Friday, September 2, 2011

# 30 BER

that is not a name nor a term of endearment.  not a place.  no acronym, either.

just simply BER or the start of the BER months - september, october, november, december.  in our part of the world, this means the (un)official start of christmas. only in the philippines will one feel a tinge of excitement in the air when the BER months arrive.  the street children who bang on car windows when one is stuck in traffic have now changed their repertoire of songs to christmas carols. we are known to have the longest christmas.  it starts in september and ends on the sixth day of january.  you have to be a grinch not to love anything that signals the start of the most joyful season.  it is also the most expensive season. on tv this morning, the show hosts greeted the audience by bursting into a jackson 5 hit, urging everyone to give love on christmas day... no greater gift is there than love, oh what the world needs is love....yes the world needs your love.  no other time of year do our auditory senses process so much of the jackson 5  pre-puberty singing voice.

however big or small one's house is and wherever it is - in the heart of the city or in rural areas, the christmas lantern (known as parol) is always the centerpiece.  it has evolved from the simple colored paper-wrapped star to the ornate, multi-bedecked work of art.  some are giant jaw-droppers with lights that speak of the wonders of technology.  nothing simple about the present-day star.

christmas makes us smile. hakuna matata means no worries, a problem-free philosphy according to timone and pumba in the lion king.  one would think that is the peculiar mindset of the filipino.  we are a smiling people like we are problem-free.  no worries, hakuna matata. others are often amazed at how resilient we are. our country is constantly dodging the bullet of ruination.  we can never seem to pull ourselves out from the pit that we have deliberately dug to wallow in. we are plagued by a massive mountain of problems on all sides and yet we are known to be a happy people. we celebrate many occasions and when there is no occasion, we invent one. christmas is the biggest celebration of all.  we love to sing and we sing the loudest during the christmas season.  no one minds if it is out of tune.  we love to dance and we break our bones dancing away at christmas parties.  no one minds if we are not stepping to the rhythm of the music. we love to tell stories and we repeat the same stories at christmas gatherings.  our listeners pretend they have not heard our stories the previous years.

christmas gives us a hundred and one reasons to smile. we are now into the BER months;  the season has officially started !!  isn't that awesome?   


  1. Well I can tell you what the BER months mean here in Kansas. Cold, cold, and more cold. Oh, did I mention COLD!

  2. When the BER months arrive, the holidays seem to be just around the corner and before we know it, the dawn of a new year unfolds.
    Seasons change and days, weeks seem to pass by so quickly yet it engulfs everyone with a feeling of joy, happiness and yearning for CHRISTmas to arrive.
    The advent of the holiday season in Pinas, is something to behold - I remember the early morning masses, the white sticky sweet rice (or puto maya)with hot cocoa drink or ripe mango, the holiday carols, the effervescent glow of the lanterns... - oh, memories of Christmas past.
    A Pinoy at heart, I truly embrace the BER months like the rest of my kababayans. Just the fact that it has arrived, yes, I, too, celebrate
    with a smile on my face, an anticipation of the coming of the CHRISTmas season !