Christmas: a greeting of both explicit enjoyment and shared suffering


As much as I want to talk about anime, it is quite unfortunate that the series I have had been following religiously were not yet updated recently. The latest installment of Kimikiss ~ pure rouge has not yet been subbed. Moyashimon has had not been updated for quite some time, and it is sad, because I want to see more of Mamiko Noto as Aoi Muto in action. I find that her voice in that series is something novel from the voices that she usually performs. Catchphrase has also failed to update Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro for almost three weeks, so I have had to stall my viewing at the latest episode.As for Shakugan no Shana II, although I do follow it, I view the series in blocks of five episodes: nothing much happens in the first place; it is safe to assume that there is a greater chance of something happening within five episodes than it is within only one. This practice would at least make me believe I am not wasting my time, albeit illusively.


Despite the lack of anime I have had been following recently, I started ef ~ a tale of memories. Since the series has already ended, and most of the hype dissipated, I believe it is high time for me to evaluate the show on its own merits as regards me. Regarding anime, however, I stop here. I find that it would be more pertinent to talk about Christmas than it is about anime at this time.

I will not begin by praising the coming of the Lord. Not all of us are Christians, and not all of us celebrate Christmas. I would, however, like to point something I learned in philosophy class regarding Christmas. Here in the Philippines, we do not greet others ‘Merry Christmas!’ but ‘Maligayang Pasko!’. Maligayang means joyful in English; in comparison to the English greeting, there is not much difference. The primary difference in the greeting, however, lies in the second word in both greetings. The Filipino greeting does not mention Christmas, but ‘Pasko’ – the transliteration unto Filipino of the Greek word Pascha which means Easter. For most of us Christians, Easter represents Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Pascha, however, is derived from Pesach, the Hebrew festival of Passover, where the first-born male of every Egyptian family perished because of the angel of death.


It is in this very unique greeting that I have discovered the very depth of the Filipino understanding of Christ. Passover was a time of suffering for the Jewish people; in addition, Easter is a solemn time which we celebrate Jesus’s rise from his self-sacrifice for the good of humanity. I do not think that festivities the level of Christmas should be associated with both of these events. However, my realization pointed out to me that the arrival of Christ adumbrated his suffering, culminating in his self-sacrifice to save the world. It may be, that when one greets others ‘Maligayang Pasko’ one does not know of its implications, but even if one does not know, it is great to find out that when we greet others with our vernacular greeting, not only do we greet others of our celebration of Christ’s birth, we also share with them, explicitly or implicitly, an expression of sharing our own sufferings to one another. Suffering is ineluctable in life; sharing it with others, however, makes it a lot more bearable. The self is in others.

To everyone, MALIGAYANG PASKO! 🙂

17 Responses to “Christmas: a greeting of both explicit enjoyment and shared suffering”

  1. Sylon Beta Says:

    The same to you to, though I’m not from the Philippines (Or, for that matter, associated with it much).

    From what I recall, Passover was the end of suffering for the Jews, with the end of their slavery in Egypt when Moses led them out, thus people would want to rejoice. The same goes for Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead, a testimony to the fact that he will bring salvation.

    On an unrelated note, Shana gets good right at the end of Episode 12. A cliffhanger, much like what made the first season enjoyable.

  2. westbluef Says:

    You too. 🙂
    Festivities should not really be included in this time of year. It should be about peace, goodwill and all good stuff, but sadly our ‘Pasko’ is starting to move away for its real purpose and more to a commercial one.
    Let me elaborate:
    At the start of Christmas: start buying presents, buy decorations, and spend, spend, spend.
    During Christmas eve: stuff your face till’ your full.
    And during the rest of the year: keep complaining about how much you spent and how fat you’re getting.
    (Okay, that last one was OT but I just can’t stop myself from the lol of realty. LOL. ;))
    Anyway, Christmas is moving away from what it really means.Giving. Not because you are obligated or expected to give, what it should mean is that you gave because its not against your will and it came from your heart. So you could say because of being expected to give in this time of year a lot of short time businesses comes out. And hence the commercialism.

