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Taming the Scrooge

25 Dec

We all have a little Scrooge inside.

Sometime, somewhere, we’ve all had our hearts broken at Christmastime. And no, I don’t just mean the romantic kind. December 25, after all, falls within the tail-end of the year — a period rife for reflection on regrets and its many merciless permutations.

Every year since I was eleven, I’d make the rounds in my mother’s office and ask for aginaldo (Christmas treats, usually in the form of money) from her colleagues and superiors. I remember my eyes growing round as saucers that first time, when I came home with four digits worth of Christmas money.

For this little girl who sold candy bars and biscuits at school to augment her allowance, the aginaldo rounds were a godsend cash cow.

By and by as I grew in height, my benefactors’ fists clenched tighter and tighter around their purses. I made the rounds as an eighteen-year-old, knowing full well that it would be my last. Most of the gifts I had received from Mama’s friends at that point were the same things they would give one another — make-up, little pouches, mirrors and the like.

My little Scrooge would have humbugged at the idea of this Christmas. This is my last Christmas as an undergrad student, supposedly also the last where I enjoy immunity from the compulsion to give gifts to godchildren and various other aginaldo-seekers (oh how the tables have will turned!).

But besides more responsibilities, the passing years have brought to me the kind of healthy ambivalence towards receiving gifts. I reach out to give little tokens of gratitude to those whose love, friendship, company and service have helped me grow in the past year(s).

As for the returns, I don’t think of them nearly as much as my entrepreneurial eleven-year-old self would have. What she would have considered the greatest Christmas heartbreak would be coming home empty-handed after an afternoon of pamamasko.

But I have come to realize that seeing people’s faces light up, or hearing how much they enjoyed or will enjoy what they’ve been given are gifts in themselves — one that no amount of red envelopes or bills can ever measure up against. And perhaps it would be the most awful Christmas heartbreak of all not to know the difference.

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All we want for Christmas

3 Dec

Spotted in the UP Journalism Club‘s Secret Santa wishlist:

  1. Mahalin nyo lang ako at wag nyo kong saktan 😥
  2. Contact Lens: either red (na vampire-ish ang dating at hindi adik)
  3. Film 100 readings
  4. End world hunger
  5. Mahinto na  yung gulo between Hamas and the Israelis
  6. Mahalal ang mga tamang tao sa gobyerno
  7. Marriage equality
  8. Love/what comes close
  9. School supplies na worth 200. Haha.  Or dumbells kasi ang laki ng braso ko. hehe
  10. Peace on earth. Love in all our hearts. But then, it’s a futile effort, like paghahanap ng jowa. (andaming sinabi)
  11. 2 MRT Stored Value Cards. Make me believe na di SVC ang laman ng gift ko (e.g. lagay mo sa garapon, etc.)
  12. 200-peso worth na peras o mangosteen. Pakilagay na lang sa basket. Bumili sa palangke. Humingi ng written receipt na may “Merry Christmas, ***!” note. Isama ang resibo sa gift.
  13. Mamahalin. Yung hindi nang-iiwan.
  14. A large bottle of sunblock SPF 70 or higher. Nagsiswimming kasi ako and I don’t wanna look like Malibu Ken in a barong in April!
  15. Swimming trunks (shorts type, HINDI yung Olympic men’s diving type)
  16. Swimming goggles. maraming mura dyan. hanap-hanap din. may below-400. utang na loob, walang Little Mermaid/Spongebob Squarepants na designs.
  17. Running shorts…pwede nang Quiapo/Divisoria/Baclaran. thankful na ako sa Greenhills. sasambahin kita pag galing ng Nike Factory Outlet
  18. Lovelife for JCers
  19. Freshness sa mga hindi na freshie
  20. Justice for the victims of (broken hearts) unsolved crimes

Salamat sa tradition of critical thought and action, lalo na kay anonymous “Mrs. Santa” wisher ng huling tatlong items. HAHA.

Note: All items listed are verbatim and were edited only for capitalization and/or anonymity.

 

Hindi na tayo mga bata.

20 Dec

Tigilan na natin ang larong ito.

Pagod na akong maghintay, maghanap at umasa.

Naririnig mo ba ang pagtawag ko sayo, o nagbibingi-bingihan ka lang?

May muwang na ako, at sawa na sa pakikipag-tagutaguan.

Panindigan mo naman ang isinumpa mo sa harap ng Diyos.

At kahit may mga pagkukulang ka, kahit gaano pa kadami at kadalas, nananalig akong babawi ka pa rin.

ISANG PAALALA SA LAHAT NG MGA NINONG AT NINANG.

Gusto daw ni Mama magka-facebook account ngayong Pasko.

19 Dec

Eh kung yun na lang kaya i-regalo ko sa kanya? HAHA.