September 30, 2023

Celebrations change as time goes by. When I was a child, our community used to hold a Christmas or New Year’s Eve program where all the members participate, exchange gifts, perform simple intermissions, and share food. Adults and children play parlor games and enjoy. I anticipate such program every year.
As our community became progressive, populated, and modernized, various religious groups were introduced. Some denominations do not celebrate Christmas. Others do not appreciate exchanging of gifts. So the Christmas program that used to unite the people in our community once a year slowly changed. The program was divided into two and little by little, fewer households join the gathering.
Slowly, I witnessed the kanya-kanya system of celebrating this special time of the year. Before, it was a whole community celebrating but now it is by family or by compound already.
As I get older, I have noticed that I hardly know my neighbors, especially the young generation. As population increased, I no longer get the chance to know my neighbors. Unlike before, we all knew each other. We are familiar with the members of our community, young and old. I guess this is one of the effects of the changes that come along with changes in the manner by which our community used to celebrate Christmas.
I envy the other sitios in our barangay that still continue the tradition of celebrating Christmas as a community through simple programs like this. I wish we could rebuild such camaraderie in our community.