Christmas blues


    ‘For the Filipinos of the 21st century, given the failures of the WHO and the DOH, yuletide mobility has become a Russian roulette.’

    DEAN Martin crooning: “The happy crowds are mingling”

    No can do. Social distance, remember? Takes the fun out of holiday shopping, right? “I’ve done my window shopping” Online only.

    “I’m sure that you’ll forgive me, If I don’t enthuse, I guess I’ve got the Christmas blues”
    Just like Apolinario Mabini in his diary, writing of un-Christian treatment at the hands of the American imperialists: “Lastly, at the start of this month, the prisoners could no longer eat canned meat, no matter how they forced themselves, because they felt nauseated and wanted to vomit…Captain McKelvy got mad, saying that the prisoners have no right to refuse what is given them; nevertheless, he gave us a supply of fresh meat for a period of three weeks. Then, the cook was ordered to receive the usual supply of canned meat, and we were forbidden to ask the head-shaven guys to buy for us anything, since the Commissary takes care of buying what we need. Our companions ordered the purchase of twenty pounds of meat. It cost them a lot of money but the meat already smelled rotten when delivered to them. On the other hand, those who wish to live in Agaña were not granted a permit. We spent Christmas of 1901 with these painful thoughts.”

    A far cry from the headier days of the Philippine Revolution, as noted by Mabini’s comrade, Gregorio del Pilar: “We are in Palaguid (Kakaron de Sili). All the comrades are gathered. To commemorate the birth of the Savior, we hoisted our Flag, fired our cannons and rendered obeisance to the K.K.K. In the afternoon, target practice. Joy is seen on the faces of everyone. And heaven seems to hear us, reverberating with enthusiastic shouts of Long live the Filipinos.” []
    The Founding Fathers operated in an atmosphere of caution and perseverance, yuletide notwithstanding, as one record displays: “In the name of the native country, and in order to develop further the strength and organization of the K. K. K., the Supreme Assembly held a meeting on December 24 at the house of brother Bonifacio.”

    “The meeting commenced at ten o’clock in the evening, and began with Emilio Jacinto [the supreme fiscal, but acting here as supreme secretary] reading out the report of the previous meeting of the Supreme Assembly…

    “Inocencio Marcial, the president of By. Maluningning, responded to the concerns of the Assembly about the shortcomings of that branch. He acknowledged that for some time the branch had not been conducting its affairs with due diligence, and attributed this to (i) the grave danger that its meetings might be discovered, because the meeting place was the Intendencia General [the Government treasury]; (ii) the fact that the president [himself] and the treasurer [Perfecta Simeon] had gone home to Batangas to get married; and (iii) the fact that he had so many things to do, and that his bride was getting angry because he was always out of the house. He still hoped, however, to be able to fulfill his duties and attend to branch affairs diligently in the future. The Assembly welcomed this assurance and accepted his explanation.”

    “A collection pouch was passed around, and the sum collected amounted to just less than one peso. It was agreed that this sum should be donated to a brother in By. Mahiganti who had recently lost a child. The meeting ended at 7 o’clock in the morning. Everyone present swore not to disclose anything that they had seen or heard.” (Manila, December 25, 1895. The supreme president, Andres Bonifacio) [Source: Archivo General Militar de Madrid: Caja 5393, leg.4.4] []

    “Christmas is a joy of joy, But friends when you’re lonely, You’ll find that it’s only, A thing for little girls and little boys”

    A different generation of Filipinos was also engaged in a deadly struggle against alien tyrants, this time against Japanese imperialists, with the guerrillas of the Philippine Commonwealth bivouacked: “We leave [Panay] today early, with Osorio as our objective for the night. The day is cloudy and the sun has not come out with its heat. We have made in good time the rough mountain trails, hitting a point a little over Osorio at about 7 p.m. Here we bivouac for the night, on the edge of a little stream. My cargadores sleep on the ground under a huge rock. We take our rest in a vacant small cottage, wherein three of us fit in snugly.” [Diary of Tomas Confesor;]

    For the Filipinos of the 21st century, given the failures of the WHO and the DOH, yuletide mobility has become a Russian roulette. The pandemic that erupted from that hothouse of pagans and ersatz communists (who in reality are selfish profiteers of the 996 variety) is killing Los Inocentes and battering an economy dependent on consumerism. Solution? We await the Second Coming of the Messiah who first appeared on Earth as the Christ Child. Meanwhile…

    “May all your days be merry, Your seasons full of cheer, But ‘til it’s January, I’ll just go and disappear”