It’s September 1 tomorrow and that means the so-called -ber months are back (i.e. September, October, November, December). Not that this means the weather will cool down any time soon, because that would mean brrrr months and we have no such thing in the Philippines – at least not in Metro Manila.
Merry Christmas folks! Yes, that is exactly what you just read, Merry Christmas!!! September 1 marks the beginning of the bizarre concept of Filipino Christmas season. Effective tomorrow, all radio stations will begin the Christmas countdown and you will hear the first carols on the airwaves. I have been to two department stores in the last three days thus far that have put up the Christmas decorations for sale already.
Geez people, I’m still in summer mode! And there is still Halloween to come!
I have never understood this crazy habit of the extended Christmas. My family struggles enough as it is with putting up the decorations at the beginning of Advent, since that was the only compromise we could come up with. I refuse, absolutely refuse to follow the German tradition of putting up the tree a mere two or three days before Christmas Eve!
But even I as a Filipino have trouble with the commercialist side of Christmas beginning in September. Having grown up with primarily American and Mexican influences in my life, I strongly believe in celebrating Halloween as well, and will go all out to turn my house into a veritable haunted house during October. When I go around the shops and malls I expect to see the Halloween decorations, pumpkins, ghosts and ghouls, but cannot wrap my brain around these spooks sharing display space with the Christmas trees!
I was out photographing Manila Bay last night and it was dark when I headed home. What did I see along the way? The Christmas lights being set up along the main roads already for the festive season! I also spotted the first parol (Christmas lantern) shops along the roadside as well.
“It’s more fun in the Philippines” they say… and we do boast of the longest Christmas season – from September 1 to January 6. You do the math.
So how do you combine a greeting for Fall + Halloween + Christmas?