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Pasko Na Naman

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CHINA CONSTRUCTS | Louise Nichole Logarta

It’s November, and everybody in the Philippines knows what that means – Christmas has arrived!


Well, maybe not the day itself, but the holiday season is upon us. For some it may have started earlier – taking the Christmas tree out of storage, dusting it off and trying to remember where you last put away the ornaments; the decoration itself; playing or hearing Christmas songs (specifically by Jose Mari Chan); writing down who you’re going to buy presents for; the list goes on.


Christmas, a fan favorite in terms of holidays, is remembered fondly as a happy time. For me personally, it’s when I go home to Pampanga to see my mother, who lives there with my older siblings. I get to see my many pamangkins ranging from toddler to young adult. We get to eat the holiday staples, like bibingka and puto bumbong. We get to attend Mass at the Holy Rosary Parish Church – also known as ‘Pisambang Maragul’ (directly translating to ‘Malaking Simbahan’) – the oldest church in Angeles City.


All these are memories from years back. For the past nearly two years, we’ve been living under threat of a pandemic and the world is not the same as it was. People we used to see everyday are now people we haven’t seen in two years. Some of us even had loved ones pass away because of it. Even last Christmas, we were encouraged to celebrate with those in our own households.


Now that there are vaccines aplenty and cases appear (operative word ‘appear’) to be on the downtrend, I like to think we have a fighting chance. But it’s sad to think that our relatives and friends who live oceans away can’t come home because of policies, particularly that which requires hotel or facility quarantine for travelers from the US and Canada despite being fully vaccinated. There’ve been some advocates for the revocation of this rule (Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion). According to him, this quarantine requirement is costly and is the main deterrent for Filipinos abroad to come home and reunite with their families.


I have a motive in being in favor of repealing the quarantine requirement. As some of you might know, I’m getting married in January and this is the main reason why my best friend of 20 years – who’s lived in the US for over ten years – can’t attend. The same goes for our chosen ninongs and ninangs who also live in the US. And yes, I know that big gatherings aren’t encouraged, but that’s just it. My fiance and I only invited select people who are special to us. This once-in-a-lifetime event is something we’d like to share with them – safely, of course.


Hopefully, this coming holidays, we continue to keep safe, treasure our families and together, pray for a better year to come.


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