#ToBeFilipino this Christmas season

Ah, to be Filipino. No other time of the year clarifies this term better than the Christmas season. Tis’ the season for giving indeed and to be Filipino is to take the initiative to remind people of this fact.

Namamasko po.

tobefilipino_christmasTo be Filipino is to wish people a “Merry Christmas” with an open palm extended out. No, coming from a Filipino, an extended hand with the palm facing the sky is not a gesture prompting a handshake. Not at all. It is more a gesture calling for the extendee to be generous in the spirit of the season. Nothing wrong with that except, often, you will hear it coming from people whose job it is to serve the public. So when a Filipino police officer on a street or customs officer at an airport wishes you a “Merry Christmas”, think about the spirit of the season in the context of what it means to be Filipino. That way you can be allowed to move a long and be on your way a lot sooner.

Make sure also that you make good on your commitment to fulfill the nine days of Simbang Gabi (Christmas dawn masses). Tradition says that doing so will grant you a wish. Here’s a good motivational tip for the non-morning people amongst us who desperately need a wish granted: There are lots of chicks who go to Simbang Gabi. So take a shower and wear your Sunday best. Do listen to the mass at least. Fiddling on your phone during a mass is quite unclassy and will reveal a lot about your upbringing.

Christmas, being on the last week of the last month of the year, is also a good time to reflect on the past 12 months. What have we learned over the last 12 months? Good news: 2014 offers Filipinos a lot of lessons — that Philippine Congress is a den of crooks, that Filipinos remain hung up about being ruled by America for almost 50 years, and that deaths in the multi-thousands resulting from typhoons can actually be prevented given enough will and preparation. Hey, wait, but those are just three lessons! Indeed. But they are three big lessons. To be Filipino is to suffer massive learning disabilities at a national level; which is why picking only three big lessons coming out of a year is important, because three is about the most number of lessons that Filipinos’ brainspace can handle.

The coming years are also election campaign years. This means the who’s-who of presidentiables and senatoriables will be top-of-mind for Filipinos. Presidents and senators, after all, matter in the Philippines — because progress is not a bottom-up initiative here but, instead, driven by the “reform” agenda of the country’s tiny elite of rich and powerful. 2015 will therefore be the year of the grandstand. Epal-ing politicians and their mudslinging detractors will dominate the news. To be Filipino is to happily eat all of that up.

As Filipinos, we pride ourselves in the “unique” way we celebrate Christmas. Iba talaga ang Paskong Pinoy one will hear many Filipinos say wistfully — specially those snowed under somewhere in Canada. The 25th of December is really the culmination of four months of Christmas season in the Philippines starting at the dawn of the first “ber” month in September. That’s four months of opportunity to avoid the Christmas rush. But the rush sets in just the same, so monstrous traffic jams also become part of the whole Paskong Pinoy thing. Indeed, it is why the fact that Christmas is a good time for reflection is relevant particularly to Filipinos — because there is lots of time to do that while stuck in traffic.

To be Filipino is also to put importance in having a boyfriend or girlfriend to spend the Christmas season with. Gary Valenciano’s hit song Pasko na Sinta Ko started the notion that Christmas is not complete without a significant other to cuddle with during the “ber” months. Indeed, mere selfies no longer make us happy. Couplies are the in thing during the silly season. Make sure you have your clothes on when you take your next couplie, though. To be Filipino is to always be ready to smile for the cam.

Finally, this being really in essence a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, we must remember to at least spare a quick thought for our Saviour in between credit card swipes. He, after all, represents all the poor souls who may not be having as happy a Christmas as some of us. Ironic, isn’t it? We are celebrating the birthday of a man whose very essence represents the plight of people who are the least relevant in these days of exuberant consumerism. To be Filipino is to have that important irony escape us.

Oh well.

By the way, make sure you take this article and retweet if you are Filipino.

Merry Christmas!

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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42 Comments on "#ToBeFilipino this Christmas season"

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Ricardo_Diaz
Guest

Irony is definitely something that most Filipinos miss simply because they think what they do is right and consequences be damned.

Narra
Guest

Or rather they don’t care what is right because consequences are supportable. Happy Festivus!

Budoy
Guest

I must say for a nation obsessed with pride and mortified at the thought of ‘hiya’, the ‘where’s my gift’ thing flies in the face. Smart Traveller should put out a general warning to all tourists over the festive season.

archie
Guest

Any Filipino who would ask their relatives for mandatory gifts are stupid, inconsiderate, materialistic motherfucking beggars: No exception. I’m glad my parents taught me not to disturb my uncles during holidays and just be contented with what we have.

Budoy
Guest

Where’s my grift is more appropriate…

b*tchplease
Guest

I fucking hate this race. I wish I wasn’t a filipino. Thinking of killing myself these coming christmas. Wish me luck make me a swedish guy. PLEASE.

^gay and aids
Guest

Lol look at this guy. Euphoric as fuck.

archie
Guest

Fuck you. If he wanted to become a Swedish good for him. Nationality is an accident so he can choose whatever citizenship he wants. And fuck you again for your stupid discriminating alias. Fucking happy holidays motherfucker.

