March 28, 2023

Believe it or not, all throughout the universe, nobody but nobody celebrates Christmas best than us Filipinos.
True, in wealthy nations like the United States, the holidays are celebrated in a grandiose scale, with lots of lights and fireworks, matched only by wine, food, and gifts galore. Still, no one feels a greater need to put Christmas in his heart than the Filipino soul, in the hope that, as families gather together at least once a year, celebrating the birth of the Child Savior with prayers and thanksgiving would help ease the pain and misery in their wretched lives, our leaders since gone to pot, and it is everyone for himself.

Meanwhile, the corrupt and the greedy, seemingly in cahoots with the underworld, are having the time of their lives, where Christmas comes not once a year, but everyday of it.
U.S. President Donald Trump may be a liar, a braggart, and a cheat, but he might well be a saint compared to the villains in our midst, who care if the country goes under, provided they have stolen everything before it sinks to the bottom of the sea.

How painful it must be for a mother, whatever her ideologies, to learn that her 22-year-old daughter has been slain in an armed encounter with government forces.
What goes through her mind and heart seeing the body of a daughter whom she nurtured through the years, from her birth until she strikes out on her own, hoping to make some kind of change that would make life easier for her countrymen, only to end up as a war trophy for those responsible for her death.
Has government become so heartless, that far from apologizing for their shameful act, justify it on grounds of documentation purposes.
In more civilized countries, wracked as they are with street marches and chaos, at least have the good sense of salute those who fight and die for a cause, futile or not.
We mourn the death of Jervilyn Cullamat, even as we pray for her grieving mom so she can go on with life, and one day avenge a daughter whose only fault was loving her country, albeit misguided.

To be betrayed by the people you love, who have earlier welcomed you with Hosannas, is the most painful of downfalls.
What Judas did was nothing to what the Jews did to their own Redeemer.
Judas betrayed Jesus out of jealousy and for 30 pieces of silver, but the Jews betrayed the Son of God to save their skins.
Today we have become Jews and Judases ourselves, betraying our own people for riches and more riches, and saving our own skins.

“Pandemic man, Pasko pa rin.”
We are able to survive one crisis after another, frequently visited by unwanted visitors – typhoons, floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and all other destructive calamities.
But even as we reel and stagger from one catastrophe to the other, the coming of Christmas makes us whole again, looking forward to family reunions, renewing bonds with the heavens, ridding the hate and anger in our hearts.
It is not only a time for giving, but also a time to forgive, to cast aside the rancor eating away at our minds and bodies, a time to once again become children of God – sharing blessings with the less blessed, making children all over the world jumping for joy, the excitement never fading, at least during the holidays – hopefully thereafter.

My late beloved Minda and I tied the knot in the month of December, and she and I, had not the angels taken her away, shall have been married for 48 years on the 8th.
Three and a half years since she left us, and my two boys and I are still missing her with love in our hearts – her smarts and toughness, her undying concern for our welfare, and I like to think that before she breathed her last, she had forgiven her selfish and erring husband. My two boys tell me that I have yet to be given a full pardon by them.
I am working on it, however.
Anyway, it’s Christmas!
Maligayang Pasko po sa lahat ng mga nalulumbay, nag-iisa sa buhay, at nalulungkot at naghihimagsik sa nangyayari sa kanilang minamahal na inang bayan.
Hope springs eternal from the Filipino breast.

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