Christmas in the Philippines this 2011
If you see people busy preparing to go to church at dawn, children’s caroling every night, people giving and exchanging gifts , party on the streets until morning, many fireworks you can see on the sky anywhere, then, you must be here in the Philippines.
Filipinos celebrate a long Christmas starting from September, where people start decorating and buying Christmas items on which they use to design Christmas trees. “Parols” or lanterns are the most common items Filipinos use to design their houses.
Filipinos are always happy when it’s Christmas Season.
All of that happiness have already vanished now like the flood which wiped out the lives of children and all of the people who are victims of typhoon Sendong. All livelihoods were also wiped out by the fifteen feet (15 ft.) flash flood. All houses vanished and one (1) sitio or barangay has vanished on the map of the Philippines. Truly, Christmas, is not anymore for the residents of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City as well as Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.
In Iligan City, the logs as a result of illegal logging in the place killed many people. One (1) three (3) year old child was found in between two (2) logs or woods. Almost a thousand people was found dead and many of those were just placed on the dumpsite because funeral parlors have already surrendered accepting dead bodies due to lack of coffin supply. Some coffins were just made of woods and covered by a plastic transparent cover. The government of the said affected cities have decided to do a mass grave burial for all those unclaimed dead bodies BUT still many people are begging the government not to do that because they really want to get the body of their relative, their child, their mother, their father and even their pet.
At this point, residents in the said cities still lacks water and electricity. They also need food, clothing, shelter, medicines, bed sheets and even money. Soldiers here in the Philippines have already donated 3 million pesos for the victims and also they postponed their Christmas party and just packed good and distributed it on the city.
Many other private companies extended their help and also TV Networks like GMA, ABS-CBN, TV5 served as the bridge of those people who wants to help those victims.
Surely, this would serve as a lesson not only for the victims of Typhoon Sendong but also to all of us. We need to take good care of our mother Earth and stop illegal logging. Come to think of it, if there were only many trees still standing, maybe the flood will not be that bad and maybe all the dead people would be lessen.
Now, people in Iligan, Cagayan and other affected cities do not feel anymore the Christmas season because for them, it would be Christmas if no relative, no children , no mother and father are dead. So, what’s the essence of Christmas? It is not the foods we have on our tables during Noche Buenas or even the fireworks display we see on the Sky. The essence of Christmas is to be with your loved ones especially with your family,not harmed, nor sick nor dead.