  3. elvyse Says:

    This is when I do my usual push for Dennou Coil, especially since all the subs are out now thanks to the good work of Ureshii’s folks. Tho I’m a bit afraid that by pushing too hard you’ll end up not liking it just to prove me wrong 🙂

  4. usagijen Says:

    Maligayang Pasko rin sayo~~~~ =D
    Have a blessed Christmas!! \o/

    /me runs off for Noche Buena =D~~

  5. IKnight Says:

    Maligayang Pasko to you too, and I’ll add a bonus out of season ‘Christos Anesti’ as well.

  6. Ryan A Says:

    Hey Michael!!! MALIGAYANG PASKO! I’m glad to learn something new about this time of year in another culture.

    This is my favorite holiday time of year, but I really don’t know why; any tradition in and among my family has dispersed with the toll of past decades. Perhaps it is just the cheery music, snowy relaxing times, or people giving (which is what I was often told).

    Personally, I understand why this time of year is noted for certain holidays; the late days of December are the darkest in the Northern hemisphere. Hence, all days after the winter solstice are longer than the previous (up to the summer solstice); things getting bright, the darkest part of life is now [supposedly]. In that respect, the holiday does contrast with human suffering, shared. Good stuff.

    I’m with elvyse’s suggestion. I caught early episodes of Dennou Coil and have been waiting to marathon, probably this week.

    Well, I haven’t caught up with your other posts since I’ve arrived home, but I’m looking forward to reading up, esp the one with like 40 comments O_O!


  7. Martin Says:

    A Malingayang Pasko to you too. Although my religious views are pretty much ‘on the fence’ I still believe in the goodwill to all idea…today will probably turn out to be quiet family time at home, which to me is what the festive season is all about (with the festive food and drink, of course! 😉 ).

  8. Michael Says:


    The 40 comments was a dorama post; it was a reaction to someone who offended my sensibilities. Feel free to read it and flame XD


    Christos Anesti to you, too. 🙂


    I love quiet time at home. I’m doing that with my family right now, as well.

    A merry Christmas to everyone! 😀

  9. korosora Says:

    Christmas is far too tainted by evils of consumerism… HOWEVER…

    Now, reminding me of easter… when Jesus apparently came back and told them he has forgiven them…


    We celebrate the rebirth of Christ by having a mass chicken fetus murder around the world. Remember that. Now I understand Paranoid Android. I bet it has something to do with the Satanic Easter celebrations.

  10. Michael Says:


    Easter is also tainted by the evils of consumerism. That is a horrid thought:
    a mass murder of chicken fetuses occur because of our materialistic desires, when in fact the focus of Easter is a celebration of thanks and a rejoicing of being forgiven.

    Yeah. That’s a scary thought. T_T

  11. elvyse Says:

    Err no… The mass murder of chicken as you say it is not a consequence of our materialism, but has very old origins (I’m talking about centuries here, if not millenniums…)

    Now, the fact that eggs are nowadays replaced by chocolate eggs could be caused by our consumerism. Scary, eh?

  12. Zeroblade Says:

    Wow, I never knew that “Maligayang Pasko” actually held such a deep meaning. Boy, the things you learn on the internet…

  13. meganeshounen Says:

    Hmm.. I guess I’ve finally hit that age where I can no longer appreciate the simple joys of Xmas. Ah well.

    It’s also that time for me to finally try something I don’t do normally: giving stuff to others. I still need to get a job and everything else, I suppose.

    Anyway, Happy Holidays, no matter how late it may be. 😀

  14. Michael Says:


    Thanks for the comment … after migraine, problems, etc.

    I need to give stuff to you, too. Happy Holidays, friend. :3

  15. Lupus Says:

    Merry Christmas Mike.

  16. Resource and Information Says:

    Resource and Information…

    Resource and Information…

  17. Samuel E. Petty Says:

    An attention-grabbing discussion is price comment. I feel that it is best to write more on this matter, it may not be a taboo topic however generally persons are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

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