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Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

The Sound of Christmas

Daniel Drake Galan - The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - As December approaches, the carolers get busy in their preparations. Christmas caroling is very much part of the Philippine yuletide tradition. While the usual picture of Christmas carolers is of neighborhood kids, the grownups are engaged in the merry musical as well.

These last days of November are a high time for practice. The experience has been that the better the singing the better the gifts earned, usually money. And the reason is obvious: one would think twice about giving mere peanuts for a performance that had apparently gone through serious rehearsals. 

Cebuano children carolers often stick to the usual "Kasadya 'Ning Taknaa" (It's a Joyful time) and "Ania Kami" (Here We Come). Now and then, a Tagalog Christmas carol is attempted, especially one that is a current hit. But the caroling set often ends with the standard: "Thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo, thank you!"

Children caroling groups can be as small as just two kids to as many as 10 or more. They call on the neighborhood homes every night for several nights, until every home in the area is covered. If they are able to fully cover their own neighborhood early in the season, they proceed to the adjacent neighborhoods.

There are also the "professional" groups that don't just sing Christmas carols but give a full-blown performance at every home they visit. These groups usually distribute advisories of their upcoming visits, days in advance. Their caroling is complete with costume and choreography.

The kids would just have make-do with instruments that they themselves craft - at times with only the clapping of their hands for accompaniment. But the professionals would have either a guitar or an accordion or a violin, or a combination of these instruments. And while the kids spend their caroling earning on personal pleasures, the professionals often have an advocacy to promote or a project to build. 

There has, of late, been another type of carolers - the ones that hop on public utility jeepneys, blurting stylized Christmas songs. They are not particularly Christmas carolers, though, for they ply their trade at any time when they feel like it. Only that they go more vigorous at Christmastime, when people are more generous in giving.

Christmas carols help a lot in setting the mood of the season. Even at home, many families love to sing Christmas carols together. It makes people happy to sing or hear a Christmas carol.

ANIA KAMI AS DECEMBER CAROLERS CEBUANO CHRISTMAS CHRISTMASTIME HERE WE COME KASADYA NING TAKNAA QUOT TAGALOG CHRISTMAS
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