Tuesday, December 5, 2006

'Tis the Season

The flight from Tokyo to Manila was totally full of Filipinos returning home for the Christmas holidays. Quite a number were coming from Canada. There was not a single unoccupied seat in the entire 747. There was a cacophony of dialects and I was able to pick up a lot of tidbits from my fellow expatriates.

What unified all of us was that we were striving hard in other countries in order to make life easier for those left behind. Coming home for Christmas is the one luxury we all try to give ourselves. My family and I will be spending our first Christmas in the Philippines in 17 years.

You see, the Christmas season begins at the start of the "Ber" months, meaning September 1 and it lasts until the old Epiphany day which is January 6. Christmas songs have filled the airwaves for the past several months now. The dollar exchange rate consistently improves during this season secondary to the influx of money that pours into the country from the untold millions of overseas Filipinos.

The temperature dips to the high 70's early in the morning causing sweaters to come out of storage. I look forward to watching my daughters experience this unique Filipino tradition.

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