Why Is Christmas More Fun in the Philippines?
by aLfie vera mella
Christmas is not for all.
Yes, it's not.
One should not be surprised by this. To assume that Christmas is for all is to be delusional, ignorant, and oblivious of the fact that there are countries and peoples who don't celebrate Christmas for various reasons that include religion, cultural root, and economy. Some people don't celebrate Christmas because it's not recognized in their respective religions. Some don't because it's not even a part of their culture. Some would like to but simply couldn't because they don't have money.
More Fun and Festive: Meteorology and Economy
The reasons the celebration of Christmas and other similar holidays are very festive and very material in countries like the Philippines—much, much more festive and more material compared with celebrations of events here in Canada—are
First, Canada is a winter country—as well as much of North America and many countries in Europe—therefore, in December and January, snow is heavy and the weather is literally freezing cold—up to -35 degree Celsius. This means that people could not celebrate the event outdoors. As much as many people wanted to have a wild and crazy festive fun, complete with fireworks and firecrackers, there's no way that they could do that outside their houses when the temperature is enough to freeze their hands and noses. It's not that people in winter countries are cold-hearted (pun intended); but the frigid weather just prevents them to celebrate with a bang. In fairness, many celebrate also with sincere warmth in the company of close family members there in front of the fireplaces of their homes.
Second, Christmas and other similar events are usually celebrated in "developing countries" in a much, much more material manner because it's a form of escapism. It's the chance of many people to pamper themselves with a year's worth of hard work and savings—to escape the reality of having to live in a country where the line separating poverty and average-class is very unstably thin, whereas the line separating the poor from the rich is obviously wide.
A Sad but Eye-Opening Reality
To say that Christmas is for all—for the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich is a big lie. The truth is, Christmas could be really fun only for the average-class up to the rich people, all of whom could spend something for the celebration. To the poorest of the poor, Christmas could serve only as a reminder of how miserable their lives are, especially when they realize once again that they couldn't even afford to eat a bowl of rice nor drink a cup of hot chocolate on Christmas Eve.
That's a sad reality of life.
May this reality serve as an eye opener to those who could afford a decent living for them to be always thankful of what they have, to continue to work hard and smart to maintain that economic state, and to be able to give a portion of what they have to people who have no money to celebrate.
Ultimately, may this serve as a wakeup call to people who think that Christmas is for all; because it is not. Christmas is only for people who can afford to celebrate it. Just consider yourself lucky if you're one of those who could afford to celebrate Christmas. And you don't need to feel guilty after all, simply because your ability to celebrate an event should just be an extrinsic translation of your hard work, gregariousness, and financial wisdom.