Let this start with a funny grade A meme with a punch of sublime truth I came across online: “In 2019: Stay away from negative people. In 2020, stay away from positive people.”
And that carried me to think about how that would play out during this most celebrated and decorated Christmas season.
Christmas – the most awaited holiday ever. This special occasion is a bridge for loved ones to be reunited. Filipinos have unique ways of celebrating Christmas. When the “BER months” begins, the traditional way marks the start of decorating houses with Christmas decors. It is said that Filipinos have the longest celebration – starting from September and extending to the Feast of Epiphany, which is celebrated in January. When the songs of the famous Father of Philippine Christmas Carols Jose Mari Chan start filling every corner of our streets, you can tell that the so-called long celebration starts.
After all, we all agree that it is a season of love, giving, and thanksgiving. But what if the usual way we celebrate it suddenly vanish? What do we do? How do we adjust? Is Christmas still going to be the best holiday?
This year, an unexpected dilemma happened – the outbreak of the COVID pandemic. This virus had claimed many lives, caused panic, depression, and so many illnesses. But above all, it took us away from each other. It took us away from seeing and being with our loved ones and feeling their warmth. Being festive, Filipinos love to gather around and have grand celebrations no matter how simple the food is on the table.
Due to this disease, we were required to keep our distance, which means mass gatherings are prohibited as it will cause the transmission and spread of the infection.
That being said, airports were closed, and travel bans were implemented almost all over the country, with a minimal opening for some areas where travel is allowed provided they undergo quarantine and health measures coupled with an overwhelming number of processes to go through. Just tons of hassle to even begin imagining.
The pandemic made everything change, but one thing remains: it’s the Filipinos’ spirit of resiliency.