Friday, December 22, 2006

and Merry Christmas to all!!


I sit alone in my room. It's a friday night. In Makati where I am supposed to be, there is a throbbing christmas party at the office. I expect it to be the same as the other three parties that I attended this week. I refer to it as a delicious orgy of oily food and MSG. Even if pundits always say free food (avarice?) is the one which killeth..Ahh who can refuse free food...lechon, morcon, estofado...the temptation is hard to resist especially when world hunger is just around the corner. For my part, I just think of the damn Fat Bastard and is enough to numb my taste buds!

What i also hate about this season along with the tons of food is the crazy traffic that brings out the worse in Manila commuters. I was stuck in several mind draining traffic jams this week. The road home has turned into a large parking lot - in both directions along C5. Even in the late evening i still run smack into an hour long jam just a few kilometers from our house. It seemed that all the traffic aides, police and barangay tanods have simultaneously celebrated their Christmas party! It is just insane. Wheeled vehicles of all kinds and sizes have gone downtown. Surely, even Lolo's old timer Holden has take on the road again. I am particularly afraid of are those those gargantuan trucks and other wayward behemoths out for a kill.

Maybe it is the flourishing commerce that happens every Christmas month that creates these humongous traffic jams. Even the side streets are packed! Or maybe the battalion of balikbayans and bakasyonistas which troop to the malls. A trip to Makati which usually takes 45 minutes is a snail phase 2 hours.

Aside from the traffic, I also feel bad about missing the good ol' christmas spirit. Drowned by uber commercialism, people tend to forget that Christmas is a time for sharing. I may sound corny but I always believe that Christmas is not the time to enrich the Sys and Gokongweis - through their OA midnight sales (sadly we Filipinos falls helplessly into these rehashed marketing gimmicks) but the opportunity to thank the Lord for the blessings we have received during the past year. But then this seems long forgotten. At the Christmas parties I have attended, I seldom feel that we are even having solemn christian celebration. Instead, these parties are always the mad rush to the buffet table and an effort not to get drunk before your date does (imagine the ulterior motive thereafter..). Yes, there is kris kringle as your boss may have required you to bring a gift...but this does not suffice for the sharing part. Everybody hopes not to receive those last minute shopping results or worse the recycled gifts. Gee, don't look at me as i'm not guilty of gift recycling (this year!). Frankly, I have always been the victim. I received lots - some complete with cards addressed to another person (the gift giver)!

For me, I would rather cuddle with my family this holy season- maybe bake a cake and happily await christmas midnight just like what I have experienced all my life with my parents and siblings back in Iloilo. If I have the money I will double the bonus of my kid's yaya and perhaps distribute food in the neighborhood. For me, Christmas without traditional spirit is like my younger sister's favorite dish - a kilo of fatty chunk called Pata Tim. You may crave for it helplessly only to realize that that it just gives you high blood and a heavy payload of crap.

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