Wednesday, 31 December 2014

"Malamig Ang Simoy Ng Hangin...."

"Malamig ang simoy ng hangin....kay saya ng bawa't damdamin..." (The breeze is cool and every emotion is joyful).

Those first two lines of Apo Hiking Society's Filipino Christmas carol came to mind every time I am home in the Philippines spending my Christmas holidays. I know it's freezing back in Korea, but having cool breezes in the Philippines is sort of a break the whole archipelago gets from the hot tropical temperatures all year-round.

And one night I ventured out into the city plaza of my hometown, there weren't only cool breezes but also a slight drizzle that accompanied the singing of Christmas carols by competing choirs made up of some barangay officials and their constituents.

I just had to watch the competition. My mom was singing! She watched me during my chorale singing days when I was at university. Tonight, it was her turn to sing and my turn to watch. Ha-ha-ha!

Well, not all barangays sent their representatives, but those who made it to the stage that night added a 'simoy' twist to the night breezes that blew over the city and the outlying haciendas. Although it was originally a competition, the organizers decided to award the cash prizes evenly among the participants.
This is how we celebrate Christmas in the Philippines. As if singing Christmas carols since September wasn't enough, we make sure singing the most popular ones over and over again in one night, coupling them with some funny choreography, which added not just entertainment to Christmas festivities of the city but also let these barangay officials perform in a friendly competition during the merriest month of the year.
                                                         (My mom's group)
My mom's group was a combination of officials from Barangays 3 and 6; and after their performance, I decided to call it a holy night and headed home. And as I took a few more photos of the huge Christmas tree in the center of the plaza, I still continued to feel the cool Christmas breezes.
And wherever you may be as you read this, I share with you a few more lines to the Christmas carol and hope you're enjoying your holidays, too!

"Malamig ang simoy ng hanging...
kay saya ng bawa't damdamin. 
Ang tibok ng puso sa dibdib
(the heart beat in the chest)
Parang bang hulog ng langit...
(seems like heaven-sent).

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