Uniquely Pinoy with worldwide appeal

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - December 3, 2020 - 12:00am

Even if it's a few weeks from now, there's a lot in the air for Christmas. No one will stop us from putting up Christmas trees and decorations in our homes, even with the limitations. This shows that Christmas will be celebrated in spite of the catastrophes and the many difficulties of life. It is after all, a celebration of life, of happiness, faith, hope, love and peace.

It is the season that we still manage to celebrate with so much hope, particularly in the Philippines, and what else to celebrate it meaningfully, but with our families. Our family offers the required ingredients to be satisfied and optimistic as a powerful support net. We settle down in each other's loving arms at the end of each difficult day.

Respect for our parents, concern for each other's health and well-being are part of a Filipino culture. All the members of the family share every suffering, each success of one. Although this is very much similar to other cultures or communities around the world, it is the intensity of the Filipino community that distinguishes itself. Variations can be found through generations over the years, but the essence and passion remain uniquely Filipino.

In Disney's latest Christmas campaign video, the spirit is captured. Such admirable characteristics of Filipinos are brought back in this video. I know many Filipinos with this pandemic long to be reunited with their families. Many who have been separated from their families also long to be reunited because of work abroad. It's priceless to feel like being home and with our loved ones, and no amount of what we have on our tables can replace the joy that a reunion brings.

It's always been the joy we anticipate in the season. It's the pleasure we get out of each other, out of our loved ones. And no other source, but our family, can provide the best. It is also the source of optimism that provides the spark for another year and more as we end the year. Without the comforting words of family members, I think that one might quickly lose hope.

I am also aware, however, that others do not have the kind of family we usually have, but we can also find concern, affection and hope from our friends and neighbors and acquaintances beyond that which brings us to the point that Christmas is a need to be at least a day of the year to remind us that we are here for something other than ourselves. Let us remember the ones who in life, have nothing or less.

We should, above all else, seek and reassure ourselves that we can serve others as a source of joy, compassion and hope. It's important to go back to our very core of self-assurance, of self-love, so that it's easier to provide others the same. And to do so implies that holding on our Savior gives us such unconditional love, such love that sees no color, orientation, class or affiliation.

Christmas is undoubtedly the Filipinos' favorite season, and so we carry the same spirit with us, even though many of us have moved elsewhere around the world already. This is the special spirit of Pinoy Christmas we share, and others long for it so deeply.

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