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Alba Iulia
Saturday, May 1, 2021

Creating a new tradition


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For comments or feedback, email thadmangalino@gmail.com

Here we go, 2021 has just begun and we are optimistic and want to make most of the opportunities we will face this year. Last year was an eye opener, and taught many of us an important lesson. One of the biggest lessons I personally learned was to be flexible; I am not just talking about being physically flexible being able to drop down to a split like Mystica. I am talking about flexibility in handling the obstacles that come your way.

One particular instance where I had to be flexible was just last month, last Christmas. I was saddened because it was a change in our family tradition due to Covid-19, it was the first time in a long time that I was going to miss out on going to the Metro Manila Film Festival. I have always associated MMFF with the Christmas season and I had to stop myself and re-evaluate the true meaning of Christmas. As I got older the meaning of the season changed. I realised that for my two kids, Christmas meant flying to Manila to spend precious time with their Lola “Granny” Carmelita, eating Jollibee, getting aginaldo (Christmas gifts) and experiencing the other Filipino Christmas traditions. Looking back, I realised that I was the one who had the issue of my perceived breaking with tradition. My positive association of having a Filipino style Christmas was still possible but I was inflexible with the way I was looking at the situation. I realised that I can build on the current traditions that my kids are used to. 

One time I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post on The Philippine Times Facebook page about a Parol (Christmas Lantern) Workshop organised by the Pilipino Elderly Association of South East Region (PEASER). I saw that as a learning opportunity and an encouragement for my kids to continue embracing the Filipino Christmas tradition. I reached out and they were happy to include my kids at the workshop. I was delighted as the other children who attended were exposed to how the parol was made and gave clarity on how it all fits in the Filipino Christmas experience. 

Seeing the bigger picture and not making the occasion about me, we continued with what we knew; we attended Mass, ate a feast for Noche Buena and exchanged gifts. We caught up with close friends who I consider family for Christmas lunch; we received calls, texts and messages throughout the day. I had to really look at it differently as it was not a loss or Christmas being totally written off. It was strange yet it felt familiar. It was not a break in tradition it was actually improving upon the tradition that I was used to for so long. I will continue to build upon the current tradition and be flexible in its execution. 

Until next time STAY FOCUSED!

(For comments or feedback, email thadmangalino@gmail.com)

READ MORE: The generous Pinoy

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