September 26, 2021

8 thoughts on “Philippine Christmas and Caroling

  1. So you Like to play horseshoes, huh? We’ll have to get together next time we come down. I don’t know if I can still throw a shoe because of “Trigger Finger” in both hands, but I’m willing to try.

    1. Randy also introduced me to a game called “Washers”. I can play that and they are not near as heavy as the horseshoes. They are very light in fact. I did pretty good in that game, after I messed up the first couple of times.

  2. 1st of all happy holidays to you and yours :). About the carolers, well my first Christmas here they were a novelty and cute, the second an annoyance, the third an entertainment. Where we live the kids from the poorer areas roam the streets with coffee cans and empty soda bottles as drums, sing (sort of) at the tops of their lungs and then shout “MAMA SUPO!” (or something like that) until you come to the gate or they run out of steam. Well this year I was ready. For some groups I would come to the gate, listen, then belt out a verse or two of White Christmas or God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, stick my hand out and say “MAMA PUPO” the looks I got was priceless. Or I would come out give one peso to each kid and when they gave me the look of “You cheap Kano” I would take the peso’s back. My favorite was to listen, once they were done, line them up in the street, give them a few pesos, pretend to snap a picture with my cell phone and say “Bukas wala!” (tomorrow, nothing). Here we do have organized caroling groups, like the Knights of Columbus etc. but they would send ahead, ask if we would receive them and set a date and time after which we were expected to give a donation, which is ok by me. One thing I have learned about living here though. If you cannot, will not or refuse to come to the realization that no matter what time of year it is, people will just stop in front of you, stick out their hand and say “give me money” you will go slowly insane 🙂

    1. That “Mama Supo” must be some type of local dialect or I’m not saying it good enough for my wife, she doesn’t know what it is. Like I said in the article, I don’t deal with the kids directly if I can help it. Most of the time I can help it. Actually this year I didn’t have to worry about it at all. We did have a couple of groups that were very good, especially the one with adults and teens, no kids. We get no announcements though, just random.
      I still get the “hand out” thing at times, but not so much anymore. I’m getting to where I can say “no money” easier now, except with the old people, I just can’t do it. I have to give them something if I have it. I doubt that will ever change.

      1. The phrase is actually “Namamasko po.”

        We definitely get return visitors, but I learned my lesson last year and started keeping tally of who came by (as much as possible, at least). in 2013 we had a kid come 5 times that I know of. It’s a group effort, though, so if I didn’t recognize someone, then usually someone else will. Also I cut out the 5 peso coins down to 1 peso each. we still gave out about 400 PHP worth of coins this year, but at least there weren’t (as many) “repeat customers” and I saved money over the previous year.

        We actually did one night of caroling just for fun (and because it’s so rare/absurd to see a white guy going around caroling).

        Even so, it’s definitely hard to be living in the middle of a large portion of poverty and not feel inclined to give… I have to remind myself that I have duty first to MY family’s needs.

        1. If it wasn’t the same old songs all the time, it might be alright, as long as they realize I’m not rich. Most likely I would never recognize anyone in a group, especially if it’s child. Maybe a good looking woman I would. Like I said I don’t even bother to listen much, except when I hear something different, then I pay attention. Usually when it’s something like that the relatives do them right and give a little mine than just the 1 peso – 5 peso thing.
          I think that if I went out caroling, I’d scare more people with my singing. Or maybe they’d be paying me so much attention they would not even listen. I doubt seriously if I would ever go. You’re braver than me in that department.
          I agree that it’s difficult living here, usually have sufficient money, when so many have right up next to nothing. I try to do what I can, but I know I can’t help everyone. Of course my family and all the relatives here all come before everyone else.

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