June 21, 2024

Today is the first Sunday of Advent and Christmas beckons, pandemic or none. At our ancestral home in Trancoville, right beside the river, my father, Art, would bring home a tree, yes, freshly cut, and the sweet smell of pine would linger and amazingly vanish at the end of the season’s Three Kings.
The music and Christmas carols likewise linger and especially in tone with the season, one could have “earworms” or tunes that get stuck in your subconscious. They are termed LSS or last song syndrome, which sticks to your gray matter for a day or two.
At the first sign of light, my father would go to his turntable-cum-record player or what the oldies call the phonograph, and by tradition bring his 33-record of the 17-track Christmas album of The Four Aces, an American male traditional pop music quartet, of 1950s vintage. He would play and sing along with gusto the favorites – “Joy to the World”, “White Christmas”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “The Christmas Song”, “Silent Night”, all lock, stock, and barrel songs for the happy season except of course “Ang Pasko ay Sumapit” and Jose Marie Chan’s “Christmas in our Hearts”, which is of another time zone. A little tidbit here, the Four Aces had many gold records including “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing,” “Three Coins in the Fountain” and Stranger in Paradise.”
So with Covid-19 still in our midst, what gives? Tuloy tuloy na, or should I say tuloy pa rin ang Pasko.
Life is hard, true. Caroling banned by the Inter-Agency Task Force, money is short, hiding from the inaanaks becomes a science, Onyok would probably cancel New Year if he had his way, the Noche Buena of the past – hamon, grapes, apples, and keso de bola is now, pardon the pun, a thing of the past. But despite all the hardships and the drudgery, there is life, love, and family to look forward to and that should be more than enough for all of us. There is enough blessing and hope to look forward to. All we have to do is lighten our hearts, and with the vaccine around the corner, our troubles will soon go away.
As in the past, faithful friends will be around and gather to say, “Hey, everything will be alright. A shining star upon the highest bough means we can still have a merry little Christmas. There will be less gifts but a little cash would do. Apo di kam agpili ti ited yo nga aginaldo me, uray nu kendi uray nu kwarta, pada pada awaten mi.”
A new one on the horizon: on Dec. 1, Dhobie de Guzman is launching his Regional News Group (RNG)-Luzon, a takeoff from ABS-CBN TV Patrol North Luzon (Baguio, Dagupan, Ilocos, Isabela, and Pampanga) but with worldwide reach.
RNG Luzon was resurrected from a proud and dignified rag tag band of “retirees” from the network after the non-renewal of its congressional franchise, permanently shutting down its television, radio, and digital services.
Dhobie was the “face” of the popular afternoon news and public affairs program and has devoted most of his life to the media starting off with Viacom. He eventually headed the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club and had as one of his feathers in his cap the photo exhibit to raise funds for then veteran- journalist Ramon “Mondacs” Dacawi, who was undergoing thrice-a-week hemodialysis and other medical treatments.
Dhobie, who has braved many death threats, pressure, and unseen forces in the past, has committed to deliver the news and his brand of public service as we have known him to give, so let us welcome him and the crew back.
Continue the 5:30 p.m. habit of watching the news on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and their own website right in your living room. Worth looking forward to! So tuloy-tuloy na ang Pasko and as Santa would say, you better watch out, he’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. Sigh!