Merry Christmas! Today, I write this post straight from my hometown Cateel in the province of Davao Oriental. Spending my Christmas here brings back a lot of memories. And yes, spending Happy Holidays in one’s hometown is certainly the most wonderful time of the year.|
It’s been a while since I spent my Yuletide Season here. And now that I am here for Christmas, I felt I am reconnected again to my yesteryears. Seeing old faces, mingling with my townsfolk and spending great time with family are among the best things I am relishing while I am here.
In the province, everybody knows everyone. Neighbors and friends become instant family members. The joy and spirit of Christmas is all around. And yes, Christmas in the province is certainly different from those in the City. House party is everywhere. There are even street parties if it isn’t raining.
At Cateel Centennial Park, the spirit of the Yuletide Season is greatly felt as Christmas Lights and Giant Christmas Tree put the whole park in jovial Christmas spirit. Family and friends gather around to enjoy the sparkling and glistening scene. I, on the other hand, enjoyed perfect night photography.
In the eve of Christmas, Saint James the Apostle Church was packed with parishioners hoping to receive Christmas message from the Christmas Eve mass. The church is jam-packed. For most of the time, going to the church on the Christmas Eve is also a perfect time to see old friends and relatives.
During the Noche Buena, the neighbourhood decided to celebrate it together in a simple street party. Potluck foods were joyfully shared. Parlor games and exchange gift highlighted the occasion. If in Davao City, fireworks and firecrackers are strictly prohibited, in Cateel, it is widely practiced. It feels good to see them lighten up the evening skies and hear its deafening sound.
On Christmas day, it was the gift giving time. Inaanaks (godchildren) came to see me for their gifts and it feels great to see their smiles when they got their presents. In the afternoon, it has been practiced to spend the Christmas at the beach. So, despite the gloomy weather, my family hit the beach. It was fun. It made me feel I was home – real home sweet home.
As we head back to our house, the rain poured harder. It was a raining Christmas Evening but still the joy of Christmas is felt in our hearts – a Christmas Like No Other.
And I have to admit, I had a heavy wounded heart when I left Davao, but now that I am here, it enlightened me to see things in better perspective – seeing my worth and my value as a person. Being here for Christmas is enlightening and above all gracious.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!