Serge
Guest

You know the Swedes have their own set of problems, no? Snow is always whiter…you’re better off wishing you were a treefrog.

interxavier
Guest

To be Filipino this Christmas is to learn how to be frugal and not spend money excessively.

Hyden Toro 5gh
Guest
Being a Filipino is not at all that bad. We have bad traits and good traits embedded in our culture. One of this, are corrupt public officials, who use the Christmas season to extort money (Christmas gift), from people. Any race or culture, has its good and bad. Since, we cannot “jump out” from our own skins. Let us fortify the good; and discard the bad. My relatives in the Philippines are now calling me, and wishing me :Merry Christmas. I know what they mean… money for their kids, money for themselves, money for what they can think of spending,… Read more »
archie
Guest
Fuck christmas. Waste of time, money and energy. Pag mahirap ka, kakapalan mo ang mukha mong mangutang para lang makapaghanda ka kahit di mo kayang bayaran. Ang mga bata naman tinuturuang maging pulubi ng mga magulang nila sa mga ninong at ninang. Pag pangit o di makapagbigay ang ninong, sasabihang kuripot at magagalit ang nanay. Simbang gabi? More like simbang bobo dahil matutupad daw ang panata ng makakabuo ng mga misa. Nakarinig ako ng misa ng isang bobong pari, dapat daw magbigay sa mga nangangaroling para wag masabihang barat gagong katwiran di ba? At anong itsura ng mga facebook ngayon?… Read more »
Pallacertus
Guest

Fuck holidays — waste of time, money, and energy better spent working round the clock.

Oh yes, let’s go there.

archie
Guest

Fuck you for injecting that working round the clock logic. I never said anything bout working 24/7. Para kang yung mga bobo kong katrabaho na di na nakuntento sa saturday sunday na pahinga at gustong no work get paid sa lahat ng Philippine events. Mga tamad talaga ang Pilipino laging gusto sarap at pahinga ayaw maghirap.

Serge
Guest

Err, Japan has a hell a lot of holidays and they’re still seen as a hardworking sort of bunch.

The problem with Pinoys lies on their tendencies to laze all day every day. The balance is way off.

Pallacertus
Guest

You’re bitching about people spending their Christmas keeping up appearances of good cheer and neighborliness and all other things festive, and you have a point in calling out some of our more wasteful and wanton practices.

But there’s a fine line between that and plain misanthropy. Granted, this site and this topic attracts a lot of misanthropes who tend to blast at the masses for not being goddamned surly at everything they see and feel and hear, but still.

domo
Guest

You know what, to me, Christmas, and even New Year, is just another ordinary day because nothing great ever changed like the continuation of da pinoy’s dysfunctional mindset. Until those mediocrity are removed and make them disciplined and civilized, now that will be a true Christmas and New Year for me.

archie
Guest

Totally agree with this. Stupid people put all their hopes and goodwill on one month tapos makakalimutan na sa january. Filipinos are so insecure and into self pity that any fiesta and holidays are considered as blessing and not an ordinary event. Isama mo na yung mga mareklamong tamad na empleyado na bakit daw kailangang magtrabaho during xmas at first day of january.

domo
Guest

However you grinch, it’s inappropriate that you’re bitching your atheist fanaticism here like an isis beheading those who don’t believe in their god. I can tell it with all your comments in this article here. Stidi ka lang dyan!

Isopropyl
Guest
Hmm first off, I wish to greet Merry Christmas to those who believe in that term, and Happy Holidays as a general greeting for those who don’t. Every country/race/color/whatever has their own ways of celebrating it, and it has its share of bad and good as well. If there’s one thing that the priest was right in his homily last night was the simplicity of Jesus. The term born in a manger reflects that. Speaking of reflection, indeed we have learned a lot this year and yet some people still deny the lessons which is really sad. In case of… Read more »
nod if you agree
Guest

After becoming a father, and seeing my 2 year old daughter’s smile when she sees the Christmas tree lit and the whole family getting ready to eat Noche Buena after Mass, I still have Hope. Hope that everything will be better soon.
-even though I had to leave to get to work right after Noche Buena.
And yes.. I still believe in Christmas, and there’s my 2 pesos for you guys.
*Merry Christmas GRP!~

archie
Guest

Placebo effect lang yan ng holiday marketing. Kung natutuwa ka lang sa anak mo pag nakakakita ng xmas tree at kung sabay lang kayo kumain pag noche buena congrats dahil isa ka na sa mga xmas zombies na sumasaya lang pag december.

nod if you agree
Guest

xmas zombie? not really…

you’ll probably understand when you become a parent.

archie
Guest

I’m a parent, have 2 kids and they enjoy their childhood even without celebrating this xmas crap. You can say all the alibi you want to promote xmas but the reality is: it’s just a marketing bullcrap. Invented by the Romans and proliferated by Coca Cola’s Santa Claus. Gaya ng sabi ko mumurahin lang tayo ni Jesus dahil nagseselebrate tayo ng birthday niya na hindi tama ang petsa.

