For many of us Christmas in Baguio City is near if the temperature drops significantly, Christmas is near when people would start decorating their homes with Christmas lights and decors. This is the time when you see houses lavishly decorate their houses from inside and out to share a magnificent Christmas sight to passers-by. When i was a child i would always fathom the proximity of Christmas if our teachers would start requiring us to gather bamboo sticks for us to make our Christmas lanterns or “parol”, yes during that time when i was still studying, at least from my experience, we have to go around Baguio City to look for bamboo’s, unlike today where you could just go to a store along Magsaysay Ave. and buy a premade Christmas lantern and cover it up with japanese paper and viola you have project to submit.
Having studied in a catholic school, the then Saint Louis University Boy’s High School, another indicator for me is the fact that we light our advent wreath during our morning ceremonies, and today December 1, 2013 is actually the start of advent. Advent, the time of the year where we commemorate the coming of Jesus Christ to the world to save us from our sins.
Yes, the cold weather, the project requirements and maybe the added ceremonies during our school’s morning ceremony are all indications that Christmas is indeed near. I however, cannot forget what my elementary teacher taught us, about how to know Christmas is near especially in Baguio, without the use of the calendar. Poinsettias, yes Poinsettias or popularly known as the Christmas ornament plants. When I was i child i’d walk from home to our school and during that time when there were still not much buildings in Baguio homes and the streets were lined with poinsettia plants. Our teacher said that when poinsettias turned red, Christmas is near. Of course today you can buy red poinsettias virtually from anywhere and at anytime of the year, but back then poinsettias really turn red come November and December. It was indeed a wonderful sight when you see the poinsettia leaves change from green to red and some species would turn from green to white. Scientifically this change in color may be attributed to the fact that we have longer nights during those months and the darkness actually changes the leaves’ color through a process known as photoperiodism. However to me i interpret the color change by their meaning, Green means hope, it is during the time that the leaves are green that we hope and long for the love of God. Red mean love, this is the time when we receive the love of God, it is during Christmas when God gave his Son to the world and marked our salvation. That I believe is the reason why we Celebrate Christmas.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, and who shall believe in him shall not perish but will have everlasting life” –John 3:16
So is it Christmas in Baguio City Yet? Go out and see if Hope now turned to Love.