(In free verse, in reflection of Christmas past, now and to come.)
Gone were the days decades and decades past:
Carolers, then, sang from early evening to late dawn,
shared Christmas joy with every home, rich or poor,
even in isolated farms; happy with a five- or ten-centavo
gift, or, from some poor, just “Salamat, wala kami sing
kuarta (Thank you, we have no money).
Children, in their own versions, sang “Jingle bells”, et cetera, to the rhythmic beat of stones, sticks and empty milk cans at every house in their street at any time of the day or night for loose change or candies.
Lanterns made of bamboo sticks and papel de Japon (Japanese paper) with lighted candles hanged by windows; Together with hand-made Christmas trees and Belens, they brought Christmas spirit in homes.
Kins gathered over home-cooked dinner and delicacies, exchanging hugs and kisses, or just smiling at one
another in silence, the joys boiling deep in their hearts.
Those were the days gone! Now are the days:
Homes are twinkling with Christmas lights and décor;
Public edifices, parks and churches are aglitter
Topped, decked and strung with millions of lights;
Christmas joy in television long before Christmas
time reminds all the heart of Christmas is in the malls;
The joy is in buying for the having and the giving;
The fatter the credit cards, the deeper and bigger
the pockets, the merrier!
Those were the days!
Now are the days after decades past.
What will it be in decades to come?
Did the past care what it would be now?
Bury the past. Let the now be as it is.
Let man take care of his days in decades to come.
— Patricio P. Diaz, December 29, 2018