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Opinion

Crossroads

CTALK - Cito Beltran - The Philippine Star

There is no rest for the weary and while many of us now may be feeling remorse from overeating or overspending or not doing both in the spirit of Christmas, there are many brave and dedicated souls who labored till the last minute or all through the night in service of others.

Whether it was to roll out today’s edition of the Philippine STAR, to roll out a patient from the emergency ward, or to make sure that we have some semblance of peace even while the infernal tool of the devil called the karaoke blared away from many neighbor’s homes, the people at work, law enforcers, medical personnel etc., all made a sacrifice to serve others, while others helped themselves to second servings during “noche buena.”

And while you ponder about what to do with your “Tira-yummy” or leftovers, while you stroke, glance and enjoy your latest gifts, kindly consider how to generously reward your local garbage collectors who will painfully go through the carton boxes and gift wrappers of all the goodies your family got or gave each other, while they content themselves with the joy of being daily wage earners.

They were there to clean up during the typhoons and they have to be there for the rest of the year, so just this once if not every month, please bless them as much as you have been blessed. I figure you have blessed those under your roof but don’t forget your favorite security guard or tanod whom we all tend to take for granted. This year, my wife Karen made a special effort to remind me to bless a “tanod” or crossing guard along Pasig Boulevard near the Petron station who constantly greets us and snappily helps us to cross the street.

As for those of you who only ate your noche buena meal at work, be not dismayed oh gallant ones for those who ate much will suffer much. Come New Year, they will glance at the mirror and not recognize the pregnant penguin before the mirror. They will gasp and be aghast at the bathroom scale and actually try to argue that the scales need adjustment and not the volume of their food intake! Yes, they will have to sacrifice even more than you did during the holidays, and theirs will be a greater weight that needs to be shed.

While you sleep the sleep of the weary this morning, the partygoers are “rolling in the deep” with their hangovers and indigestion while family obligations force them out of bed or wherever they collapsed in their drunkeness to face the sunlight like over aged vampires. That neighbor of yours who kept replaying Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” all night, still hasn’t moved on and probably won’t get over it until the next New Year’s hangover!

Truth be told, I envy you because I long ran out of “Christmas cheer.” In a country that starts Christmas in October (some sick minds even want to push it earlier to September) you have to be a party marathoner to survive until the feast of the Three Kings in January!

Now I see the wisdom in my wife’s determined refusal to put up the Christmas tree until the start of the actual Christmas week. That tree is supposed to be special and not meant to become part of the furniture or interior decoration for three months. No matter how good it feels at the start, just like snow, things get ugly and dirty once Metro Manila’s dust covers your tree instead of snowflakes that we don’t have. I can’t even buy snow in a can anymore!

While I’m on the general topic, some people have suggested an investigative report on why Christmas caroling has become a lost art and tradition. Is it because the tradition or “art” of singing real songs have been stopped in schools like we did in elementary and high school? If generations of Filipinos can lay claim to be good singers, it is not a matter of genetics but training and practice. Should it die because the experts think it has no real commercial or professional value relative to employment? Go watch the office party and check who’s always at the center of the event: the singers!

Did the art and practice of Christmas caroling die because government as in the MMDA or the DSWD imposed a rule or policy that all Christmas carolers need a permit? Given our global concern for security, if caroling had not died by law, bureaucrats and local politicians might have added an NBI clearance as a requirement. If anything, carolers should get a certificate of actual practice or rehearsals. Noise does not a caroling make! 

Yes, we have once again survived another Christmas of traffic jams, material social obligations (which I admittedly ignored), once again many of us will be caught with the evidence of our gluttony and please don’t you dare call it your “holiday body” because just like it says on Facebook you had that body since October if not earlier!

If you’re a hold out for more fun and gorging, the good news is you still have six days, if all the late nights, alcohol and over eating does not kill you. In the next few days, please don’t get the silly idea of balancing things out by pushing the “tub of lard” into exercise. Get some real rest and maybe a few more hours of sleep. Exhaustion and indigestion combined with sudden exercise is more likely to kill you than heal you this week. Get a fresh start in the New Year.

Meanwhile, try to enjoy the week. Merry Christmas!

 

ACIRC

CHRISTMAS

COME NEW YEAR

JUSTIN BIEBER

MERRY CHRISTMAS

METRO MANILA

NEW YEAR

NOW I

PASIG BOULEVARD

THREE KINGS

WHILE I

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