As Christmas draws near, I am reminded of the great Yuletide memories of my youth.
It cannot be denied that nothing can separate us from our unique Filipino Christmas tradtion. Saan ka mang panig ng mundo, hindi maipagkakaila na sa puso ng bawa't Pilipino, miss natin ang Paskong Pinoy, ang tradisyong ating kinagisnan, ang tradisyong ating kinamulatan mula ng tayo ay musmos pa lamang, tulad ng pangka-karoling.
As far as I can remember, I have joined my neighborhood friends when I was 7 years old and formed our own group of kid carolers. And with our creative ingenuity, we equipped ourselves with makeshift instruments to include the tambourines made of pinitpit na tansan strung on a piece of wire, drums made from cans or biscuit tins as we proudly sings even out of out of tune the traditional song "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit" from out of our lungs.
We are the group of kids from Pasay City, the "batang yagit" sporting short pants, T-shirts or sandos and rubber slippers hopping from one house to another every night, and the same houses all throughout the Yuletide Season until December 25; singing Jingle Bells, Silent Night and , Sa May Bahay". After rendering 3 or 4 songs, with traditional chant of "Namamasko Po", we wait expectantly for the homeowners to reward us with coin, ranging from 0.50 centavos to 2.00 pesos. Afterward, we thank the generous homeowners by singing "Thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo".
We have experienced some homeowners request non-Christmas songs. There was a drunk homeowner who have asked us to sing "Lupang Hinirang" and despite the odds we sing it with pride and were awarded with 5.00 pesos, not bad at all.
There are also stingy homeowners who doesn't entertain carolers which we named "bahay patawad" and others who refused to give us coins or drive us away from their house by simply uttering the traditional words "patawad", we return them a song "Thank you, thank you, ang babarat ninyo. Thank you" and start running away from their door.
After 3 hours of caroling, I still remember the feeling of delight when my friends and I would split our “earnings” each night.
I wonder if there are any Filipinos in the Philippines that has not experienced the Christmas caroling tradition? Iniisip ko kung ang mga batang mayayaman na kasing edad ko nuon from plush subdivisions ay nagkakaroling rin.
Ikaw, naranasan mo bang mag-karoling?
"Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day" (Psalm 96:1-2)
Image snipped from flickr.com
Uploaded by ~zymon~ *strike whilst the iron is hot*