In a country like mine, riddled with 26 storms a year and tragedies come more often, we take happiness from whatever source we could. September, the start of the ‘Ber months, means Christmas is coming, and out come the garlands, trees, wreaths, mangers, and what Christmas decorations you may think of. These are in the malls. Sure, establishments still decorate for United Nations Day (we’re big on that), then Halloween, and sometimes even Thanksgiving. But where you see these decorations put up, walk just a few more steps and the first sign of paper poinsettias can be seen hanging from the walls and ceilings. This country loves its Christmas.
This is the perfect time for throwback, then, to this time last year when a colleague and I started making Christmas cards to sell, because we wanted to raise money for an outreach program to Sagbayan, Bohol, then just recovering from an earthquake that leveled most of the town. A lot of the cards I made were geeky (can you tell?) and the response and support from our friends, while truly heartwarming, was also a bit overwhelming especially since everything was hand drawn and hand made.
That, though, was nothing—nothing!—compared to the experience of being with the people in that town. I went with a team of mountaineers, and boy was that fun. Photos from the outreach are courtesy of Dan Enriquez, sweetly via Silver Wonderland.