Most of us are familiar with Christmas being the time of giving, sharing, and family. This tradition that some of us practice once a year is the time we cultivate new friendships through the mutual exertion of giving and/or receiving.
On the other hand, here in Philippines you can forget all about receiving, it’s all about ♪♫ GIVE ME ♪♪ GIVE ME ♫ GIVE ME! ♫ ♪.
Most of you are familiar with my harsh and barbarous sense of humor, and my strong intolerance for imperfection, stupidity, and mistakes. But there are times when I am nothing like that, especially around this time of year. Out of my 11 visits to Philippines, this would be my 2nd time spending Christmas here.
I am normally pretty charitable and like to give naturally, but nothing sets me off more than demanding things from me that I was already willing to give at my own free will! I understand little kiddypinos who makes begging on the streets for a living, either if it was by choice, or being forced by their parents, but I can’t stand it when I am often selected from a crowd of Filipinos as a fuckin TARGET for donations.
These little kiddypinos (or Filipino children) are getting more classier with their form of begging during the Christmas season by using a shoebox with the word, ‘Merry Christmas’ engraved on the inside of the box. They think by using that common holiday greeting will constitute more obligation on our end to donate more. I’ve been noticing a lot of them lately around the SM I usually commute to.
Turns out there is no age limit, or limit on social status to demand money, especially from us foreigners. Ok, I live in an apartment and I am already spending 14,000php per month to stay here. Plus another 1,000php for the security fee, which pays for the security guards, janitors, and maintenance technicians (which does a shitty job at repairing deficiencies anyway).
Alright, I’m pretty cool with the guards, and I actually planned on getting them a little something for Christmas. Last week I received 2 Christmas cards from both the guards and janitor. It was only an envelope titled, “Merry Christmas” with some other mumbo jumbo on it that’s not important to mention. I figured they were both too cheap to go out and get me an actual real xmas card, which was totally fine with me. To me, it was the thought that counts. So in return, I went out and did a little xmas shopping for the guards and janitor, I only bought them each a bar of Tolberone chocolate.
Well it’s not xmas, so I didn’t give it to them yet. 2 days later the janitor comes knocking on my door at 10 in the morning asking for the envelope back. I was thinking, “why the fuck would she even give me a Merry Christmas envelope if you are just gonna take it back.” So I thought ‘whatever,’ went and got it and gave it back to her. As I placed the envelope back in her hand, she glanced down at it, opened it up, then gave me that booty-face like I forgot something. She gave me that wide-opened-eyes blank stare for a good 10 seconds then thrusts her hand out at me with an open palm.
Then if finally clicked, these envelopes weren’t meant for giving me a Christmas greeting and blessings, it was just another form of asking for money. Honestly, I never liked the janitor since she overly occupies the elevator too much, which contributes to me being almost late in the mornings for school. I slammed the door in her face and didn’t give her squat!
Remember how I said earlier that I didn’t like being demanded of things I was already willing to give in the first place, well that’s why. Then I remembered that 2nd envelope from the guards. I have no quarrel with the guards and I don’t wanna get on their bad side, or they may start temporarily confiscating my guest’s ID cards like they should be doing (but haven’t, because I’m cool with them), so I returned their envelope enclosed with 50 pesos.
It’s not even fuckin Christmas yet and they are already demanding gifts, particularly money! Yeah, that idea had already set me off. Those Tolberones I bought, well I decided to keep them for myself, they got their Christmas gift already, no need for a 2nd one. Christmas should be about giving, not be about a request or demand to give. I guess this country got it all backwards here.Published in