• Reunions and respite for a New Year



    The days after Christmas Day are often much awaited for the brief respite it gives after the holiday frenzy. As many friends and their families spent the post-Christmas weekend here and abroad, we would soon catch up with their whereabouts from photos on social media.

    Even airline agents talked about how many well-heeled families were booking last minute flights to various destinations here and abroad, mostly to winter destinations or to the sunny beaches down South.

    For my friends and I though, we all had to cancel some travel plans this year due to some unexpected family emergencies. I realized that since planning for post-Christmas vacations are usually made months ahead, cancelling an intended holiday itinerary can be quite disappointing.

    The disappointment was more palpable with my own teenaged kids who had already worked out their winter wardrobe as early as the day we booked our airline tickets.

    Hence instead, we celebrated the Yuletide weekend basking in cool and misty Baguio. Unfortunately, a fourth of Manila’s population must have decided on doing the same thing this year as we were caught in traffic in the narrow streets of Baguio.

    Just imagine having to turn around as cars were bumper to bumper on the road leading to Mines View Park and on to Session Road. In fact, Camp John Hay was literally filled to the brim with sightseers and picnickers. Restaurants, picnic grounds and stores were crammed to the brim in Baguio. Thanks to cool evenings though, Baguio still proved a delightful place to spend the holiday weekend.

    From grandparents, mid-lifers, to grandchildren, all cozied up in winter jackets, boots and bonnets. Now, it figures why the winter collection in mall brands sell like pancakes! I guess a lot of city dwellers seek out cooler climates during this season, maybe the closest thing to spending a white Christmas back home.

    What a heartening sight though it is to see extended families spending the post-Yuletide weekend together. The holiday season too offers friends from here and abroad a chance to meet up for long-planned reunions over lunch, dinner and even last minute shopping.

    Malls are still crammed too with throngs of moviegoers, shoppers and diners. As it has always been, December proves to be good business for shops and restaurants everywhere. It must be the allure and devotion Filipinos have for Christmas that make for endless celebrations and family reunions.

    Yet, the Yuletide celebrations spent here or in any corner of the world find meaning only because we put so much value into our relationships. The few days or hours spent with our nearest and dearest do make for timeless memories, and not just photo-worthy opportunities for social media; and, with these memories emanate sincere and true joy.

    With any luck, the respite the post-Christmas weekend afforded us all and the warm recollections of reunions with kith and kin have given us all a reason to be even more hopeful and thankful.

    Here’s to a promising, propitious, and peaceful year ahead. Happy New Year to all!


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