Christmas Time is Here Again
Yes, it is indeed time for Bing Crosby to sing White Christmas, the only time of the year anybody anywhere listens to Burl Ives, and of course, an endless plethora of putrid poetry put to music. Why must so much good holiday music go unheard while malls and radio stations inflict well-meaning Christians with unfortunate vocal abilities and Mariah Carey on us? And will somebody please go slap the producers who thought of making euro-inspired dancey, dare I say, almost polka-ish mixes of some of the worst Christmas music ever recorded?
All of metro Manila has been listening to this since late September. (Yeah, they start early here!)
At SM department store, Christmas trees spew "snow" out the treetop that trickles down, eventually being collected in the large bowl in which the tree sits, only to be sucked up and out the top again.
In the Philippines it is felt that Christmas here is somehow distinctly second-rate when compared with America and Europe. White Christmas, Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman, even Santa Claus and his sleigh, are all rather unlikely imports to a nation where, this December 12th, it is 87 degrees Fahrenheit! Filipinos think they're missing out on something. Yeah, missing out on the likelihood of needing to wear multiple layers of undergarments, sweaters, parkas, scarves, and gloves to stay warm! It's nice every now and again, but I'm enjoying it just the way it is, thanks!
In fact, just yesterday it was around 85 degrees Fahrenheit and I was having coffee with my friend Noel at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in the Convergys building. Actually, I wasn't having coffee. I was having a "mixed blend" iced chocolate, which has no coffee in it whatsoever. But it doesn't seem right to say I was having "mixed blend iced chocolate", especially at a coffee shop. It doesn't roll off the tongue very easily. In fact, a lot of people say they "had coffee" even when they didn't drink anything at all! Just being in a coffee shop while their friends and others around them have coffee seems to be reason enough to say they "had coffee".
And no, this time we were not talking about food. Aside from looking at the menu at a restaurant, I don't recall ever talking about food with Noel. We were talking about something apparently far less interesting, since I can't remember what it was when we noticed someone walk past the window outside wearing a wool skull cap, gloves, and a parka. He was followed by a man perspiring in slacks and short-sleeve button-down shirt who was fanning himself with an envelope. Now, if you're cold enough to wear a parka, gloves, and wool hat when it is 85, you're prepared for global warming! If you're like the man behind him, you are clearly not, like the rest of us.
Anyway, all this is just to lead you up to some pictures I thought you may, or may not be interested in seeing of metro Manila during the holidays.
Along Ayala Avenue:
Commuters, traffic and lights:
The tree at Mall of Asia, decorated completely with poinsettias, gold glass balls, and teddy bears. Underneath notice the Cartoon Network Snow-ville area, where fake snow is blown onto poor unsuspecting children while their snap-happy parents take their pictures.
And on the other side of our tree we have St. Nick in his shiny satin suit and poly-fiber beard. Nobody charging parents $10 or $15 to have their child's picture taken. Just kids sitting on Santa's lap while mom or dad uses up some more space on the memory card.