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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Filipinos welcome “Ber” months with Christmas memes and positivity despite the pandemic

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Paul Tena
Paul Tena is an alumnus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Politixxx Today and he also traverses into fiction writing in his spare time. Sometimes he goes by his pen name JPE Tena. His debut novel, The Lore Kingdom, was named an Honorable Mention in 2021 Lampara Prize. For more information, you may reach him via tenajpe@gmail.com.

Filipinos love holidays. As soon as September arrives, crowds eagerly prepare for the upcoming holiday season. The “ber” months (the period between September to December) usually brings out the festive ambiance in all of us.

The difference this year, however, is the fact that the pandemic is far from over. Now, the challenge lies on how we will pull off the same festivity given that almost everyone experienced distress in these trying times.

As we can see from the trends on social media, Filipinos remain optimistic that things will get better in the coming months. In fact, the Christmas memes started pouring in just as the clock turned 12:00 midnight on the first day of September. Staples like Jose Mari Chan, Mariah Carey and other singers with Christmas hit infiltrate our social media feeds as well. The advent of these holiday memes also affirms that we can keep our humor alive. In a way, this is a reminder of how Filipinos cope with the continuous spread of COVID-19.

Brian Kevin Tagailo, a Market Control Specialist in BGC Taguig said that despite the pandemic this year, he is thankful that he remains employed. “I’m the type of person who don’t really look forward to the yearly holiday rush that Christmas season brings. I dread the traffic and large crowds in malls. I’m different this year. I look forward to them as they can indicate returning consumer confidence and a recovering economy. Remember how resilient Filipinos are. We’ve been through so much as people but we always persevered. This pandemic will be no different from our past challenges. We’ll eventually rise above it with smiles on our faces. This Christmas will be the start of Filipinos journey to recovery.” Tagailo added.

Dennis Longos, a BPO employee under a work-from-home set up said that he is always thankful for his family. “Working from home is challenging given the state of internet connection in the Philippines, but just like any ordinary Juan, we just need to carry on and wait for the Government to get its act together.” he added.

The positivity that Christmas can give is somewhat a gift that Filipinos choose to practice every year. In this light, we can hope for a better tomorrow by clinging on promise of Christmas. For sure, many of us are now ready to embrace the holiday jingles that will serenade our ears. That is a reminder of the Filipino spirit that makes our Christmas celebration unique in its own right.

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