I heard the first Christmas carol this morning over the local radio station. I was lost for a second…. Ah, September! It’s official, the “BER” months are here! They start in SeptemBER, – the doorway to the Yuletide season, a prelude to the spirit of love, joy, peace and giving.
The ” Ber “ months are the most talked about months starting off in September. It makes me realized how fast we get into September, the last dying days of summer and fall are coming on fast. I just told a friend. ” Oh no! Wake me up when September ends.” It’s an old habit of mine, that’s hard to break!
What Is Special About The BER Months?
There is something undeniably special about the ” Ber ” months and also a lot of good reasons we should be excited about them.
To start with, we Filipinos from all walks of life look forward to these special months. Everyone looks for an excuse to be joyful, thankful and a giver. Some have probably heard that the Philippines have the longest celebration of Christmas. I think we just stretch it a little further. We are a happy bunch of God’s creatures. Our friendliness, hospitality and resiliency in any given situation or condition reflects on how we face life squarely. No matter what states we are in or how many losing seasons we might have had with our lives, the Filipino spirit always comes to life and we bounce back to get a fresh start once September begins. We possess the ability to smile in the midst of difficulty and adversity. We have a positive approach towards life with our own small and simple way. We believe life is a celebration of love, of challenge and of the change that is to be treasured. So it doesn’t take a lot to make an average Filipino happy and grateful.
What makes these “Ber” months sound great, is the temperature change, its cool, calm weather. That is why they associated it with ” Brrrr .” It’s a way to say when it is so cold. This almost picture-perfect day is great for taking a good walk, as we appreciate the beauty of creation around us. To enjoy the cool breeze of air passing through the home. Even those who loves to stay at home warm their hearts as they snuggle on the couch. Or they simply enjoy sipping freshly brewed coffee in the late afternoon. At night, it’s easier to sleep for the breeze that is flowing through the windows. A little rain falling, helps to make it less of a struggle to get out of the bed, especially after a good sleep. It’s a bed weather for almost everyone. Overall the breeze is refreshing and just enough to tussle our hair.
And since the weather is cool, it gives us the chance to be extra chic and fashionable. We can be stylish in clothing without looking silly. Putting a scarf makes one looks smarter and feels good, while keeping warm at the same time. Filipinos today, are becoming more mature and adventurous in their styles and choice of clothing. From wearing hats, blazer, cardigan and even boots. That wouldn’t look ridiculous anymore.
Christmas carols are being played and aired on mainstream as early as September first! It’s reminding everyone that the Yuletide season is just a few months away. Who can resist singing along to Christmas songs, whether it’s a favorite one or not? Even “Jingle Bells” can light up your spirit. The magic of Christmas is in the air, Even children know when Christmas is just around the corner. There are children singing Christmas carols here and there. In the Philippines, children usually use handmade musical instruments made of bottle caps, cans, old pots as drums and with their bare hands they make music and sing out loud. Who cares if they sing lyrics incorrectly or out of tune. They gladly render their own version of Christmas carols in a joyful mess and noise for a few coins. After all, the spirit and the message of the season are rejoicing, loving and giving.
Another exciting thing is the Christmas shopping. Feel the last-minute rush. “People making lists, buying special gifts, taking time to be kind to one and all,” as the Jackson 5 song goes. I know some, and a few friends of mine start their Christmas shopping as early as now. Everyone’s busy and the joy of shopping around fully decorated malls and stores while carols play in the background set the shoppers in a festive mood. This is the best time for sales/bargains and promotions of different products and new items for displays. During this time of the year, people have a little extra to spend from incentives, bonuses and gifts, or else they will find a way to get something with what they have. Everyone seems to have a generous heart. Times may be hard but when it comes to this, rich people and poor alike love the idea of gift giving and receiving. And no one seems to mind. But we know what the golden rule tells us. ” It is better to give than to receive.”
And to add more delight, most of us find comfort in all-time favorites food being prepared for Noche Buena. Like different delicacies and desserts, such as “bibingka” (a rice cake), “puto-bungbong” (a cylindrical cake), kalamay” (a sticky sweet delicacy) and other specially made Filipino dishes and mouth-watering food cooked only during this season. The way these hot delights served is just so priceless. We all get our fair shares of different tastes and our bellies are full. This has got to be among the top reasons why we love the ” Ber “ months.
Although there are still special holidays in between, we are so thrilled at the start of the ” Ber ” months. From the comfort it brings to the spirit of joy it spreads we are reminded to have fun and be of good cheer. It is so good to look forward to things that are already form part of our traditions and culture. There is nothing like the Filipino spirit on how they warm their hearts during this time.
So that’s it! You may have your own special celebrations where you lived and how it warms your heart during these wonderful ” BER “ months. Share it with me, I would love to hear from you.