Netnet Camomot .
THERE are no Christmas carollers in the neighborhood, which is fine with me since Christmas songs make me cringe. Brrrrr. If ever a neighbor will burst into, “Let’s sing Merry Christmas and a happy holiday,” I’ll listen to Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow” instead: “Kneelin’ looking through the paper though he doesn’t know to read, ooh yeah / Oh, prayin’, now to something that has never showed him anything.”
What we hear now in this side of the barangay are the sounds of construction and repairs from at least four lots plus one house undergoing repairs. If you thought inflation and rising prices have affected the Pinoy’s positivity, think again. The Pinoy, like that bank, always finds ways.
On the other hand, the sounds you hear in downtown Cagayan de Oro are that of cars stuck in traffic until you’re inside the malls where Christmas carols are on instant replay to inspire you to shop pa more.
The commercialization of Christmas is all that’s left now of Jesus’ birthday, and malls truly understand this development, that’s why they’re extending store hours to 24/7. Hmmm. Wish ko lang. For this year’s craving for presents, though, they’re open up to 10 pm and 12 midnight, with weekends enjoying longer hours.
But a 24/7 sked will make Christmas shopping easier—enter the mall at 12 midnight, and go straight to church for the Simbang Gabi a few hours later. You avoid the traffic, maddening crowd and long lines at the cashier and gift wrapping section unless everyone else will also decide to follow your example.
Wrapping can be one of the holiday season’s challenges, thus, it’s advisable to avail of a store’s free gift wrapping services. But when non-Christmas gift wrappers are displayed far, far away from the gift wrapping section, such a store has probably forgotten the other occasions, in addition to Christmas, that are also celebrated in Pinas during the last four months of the year.
So, if you’re on the third floor of that store, and you want to buy instead of avail of the free wrapper, you have to go down to the office and school supplies area at the ground floor where all-occasion gift bags, wrappers, tags and ribbons are displayed. This requires a lot of walking which an exerciser may appreciate but if you’ve already been walking around to look for a gift, all you wanna do once you’ve reached the gift wrapping section is to sit and wait for your item’s turn to be wrapped.
The store should allot an area for all-occasion gift-wrapping supplies on every floor, preferably right next to the gift wrapping section, for the convenience of shoppers who consider all the items being sold there as “potential” gifts. Customers can then go straight to their cars that are parked at the same level as the floor where they’re shopping—no need to go back and forth anymore. Nice, eh? That could be the top item on the wish list of a tired Christmas shopper.
A wish list, by the way, simplifies gift-giving. It somehow takes the thrill out of receiving a gift but if your wish list is as broad as, say, food, surely there’s still some surprise left since the possibilities include lechon baka, lechon baboy and lechon manok.
Buying gifts can be a wonderful thing if it’s not Dec. 24 yet, otherwise, the store’s sales staff will glare at you for making them work overtime on Christmas Eve.
If your Christmas is all about gifts and parties, you may also use the season as an excuse to rest for a while and to not take President Rody Duterte seriously especially when he claims he uses marijuana to stay awake. As his spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, “The fact alone that people laughed, then that’s a joke.”
“Even presidents are entitled to a joke,” Panelo added. “He has set a good example by being a good leader. One joke will not make him a bad leader.”
At least Duterte is now aware that he’s funny. Once he retires as a politician, he can shift to stand-up comedy as a career.
The luster of a retired politician may fade once he stops being relevant. This must be their loneliest phase, with the Pinoy having a TOA—Transfer of Affection—for new and younger politicians. Bilog ang mundo, as the saying goes.
But the retired politician who has trained his spouse and children to follow in his footsteps will simply move forward to adviser—for his family’s political career, that is.
With Election 2019 as one of next year’s festive holidays, expect more retired politicians to make a comeback through their family members, with the previously popular surname smelling so sweet again to the gullible voter. After all, politics’ “Three Words to Forever” could be, Gullibility breeds victory.