In the Philippines, it is the same feeling of this feast for a season’s peace and goodwill towards all. Who will ever forget, who will ever come not to recall such happy times of caroling together, such joyous days of gift-giving,such moments of reliving old and enduring filial traditions from the “Misa de Gallo” at cock’s crow to the family reunion of the ‘nochebuena’?
Not even our great Jose Rizal can forget such fond moments when in his “Noli” novel he comes to question:
“ Noo’y Nochebuena – gabi ng liwanag at kasayahan ng mga bata na sa sinapupunan ng kanilang mga magulang ay nagsisipagdiwang sa pinakamaligayang pista ng Sangkatauhan – Pasko ng Pag-ibig…”
Nor coming to contemporary times can other Filipino writers of fonder recollections erase from their nostalgia-struck memory such childhood-like scenes of Christmas for them. As we can quote the mighty Nick Joaquin for his own beloved share of what’s Christmas in the country:
“It would be evening now in Manila but the skies would still be stained with sunset- the extravagant sunset of his city. The bells would be ringing for the Angelus…at candlelit stalls on street corners, chestnuts and young ears of corn would be roasting over coals, and he smelled the hot crust of rice cakes fresh from the fire, wrapped in banana leaves, studded with country cheese, smothered with grated coconut, and consumed with great bowls of tea. These first evenings of December would find the old folks making lantern for Christmas…”
Christmas has come to be such for us, fraught with heavy meaning of love and happy sharing. We sing because we have Christmas, even if only in our hearts. We sing because we have The Mabuhay Singers to sing for us with a better meaning in a higher harmony of songs.
So come and sing then with The Mabuhay Singers…Christmas as it is Filipino!