As cliché as it gets: tweets, facebook posts and text messages remind us that Christmas is about the season of hope, giving gifts, exchanging love and sharing happiness to others (I almost sounded like singing the first few stanzas of Jose Mari Chan’s “Christmas In Our Hearts” shown below).

 

 

Normally, if I don’t get a chance to go back to Philippines during Christmas, I would spend this special day  in the house of my friends. We eat, drink, talk excessively, play games or sing until we are too weary (or too drunk? hic! hic!) to welcome the sun’s smile in the morning. This time, I spent it in my mom’s student’s house.

 

Everyone needs a tiger...beer. :))

Everyone needs a tiger…beer. :))

 

Yes the beers are still there (goodbye abs!). The traditional Filipino food, which I always crave for, and the excitement of continuously checking the clock till both hands hit the number 12, are all part of the Christmas atmosphere in the house.  I am not really sure whether the people are more excited in opening the gifts or on hugging and greeting everyone a Merry Christmas. 🙂 But what made this celebration different for me is the personal story shared by the host of the house.

 

She has been working in Singapore for more than 17 years and has been away from her three kids for almost the same period. It’s like the typical story of OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) who endures homesickness and longingness to be with their family just to provide them a decent and comfortable life. Her kids have now grown up and each has his/her own family. I would say that she has done her part as a mother and breadwinner of her family, but what struck me is that she continues to work hard not for her kids, but for the children of her brothers and sisters. It was a responsibility that was not entrusted to her. It was an act that she unconditionally sought because she doesn’t want the talent of her nephews and nieces to go into waste. She believes that if she helps these kids finish their schooling, they will help their parents and others as well. It’s going to be a domino effect and all it needs is for someone to start the ripple–which reminded me of my uncle, Papa Nelo.

 

I saw one video in facebook which is somehow relevant to her story. I reposted it months ago in facebook but I had a hard time finding that post again because of the hundred posts I’ve done after that, I guess I have to limit my FB posts from now on (or FB can make their search engine much better).  Watch the video below:

 

 

 

This culminates my Christmas cliché this year. 🙂