Discovering the Meaning of Christmas in a Chowking Commercial

I have finally decided to get into the blog craze taking over the Flips. At first I thought it would be so unjeromemish to do this. After all, I don't like taking part in something after everyone had already taken a large bite out of it.

Take Harry Potter for instance. The reason I never jumped on the bandwagon is because half the world is already reading the seven book series by J.K. Rowling. It took a good nudge by Jean (a friend) to convince me that Harry Potter is a story worth reading.

When I look back at it, it was very narrow-minded of me to think of Harry Potter as just another typical fantasy novel. My nature is always to keep an open mind about everything.

As with Harry Potter, I finally realized that blogs do have its benefits, and, therefore, I'm giving credit where credit is due. Today (December 04, 2005 01:58 AM), I am starting my blog.

Last night, I saw this Chowking (a Chinese fast food) commercial. The background song went something like ...muling makita ka at makasama ka sa araw ng pasko... (to see you, to be with you with you on Christmas day). There weren't any dialogue between the people in the commercial which makes the meaning of the scenes up for interpretation by the viewer.The setting was inside a typical Filipino house during Christmas day.

Christmas in the Philippines is actually a time for family and extended family. Most Filipinos working abroad would go back to the Philippines to see their family and celebrate this special day.

On this day, a typical Filipino home would be filled with extended family. Cousins would be asked to get acquainted with each other. Aunts and uncles would be busy handing out presents to their nieces and nephews. This is also a good time for the whole family to catch up on each others lives.

Amid the merriment happening, an old man (most probably the father of the adult people and the grandfather of the children noisily playing around him) is sitting alone on a chair. He looks lonely. One of his sons goes to speak with him. The old man asks for his daughter. It is evident on the way he talks that he wasn't able to see his daughter for a very long time.

Now, the daughter slowly makes her way towards her father. The chattering stops. Everybody turn towards the door. She is carrying a baby, but there's no man beside her. The father either did not claim the child as his or was ashamed to face the family from whom he took away a special little girl. I get the feeling she had this baby at such a young age which may have caused her to run away or leave home.

*At present, teenage pregnancy is to some extent pitiful. But back then, it was shameful, and the blame was placed mostly on the girl.

Finally after a deafening silence, the daughter reaches her father cautiously taking his hand to get his blessing. The father after a few seconds decides to give his blessing then takes his grandchild into his arms, and everything else that happened before had been forgotten.

This proves the power of the spirit of Christmas among us all. It can make us give willingly. It can make us forgive and forget a wrongdoing against us.

What I liked best about this commercial is that it was very Filipino. The big family, the various foods, the festive atmosphere, the respect for seniors, and the story of forgiveness between a father and his daughter.

Just a few days ago, I thought that Christmas was only for the kids. I thought I was past that stage wherein Christmas can make me excited, sentimental, and happy.

But just today, listening to Filipino singers render classic Christmas carols made me feel like a ten-year-old kid again. Contrary to popular opinion in the Philippines, Christmas affects us all. It is not only for the rich. It isn't only for the kids. It is for us all. Young, old, rich, and poor.