A moment of serenity amidst the craziness of Christmas in the Philippines is the best gift of all.

December 18th, 2014, 6pm

The Philippines has, reputedly, the longest Christmas season in the world. Whether it’s because we’re 90% Catholic or just love the holidays, I’m not sure. Probably both. Christmas songs start playing in malls when the first of September rolls around, not stopping until sometime mid-January.

In the two weeks leading up to Christmas, you are obliged to attend a party practically every single night: for your office, your girlfriend’s office, your friends, your dad’s family, your mom’s family, your wife’s dad’s family, your friends from high school, etc. Prepare your system for all the calories, sugar, and alcohol, because no diet and no liver survives Christmas unscathed.

And with daily partying and Christmas shopping comes… the traffic. Traffic is the dissonant theme of life in Metro Manila, swelling to a crescendo during the holidays.

But the truth is, it’s still the most wonderful time of the year. And on this quiet rooftop, with a calming breeze drifting past, I look down at the city below, all bedecked and joyously alight for Christmas, making even the lights of the cars stuck in traffic below seem, surprisingly, pleasantly festive.

Happy holidays everyone.

R, Peter, Christine, Ricardo and 2 others said thanks.

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Aaron Palabyab

Filmmaker. MNL and the world. http://www.aaronpalabyab.com/

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