The 12 Sounds of Christmas

Remembering the sounds of Christmas of quite a long time ago.

1. "Merry Christmas, Ma'am, Sir," combined with a special holiday smile, in all places of business & consumption from the taxi to department stores & restaurants, with or without the expectation of a holiday tip, contribute to the holiday ambiance.

2. "Pasko na, Sinta Ko" by Gary Valenciano is playing on the jeepney on your way to work & you don't mind hearing it every year. It's timeless.

3. The tinkling sound of Christmas tunes that goes with the twinkling of colorful Christmas light decorations that you may find in your exterior house decorations, small places of business & even in Aling Tinay's sari-sari store.

4. Television & radio holiday commercials geared to remind us of the holiday spirit may it be by consuming or religious in nature, bring us all together in one spirit of Christmas.

5. The rattling of folded paper in a pencil holder when your officemate or barkada approaches you to pick a name for the monito-monita, an imposed manner to spread the joy.

6. "We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas," together with the jingling of a makeshift tambourine of kiddie carollers made of tin cans & coins who through time complains when you give them 5 pesos for their 2 questionable songs.

7. The clinking toast of beer bottles among friends to all the years of alaskahans, hangovers & everything in between. Even though you never miss a weekend inuman with them, the holidays will always be different.
8. The chime of churchbells at 15 to 4am for the Simbang Gabi which also means it's bibingka & puto bumbong, all warm wrapped in banana leaves for breakfast. One of the many Filipino food I am proud of.

9. Your mom's voice telling you to stop watching the Christmas cartoon special on TV & start getting ready for church or telling you to stop eating the Noche Buena food. Whether she's angry or not, her reminders to do this & that will always be a part of the Chrismas Eve preparations.

10. The laughters & the kulitans over your dad's Christmas songs still on vynil records while you eat your family's humble Noche Buena midnight meal. The noise of all these voices at the same time, the sweet chaos of family banter & mockery, will always be your best memory of Christmas.

11. The tearing & crumpling of gift wrappers, the oohs & the ahhhs & even the "what the..." chorus of responses over our Christmas gifts by the tree, will always be one of the most heartwarming family moments.

12. The sound of silence after the midnight Christmas mass, Noche Buena meal, the gift-giving & when everybody has gone to sleep, that sound of bursting happiness & flowing gratitude.


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.


  1. So true! I love the carollers rin when they sing their questionable songs! I used to talk to them pa nga, but they always look sullen, like they want to get the money and run and not bother with small talk anymore. I miss the monito monita thing too!

  2. oh yes, that merry xmas combined with the special holiday smile... miss that.. that's something we ignore when we're there.. dito, wala pang nag greet sa kin ng joyeux noel ha..

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  4. sali ako: maga anak ko, crazy to go to tienda sa Marikina. Sarap daw mamili don, open until 2 am, andon na kain lugaw or palabok, then deretso sa perya. Pinaka disneyland na nila kung wala pera pang mall, haha!

    nice to reminds us again the joys of holidays. Everyone is happy..!
    lalo na ako, anaks ko dito na soon! yeheeeeyyy!
    Joyeuses Fêtes too makis!

  5. You've said it all makis and I don't have anything to add no more! Here's a song for you :) !

    Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
    Let your heart be light
    From now on,
    our troubles will be out of sight

    Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
    Make the Yule-tide gay,
    From now on,
    our troubles will be miles away.

    Here we are as in olden days,
    Happy golden days of yore.
    Faithful friends who are dear to us
    Gather near to us once more.

    Through the years
    We all will be together,
    If the Fates allow
    Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
    And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

    Imagine that I sing like Regine Velasquez coz in real life am always out of tune. Have a Merry Christmas to you and Alex! Gros Bisous !

  6. singit lang. Grabeh yung mga mga nastranded ng FOUR DAYS ! sa heathrow and denver, colorado
    they are having christmas before going home...

    lahat ba masaya dyan hane?

  7. Makis, I got teary-eyed when I reached no. 11. This year, I would miss the night when all family members would be gathered around the Christmas tree, exchanging gifts. I'd miss my Dad's 'Oooohhh!!Wow!!!!Can you imagine that?!!' He does that when he gets excited. I'd miss my son's smiles and giggles and my nephews's widening of the eyes as he opens his gift from Santa (which my sister and I choose together for them). I'd miss my Mom's 'Ano regalo mo sa'kin, Neng?' and I'd say 'Secret...' I guess I better stop now before I get a headache from crying. This is a tear-jerker!!! - Len

  8. Waaaah!!! Duling nako, bakit Len Lamberta lumabas dyan??? Len Lambert po...waaaa!!!