It is such a wonder how Filipinos manage to revel on different new year celebrations. On the event of January 1st, people just get to do different practices and hybrid of rituals. It is to bring luck and fortune, the folks say. On the eve of February 10th, they just take hold of the different talismans or whatnot just so to bring much more fortune to their homes. The global New Year’s and that of the Chinese is widely celebrated in the country. Where does this really come from?
I was in bed just taking a bit of rest from a sleepless Saturday, just as the outside darkened, prompting for the evening to come, I heard continuous explosions, which for me were fireworks. I thought it was just some inauguration or some sort, but it went on and on, and at that point I thought, well, there was some chaos going on. And it just occurred to me, it’s already the Chinese New Year.
I thought what I could say from this. I thought it was a little overdone, overwritten, obvious, commonplace, and ordinary to simply shed people with the event-background or the forecast itself. But putting it on a socio-cultural perspective, there is definitely worth something to discuss and explain.
It would be pointless to tackle the whats and whys of this occasion. What is interesting is how this becomes normative in the psyche of the Filipinos. One thing to consider is commerce. Yes, business and how businessmen take advantage of time just like Valentine’s, which is by the way upcoming. I would say this is inevitable considering how the demand for something abstract can be bought in ornaments that would bring luck, and this demand is the foundation of every business. I am not disparaging the internal belief and faith of those who religiously practice, but this is just to take another perspective.
But there is then the question on the side of those who practice. It can easily be explained that Filipinos are just faithful no matter the religion or faith, and that’s just about it. But in reality, the Filipinos are in dire need of assurance that the future is going to be okay. The resignation and fatalism that has been embedded in every Filipino is reflective in these practices, despite the overlapping and interchanging. Yes, we believe so much that we seem like believers of the unseen and unproven. Moreover, Filipinos just like the idea of celebration in trying to build a good and brighter future. We just love to eat and merry-make. That’s how it is. But more importantly, this cultural revelry is done in collective. Getting into the crowd won’t harm anyway. Since everyone believes, and whatever may happen to one can possibly happen to another, we just do so.
So, this year of the snake may bring something to all. But more importantly, the faith to move on and set the future.