Canlas: Those Christmas bells!

AS THE magical glitter of the yuletide Season bedazzles the imagination, it is time to ring the fading bells of Santa Claus to refresh our minds on the essential social aspects of Christmas. For in the wake of the enchantment on the visual and mundane attraction of Christmas, its social dimensions could somehow be forgotten. There is optimism, though, that this passing euphoria will not blur our socio-civic consciousness as trustee of the succeeding generation.

Anyhow, in attempting to write an authentic discourse on the social significance of Christmas, it is obliging to restate what an eminent Philosopher said and I quote: “IT’S ME O LORD! It is our good fortune to live in a world we did not make. In gratitude, I vow to consecrate no less than the physical strength, as well as, moral and intellectual endowments that you bequeathed to all humanity to harness the richness and abundance of our inheritance for the equitable enjoyment of mankind. SO HELP US GOD!”

Thus, as a social creature, man is duly-bound to help promote order and harmonious relations in the community by simply being law-abiding. This is because ours is a rule-based society where its enduring survival under a libertarian regime indubitably hinges on religious adherence to duly promulgated laws. Indeed, there are simple self-fulfilling duties which are capable of transforming Philippine Society into a crime and garbage-free community literally overnight. In this era of instant communications technology, it only requires a text message or two to alert law-enforcement authorities of barangay-based criminal activities. For another, proper disposal of household trash will mean unlettered streets, unclogged waterways and health-friendly atmosphere conducive to a sustainable livable environment.

But, like charity, such social tasks must begin at home. If this is routinely done, a rejuvenated landscape in terms of a peaceful neighborhood, clean streets, free-flowing sparkling rivers and a clear blue sky will greet our very eyes the following morning. Oh yes, I have to recall that special child in an LRT train who pocketed his candy wrapper or that Japanese national seen on TV sweeping the rubbish on an overpass in Baguio City who showed respect on anti-littering if only to abide by the motto: “CLEANLINESS IS GODLINESS. Certainly, we can emulate such simple duty!

On the issue of social equity, it can be fairly assumed that absolute equality on social and economic status is not of Divine contemplation. For GOD endowed man with free will. As such, with his initiative, he may engage in business and prosper like Senate Manny Villar and Manny V. Pangilinan. Or by way of his physical prowess, like Senator many Pacquiao, who opted to be a ring gladiator and transform his humble origin from rags to riches. Or like Manny P. Canlas who tried his luck in Manila’s Chinatown as a bootblack and became a lawyer. I must hasten that Apung Dadong Macapagal, my great benefactor, played a key role in my educational career. Rather, justice and common heritage dictates that every man must share in the fruits of the earth’s resources to satisfy his basic needs commensurate to human dignity. For after all, aside from land, the most important and irreplaceable factor of production is labor. The fact is that the working class can itself supply the capital entrepreneurial components of production. Try to retire the workers in a factory or mall and see what happens.

Having this in mind, it must be remembered that in a representative democracy like ours, the obedience to simple social duties and the attainment of social equity is better achieved through the stewardship of honest, competent and dedicated elective Public officials from the President down to the barangay level. In fine, the ultimate answer to mass poverty in the midst of continuing affluence of some is the wise exercise of our sacred right of suffrage short of being corrupted by and in exchange for money.

In the meantime, I extend my Merriest Christmas to: my grandchildren—Inky the cutie, Lucky and Ren-Ren the pogie; my children, Bongbong and wife Ping; Dondon, the big boss; Kaye and Cristy; Jo Anne and husband, Paolo and of course to my beautiful wife, Zeny. They are my inspiration.

Likewise, MERRY X’MAS to the: Management and Staff of SUN STAR; Senior Citizens of Pampanga and our advisers ASEC. Leira “Ate Lei” Buan and Mayor Emmanuel Alejandrino; my Cabalen in San Simon, particularly my Kabarangay in Sta. Monica. May the birthday of our spiritual ROCKSTAR—JESUS CHRIST give us strength and wisdom to cultivate the richness of the EARTH for mankind’s well-being.
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