No holiday could ever replace Christmas in the heart of many.
For families, it is a time to gather, regardless how far you may need to travel. The son brings his wife and kids home to nanay and tatay, though they needed to travel far a day before to avoid the rush. The daughter has called from abroad around noontime to great her parents, brother, nephews, nieces and sister-in-law a Merry Christmas. She could no longer wait for midnight to dial his father’s mobile number, lest she suffers network congestion. Unfortunately, there is no landline at home. It would matter to nanay and tatay to know that she’s fine, that although she misses them all especially that it’s Christmas, she is alright and would celebrate Christmas with friends. It would be half-true of course because inside she’s aching to be home.
While nanay and the daughter-in-law prepare food for Noche Buena, tatay sets to prepare the videoke using the magic mic his son gifted him last Christmas. The son knows his father by heart. When he was younger, his tatay and his titos would occasionally gather over a bottle of brandy and take turns in singing to the top of their lungs a la Matt Monroe, Tom Jones, Victor Wood and the all-time favorite Frank Sinatra.
Tonight, the competition for the top score is between father and son. Or so, they thought. Because after dinnertime at around 7PM, the titos have come to join the aspiring videoke kings. Tugged along were cousins, and aunties.
“So, this is Christmas,” says a good Christmas song. The cheers, the varieties of songs, the laughs – the fun. Indeed, this is Christmas. And rightfully before the father and the son are left alone a number of Christmas songs have already been sung. One voice above the others from he who holds the mic and the rest join in chorus. It doesn’t matter how bad it may sound, how defeated the well-recorded background is with wrong timing, wrong tone and wrong pronunciation. Tonight, people actually enjoy.
Abroad, the daughter and her Filipino friends share a simple feast. And a little later they join their families in the Philippines in the one passion that binds all – the videoke.
Videoke is everywhere just like Christmas.