All week long I have been getting Christmas greetings from readers of this blog based outside the country and sent through this blog's comments section and via e-mail. Well, in truth, the greetings are not just for me but also for their family, relatives and friends in Lianga they have left behind and who they so dearly miss during this Yuletide season.
I know, because I belong to a family with some of its members now living abroad, how difficult it is to properly and meaningfully celebrate Christmas when your own home echoes with the memories of loved ones forced by circumstance and the vagaries of fate to live and work so far away from the family hearth. For us, as for many millions of other Filipino families, Christmas, nowadays, is never complete, the festivities never emotionally or sentimentally gratifying as it once was because of those whose accustomed places at the Noche Buena table must remain sadly and poignantly vacant.
If it is hard for us here who have been left behind, it must be harder still for those who have to celebrate this Christmas in cold, distant and faraway lands bereft of the emotional comfort and support of their families and friends. Theirs is the harsh and unforgiving loneliness, the crushing homesickness and desperate longing for the soothing familiarity of the familiar sights, sounds and smells of their own land, borne with extraordinary fortitude and perseverance by the victims of the Filipino diaspora that is the sad reality of our times.
In many ways, this blog was written for them and their kind.
So, in behalf of the people of Lianga, I wish all of her children scattered all over this country and elsewhere all over the world, a very Merry Christmas and the blessings of a more bountiful, prosperous New Year to come. I wish all of you good health, financial success and the fulfillment of all of those dreams for which you all have sacrificed so much for by going so far away.
I would also like to wish the best of this merry season to the many kindred souls who continue to blog and make noise about Lianga and its part of the world on the blogosphere and the Internet. You know who you are and you have done a wonderful job so far. Keep up the good work.
Merry Christmas everyone!