The -ber months have come upon us.
And for the Filipino people it means that the Christmas season is just around the corner! Which is a big deal with a Catholic-dominated country like the Philippines).
But more that the religious implication of the season, Christmas has well become a tradition and a deep part of our culture – starting long and early right from the arrival of September (the first month with the –ber ending attached to it), people would start listening to Christmas songs, thinking about Christmas parties, and making a shopping list to spend their Christmas bonuses on.
Everything becomes magically happy and festive when the month starts, and in case you don’t believe us, I suggest you start checking out this list of activities that are surely happening around now!
1. Jose Mari Chan begins singing again
Not that he ever stopped. It’s just that his songs are already what Filipinos consider Christmas anthem. His tunes begin singing out speakers everywhere, especially at malls tempting us to do our Christmas shopping early (it’s a marketing strategy, I’m telling you!) and begin filling our ears and thoughts with all things Christmas. Filipinos start to slowly recite the lyrics of the classic “Christmas in our Hearts” once again.
And as the days go by, Yuletide tunes take over the radio stations once again. It all seems normal to us by now that you’ll probably catch yourself at one point humming a “Let’s sing a Merry Christmas, and a happy holiday” while going about your day.
2. Lanterns light up the streets
You also know Christmas is near when the streets are bright thanks to lanterns that are sold on the sidewalks. The Filipino parol is a classic décor that cannot go missing on this much awaited holiday. With its intricate designs and colourful lights, it is a 100% guarantee that you will be catapulted back to your sweetest Christmas memories.
These Pinoy décor is a must for every Filipino home, so if you haven’t got one, just take a drive down the road or you can take a trip to Pampanga, the parol capital of the Philippines and revel at the masterpieces lined out for you to choose from.
3. Malls boast Christmas decor
If the streets are lit with parol, then Metro Manila’s giant malls have their grandiose decorations. It seems like the malls have a competition because when the –ber months strike, every corner of the building is filled with all things Christmas.
While it’s obviously business as usual for these malls, feast your eyes anyway on their intricate decors with themes that usually vary from traditional Santa Claus-inspired, solely Filipino, or a white Christmas set up even though we know we’re never going to have a snowy Christmas, but hey, we can appreciate it the effort!
4. Christmas films hit TVs
Don’t deny it, this is the reason why you never deleted Love Actually in your movie collection! It’s always a good idea to cheer up just by catching some feel-good Christmas flicks. With a bucket of popcorn and some more chips, you are up for a roller coaster ride of laughter, tears, and a bucketload of emotions.
And because it’s Christmas season, naturally, TV stations begin lining up holiday films at the comfort of our living room. Not to mention the much-awaited Christmas inspired commercials that will ultimately make us want to get a pack of all-purpose creams that we know will last us until the next year or a can of soda we know we should be laying off what with all the Christmas feast we’d be attending to.
5. The countdown begins
As if it’s not obvious that every Filipino is excited for Christmas, here is something that will seal the tradition.
Countdowns of different kinds begin springing out on every corner — TV programs, phones, posters, and walls – it’s everywhere! It’s as if everyone needs a reminder to save up for their Christmas gifts because the clock is ticking away.
But hey, while we know that we still have to be ready for some scare because Halloween is still first in line!
–ber months is a unique and beautiful experience we should not be missing out! With the long time period given to prepare for Christmas, learn to spare a few hours getting into the mood for the most wonderful time of the year! (Charry Garcia)