as years passed, it seemed like the essence of christmas are for kids have been shifted to chrismas are for those who are fortunate. it was 4 hours before christmas and i was still outside, doing some last minute shopping for some friends, which ended up going home with only a take out dinner.
i roamed from katipunan, gateway, farmers to trinoma, just to look for a book by haruki murakami's sputnik sweetheart, which i promised i'll give as a gift for a friend who just came from singapore. unfortunately, from all the bookstores i have been, including all there other branches within the metro, they gave me just one response, "sorry, sir. out of stock."
walking empty handed, i decided to take the long trip going home. i took a bus from trinoma to cubao. then a train ride from cubao to katipunan and then another tricycle ride from katipunan to my place. all because of lack of taxis around. but despite those rides, i was able to realize a lot of things about today's event, christmas eve.
among the streets i walked into i noticed that there are a lot of commuters than usual. obviously, because of the said occasion. but i observed that there is a certain similarity among their faces. it was despite the spirit the season is promoting, sad and long faces are still prevalent among the streets of metro manila. far different from those you will see among people inside malls like those i have been, where everyone are enjoying, spending and celebrating the yuletide seasons through piles of boxes and gift bags.
while in the streets, i saw a man, probably in his late 40s, rushing towards home and carrying a piece of small bag with probably three pieces of relatively big fishes. then there was a mother carrying her son on her lap while begging for "pamasko" along aurora overpass. there was also this old woman, standing on her bent back, nodding to ask passers by for alms and who would not notice the families sleeping along the same boulevard. not to mention they have babies with them as young as two months lying flat on the hard and cold floor.
after each scenes, i asked myself, how do or will they celebrate christmas? or if they ever celebrated it far different from what they are having now?
probably, that is something i am struggling inside. i have the tendency to create stories within my head from one look among these people and i just can't help it, that sometimes its becoming too fatalistic.
but when i thought how pitiful i am spending christmas at work alone and learning that i am missing 5000 in my salary today, i realized that i am actually more fortunate than these people since i have all the traditional ways to celebrate it. i can still buy food, gifts and go to parties if i want to. but in second thought, they are also fortunate in their own context because atleast, they have their family to celebrate with. regardless what they have on their table or floor. while i am all alone.
i actually fell asleep having these on mind and just thought that this will be just any ordinary day that will just come and go. but when i woke up exactly 12 midnight, i found 45 messages on my phone composed of christmas greetings from family, relatives and friends and they are still coming. from there atleast, i realized that i am actually not alone and have all the reasons to celebrate it all by myself.