Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

Filipinos are not traditional. We’re complacent. Every year, we subject to ourselves to the dreary rituals no matter how adulterated these traditions have become.

People would consider doing “the same thing” every year during that long stretch of 100 Days before Christmas up until Epiphany (Three Kings to all other Catholics not institutionalized by Catholic private schools).

Sure, there’s the Filipino part to it. The parol. The dawn masses. The noche buena. A couple of things that I really don’t get is the fake plastic pine trees and mall Santas. Yeah, a pine tree in the tropics. (Are you suggesting pine trees migrate?) History and social conditioning tells me that there’s just something plain wrong with some old Caucasian guy with Southeast Asian kids sitting on his lap. (Racist!)

And there’s always the commercial aspect to it making more jaded people (like me) believe fervently. December’s peppered with all sorts of Christmas parties that it becomes obligatory for one to blow a substantial part of one’s income on gifts when there’s always a very low chance that the gift would really put a smile on that person’s mug.

We’ve even institutionalized it with the whole exchange gift/monito monita thing complete with a price cap. Never mind if we all have better uses for that money. Remember Sheldon Cooper’s remark on gift-giving. Might as well exchange X number of pesos every year. Set up a trust. Have it earn interest.

It’s quite nice to know that despite all of this blatant bullshit, some people still adhere to the whole spiritual aspect of Christmas. The spirit of unconditional giving and the value of the family.

Happy Christmas, everyone!

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