Pallacertus
Guest
Everything is “marketing bullcrap” when you get right down to it (like real down) from those peddling factory-made food to those shilling hand-made time-worn “slow-food” products (to take an example that hits the gut) — but it doesn’t necessarily mean that any experiences you get through and by them are themselves manufactured, somehow massaged or made invalid. Iisipin mong malayo-layo itong analogy na babanggitin ko, at di ko naman sinasabing magaling ako sa analogy, pero dahil lang si Duchamp e nakapag-display ng arinola as a work of art e biru-biruan na lang iyon. Simpleng mockery na lang of the question… Read more »
nod if you agree
Guest

@archie
I do not know you sir, or what your Christmases were like while you were growing up, but my childhood Christmases were never about “holiday marketing”. And I will not take that experience away from my daughter. Sure, today’s Christmases have become more of a marketing opportunity for big businesses, and she probably will find that out for herself when she gets older and wiser. But, for now, no amount of money can replace the smile I see on my baby’s face when she sees a “parol”.
-Thank you and have a Happy New Year!~

archie
Guest
@nod if you agree You are an idiot, why do you thank me for nothing? An ignorant man will always justify the useless things they do or say. They don’t like facts, they like hope. They don’t want criticism, they want illusion. We never celebrate xmas. When I was young I was puzzled why my parents do it, making me feel alienated with other kids. But as I grew up I found the wisdom of not celebrating that bullcrap Roman invention. We had more savings at the end of the year, we don’t worry feeding unknown extended relatives. We don’t… Read more »
Pallacertus
Guest

archie, I have a question: if your kids had experienced something based on an event that you consider fatuous, useless, invented, commercialized, whatever, and enjoyed said experience, how would you react? What would you say to them?

Please carefully consider your reply to me while I wait warmly with wishful thinking about Christmas in summertime.

Add
Guest
..Sharing with you an article by George Weigel Quote…It might seem that everything that could be said, has been said, about the shepherds, the wise men and the Christ Child. But that’s one of the marvels of Scripture: the unfolding history of the Church draws out of the inspired Word of God allegories and images previously unrecognized. Thus the familiar Christmas story and its well-known cast of characters shed light on a year in which the Church has been roiled by contention between today’s shepherds and today’s Magi: between those who, today, hear angels singing, and those whose experience of… Read more »
archie
Guest

Bible is invented by people and subjected to edits and propagandas. Call me blasphemous or whatever you want but your freaking ‘holy’ scriptures have undergone several revisions from Roman leaders to stupid Catholic theologian experts. It’s like reading Harry Potter in the next 100 years with mix up and changes because J.K. Rowling didn’t protect the copyright at the first publication.

Add
Guest

@archie
…and that’s the beauty (or whatever) of the bible. It can be maligned by everybody and anybody, even those who have not read a single word in it. There has been a million propaganda against it, but it remains the best seller of all time, strange isn’t it?

Jetlag807
Guest
Ahhh yes… Christmas Day in the Philippines! Where, in my gated community, I refer to this day as “The Purge” (Yup. Just like the movie) because we have to pull the window blinds and close the front doors and stay inside. Why? Because the Homeowners Assoc opens the main gates to allow anybody inside so they can rap on our gates asking for money! This, of course follows Christmas Eve when even the kids from affluent families take part in “Caroling”. Basically, showing up at your front gate, singing a song and then asking for money! And lets not forget… Read more »
MidwayHaven
Guest

Looks like someone here in the comments section got a lump of coal this Christmas.

ChinoF
Member

Thank you, thank you! Ang babarat ninyo, thank you!

Really, Christmas is a time of waste for Filipinos, and they believe it should be that way. And often without realizing that contributes to their problems in this society.

Pallacertus
Guest
Holidays are a waste of time, but then they’re fucking supposed to for a lot of us who have vacations and amusements and shit in mind. But of course, to those of us who have evidently never taken a break, loosened up a wee bit, let it all go (product placement!), I have a suggestion: we can do it the puritan way and insist that all of us pray as sinners before a very insanely angry God, hopping mad that we aren’t spending the day coldly sweating in church and confessing all the venal sins we have committed in the… Read more »
Hayden Toro 7jk
Guest

Don,t be a “Scrooge” or a “Grinch”…Christmas comes only once a year. Share you blessings….your blessings will multiply, if you share them…

Frank N Stein
Guest

The essay title reminds one of the old ‘if you had the luck of the Irish, then you’d wish you were English instead.Yes ,you’d wish you were English instead.’. Not being a Filipino, IDK what a Filipino would think it means to be a Filipino this Christmas. Suffice it to say that I am just glad I do not have to ponder the question.

OnesimusUnbound
Guest

Hey, benign0, come 2016 Election, the Philippines will be 70 years independent from American colonial rule and, yet, nothing has changed. 🙁

d_forsaken
Guest

Buried deep within, beneath all the years of pain and anger, there is something that has never been nurtured: the potential to make yourself a better man. And that is what it is to be human. To make yourself more than you are. Oh, yes — I know. There was a time one looked at the stars and dreamed of what might be.

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