
I do hope you all had, and are having, a meaningful Christmas. The season need not be celebrated once a year, then feel melancholic after, lalo na sa mga 'di na bata, na naubos ang sweldo at bonus sa kakapamili. If we will just remember the reason for the season, and live it, then everyday will be Christmas. Even at EDSA.