screw the status quo. we need change and we need it now. we need not a leader who plays with words and public funds. we need not a leader whose years of service fall under the 'fiction' category. we definitely need not a leader who knows nothing. we require a leader who has conviction, who has the guts to change the seemingly unchangeable. we need... to prepare for 2007. Now.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

another used to be

I celebrate New Year's eve in Bulacan, in a town near Bocaue- the fireworks center of the Philippines. I always look forward to celebrating New Year's Eve in our hometown because , not only is this night one of the rare chances that I'd ever be with my family, but also because I get to see people have fun playing with fireworks and firecrackers. I love watching dancing lights. But it used to last longer.

Filipinos have long been using firecrackers and fireworks to rid themselves of bad spirits and omens in the first day of the year. It's tradition. When I was young, fireworks displays lasts until the sun rises. The celebration used to be an night-long event. Those were the days when Filipinos could still afford to celebrate. But not anymore.

I came home from Paris the 30th of December. I was expecting that the streets would be filled with anticipation as early as then, just like during the 80s or early 90s. People then used to be in the mood to party earlier than the first day of January. But I was kinda saddened by what I have seen that night. The streets were so quiet, as if the 25th till that day were just an ordinary week. It doesn't seem to be what it used to be anymore. We celebrate New Year's Eve from 11pm of the 31st of December to 1am of January. After 2am, Most had gone to bed to start yet another difficult year. Do most of us look forward to the next days with hope that life would be better? Broadsheets say yes. Judging from how celebrating New Year and Christmas have degraded eversince 2000 came, nope.

I noticed December has become less colorful. Less dancing lights can be seen everywhere. Less Christmas decors. Less people got their Christmas bonuses. (Thus...) Less people in the malls. Less Christmas parties and gatherings. Monito-monitas isn't done anymore in most offices. Less people have visited their relatives in Christmas day. Less food in the table. Less hours of get-togethers. Less people in the church during Simbang Gabi. Less festive aura from each and everyone I meet.

Of course, it's because life isn't what it used to be. Life for Filipinos is harsh nowadays (because of obvious reasons). But I couldn't help but be nostalgic that night. In Puerto Rico, my friends tell me (through Y!M) that things never changed in Puerto Rico. They still celebrate Christmas until the day of the Three Kings (from the 25th of December till first week of January). I told them it used to be the same here in the country, but not this year. The Filipino just can't afford to celebrate and enjoy traditions anymore. It's either most of us have stirred interests to something else (celebrating Lovers in Paris or Kris Aquino's success in overcoming yet another controversy), or the rest of the Filipinos just couldn't afford celebrating anymore. In being survivors of natural disasters and calamities and the evils of state corruption (in all imaginable levels), most of us have already forgotten the meaning of fun. Most of the Filipino's have turned into zombies because of how difficult life is. Most of us don't live life anymore... life has become more of easing suffering... of survival.

New Year's Eve and Christmas means celebrating life for the next new months to come. I am thankful everytime we welcome another coming year. Hope is the essential factor why this tradition has to be remembered. But does this mean celebrating hope has become quaint for the Filipinos? I should say no, we should not give up on hope. But isn't it that it's becoming more obvious as days go by?


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