Suddenly, it’s September. All this time, we were worried about the typhoon that was slashing through Northern Luzon, at the same time thankful for the rains that have ended the rationing of water in many parts of Metro Manila. We were debating about the intrusion of foreign vessels in our territorial waters. We were wondering how a mayor sentenced to nine life terms for rape and murder of four people could be preparing to leave prison after serving only 25 years of his prison terms.
But today is September 1, the beginning of the four “ber” months at the end of the calendar year. And somehow, many people of this lone Christian nation in Asia see it as the beginning of the Christmas season. Officially, in Church liturgy, that season is yet to begin with the first of the four Advent Sundays on December 1, while most people identify with the first Simbang Gabi on December 16.
But those seem so far into the future, so many months away. It’s now September, and that to many people is a turning point, a new beginning in their lives and that of the nation and the world. And so, sometime today, we will hear Chr istmas carols and our own songs about Pasko in the Philippines on radio. In a few more days, we will see some homes begin to set up their Christmas trees and their parols.
This year 2019 has not been as difficult for us as 2018, when market prices soared to great heights. The national government suffered in the first three months without a National Budget for 2019, because Congress was deeply divided over billions of pesos believed to be “pork barrel.”
Many people will long remember the problems that they faced this year – the water rationing as Angat Dam reduced Metro Manila’s water supply, the zooming of dengue, measles, and leptospirosis cases, the floods that came with the typhoon season,
This year was also an election year – 12 new senators and all of the nation’s governors, mayors, and other local officials. In Mindanao, there was the historic establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, beginning a process that hopefully will finally bring peace to Mindanao.
The year is far from over. There are still four months to go and we can expect so many more events of great significance to take place. But today, we will begin hearing Christmas carols . There is nothing official about it. It is just a special day for many of those of us who are ready to grasp at every opportunity to see the brighter side of things in a world too often marked by sadness, pain, and suffering.
Tags: PAUL ROCA