Our Family Christmas Traditions and Values: an Ethnography

By Kale Luaton


Preparation and repacking the relief goods for the people of Ando, Borongan, Eastern Samar

The vivid image of devastated landscape in Eastern Samar and Leyte keeps on haunting my memory after my last visit to help my relatives and fellow ‘Waraynon’ for an immediate relief. It is the reason why I could not even imagine how to celebrate the longest celebration of the year particularly if the appearance of distress is still confronting me face to face. For once I confronted the celebrant, “Give me enough reason to be merry. Why should I be happy for your birthday?” To my disappointment I closed my eyes and stood in silence as if I was waiting for a response. Then I heard a tiny voice said, “Tay, in na or kain na” (Let us eat). Yesnile, my son held my hand and pulled me near the dining table asking us to eat. A thought suddenly popped in, “Perhaps the answer to my question is nowhere else to be found except here in front of our dining table with my family.” While the feeling of desolation and misery continuously wounds my heart towards my townsmen in Eastern Samar, I think that some family traditions and values contribute a tremendous factor to be a resilient and strong-spirited Filipino individual in the midst and even in the aftermath of catastrophic events such as natural disasters.

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