Late Christmas Note


I have two good reasons not to file this article; one, in the midst of economic crisis and poverty in the country, it is obscene to talk about your blissful Christmas holidays where you have sumptuous meal to feast on and, two, after spending some money during the  holidays, you have to roll up your sleeves, buckle down back to work so you can have some cash on your incoming payables instead of spending time  smoking your keyboard for a piece that may not sound right after all. 

But Christmas, according to Nick, the Editor-Not-Chief of FV, is about love and not about food on your table and not about bricks and mortar enclosures that empanelled your body for comfort. But where on occasion that you have an instant pansit canton, a cheese and corned beef as a center piece of your  Christmas meal,  your  table is yet a picture of a bountiful meal from the perspective of one who skipped his to retire in his cold cardboard mattress. 

I feigned no innocence of this kind of experience for as  a young boy growing up in a big family with small budget in a city, hunger was something you can reminisce about on a daily basis; bricks and mortars, was a dream, and some Christmastime went by literally cold, hungry and sad. From those who skipped his “noche buena” last Christmas, peace and love acquire no meaning.  I have to struggle to write this piece and give it some meaning.

This is my first Christmas with my first grand-daughter in an expensive city of San Francisco where a 2-bedroom condo costs about $450,000.00, compared to a new 4-bedroom detached single unit in Michigan which costs about $250,000.  I see my grand-daughter’s well-being as the consequence of my bow made early in life while reeling from abject poverty and deprivation that I shall never subject any of my children from the same degrading condition I was in as a boy. My son whom I believe had dutifully raised with my wife had graduated from UP and is now working in San Francisco with his wife. We have raised our kids responsibly so they can raise responsible kids too. My elder daughter is a nurse and my youngest daughter, in her first year of college.  From a hostile chilly weather of Michigan this season we flew to a more bearable weather at 50 degrees Fahrenheit in San Francisco, and leave us bewildered if “global warming” is nothing but a big white hoax.

Looking back, I wondered if every young and poor city dweller could make the same pledge I did years ago, can make a difference in the level of financial success one may have today.  Unlike some of us who got married while out of school or were still in school, I settled down when I was already a lawyer at 28, and though still jobless, I did not doubt that with my law degree, I can find a job. Some people have their hormones kicked early in, and had made some bad decisions in life and ended up blaming the government or their parents for their inability to seek for a better life. It is built in our psyche as a people to always ascribe our own misery to others instead of ourselves.  It is like drinking liquor and blaming the liquor store after we got drunk.  I never blamed the government or my parents for my being poor, instead, I gathered from my infirm circumstance an inspiration to persevere in life.

We may not be able to effect change in the corrupt way our government functionaries run the system, but let not their corruption slows us down.  They can always go to hell while we seek for our own blessings and pray for our redemption.  This is the essence of Christmas, to find your own peace even if others won’t.

Anyway, Christmas is about family and not about blaming others for our fault which gives me some license to talk about my 7-month old grand-daughter whose ears had just been pierced so some trinkets could hang in her two earlobes.  It was a wonderful site seeing an obstetrician and a retinue of nurses taking charge of so simple a procedure that could be done in any decrepit tattoo stand in most city side streets by some undergrad technician but I think my grand-daughter was so special that she has a coterie of medical team from the family gravitating on her for a routine ear-piercing job. I would rather write some paragraphs about it than about my two hour visit of  Alcatraz, or my seafood meal at Fisherman’s Wharf or about a young boy doing a Michael Jackson number on the sidewalk of the fabled Bay Area to earn some few dollars in a tin-cup or a grown up black guy in silver-coat regaling his audience with his robotic movements for the same reason the young boy had.

I aimed my 15.1 megapixel canon rebel as the piercing instrument touches my grand-daughter’s ear and I felt a tickling sensation myself and a little bit of associative pain when the needle pierced through her soft skin. I kept the video rolling and the ensuing rendition may have its flaws, but her shrill cries were flawless expression of her innocent pain which she could not even recall when she grows up.  But the images and the video would remind her that at her age, everyone was there to comfort her for her pain and to assure her that everything would be just fine. Her being ensconced in her dad’s arm in tears, reminds me of my daughter seeking comfort from my arms after the dentist had pulled her decayed milk tooth out.  Christmas is also about family being able to find excitement in ordinary things others may find dull and boring.

We spent our holiday in San Francisco and did not notice that the one-week vacation was over and have to fly back home to Michigan. Einstein’s relativity theory was again proven right. One minute in a hot cauldron is an eternity, but a week spent with your family, a fleeting moment.

In a manner of speaking, many Pinoys are in hot cauldron and have suffered for eternity – it is this thought that holds you back from writing about your blissful holiday.   But I have not caused their misery and I endeavor to speak of my own strength hoping that others may find their own.  I still consider myself poor now but not as poor when I was a boy and that gave me good reason to be joyful.

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6 thoughts on “Late Christmas Note

  1. Pingback: StarryGift | Wedding gifts and collectibles of Chinese and Western styles

  2. How nice! Family…I still remember when my father pierced my ear when I was a little girl…he had to put a thread as earring to kept the tiny hole when it heal.:)

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