Continuing the Beloved Tradition: Filipino Children Go Christmas Caroling in the Middle East

#THROWBACK: Christmas Caroling in the Middle EastPhoto from Angel Gaddi Larena

“Habang bata ka pa…” Isn’t that phrase familiar? Our parents might finish the phrase by saying, “Habang bata ka pa, maglaro ka lang nang maglaro.” or it can be, “Habang bata ka pa, matulog ka na nang matulog.” They also add up reasons like, “Kasi kapag malaki ka na, hindi mo na magagawa iyan.” I get it. We’re growing up and we’re all growing old, but it is still our choice to accept it as true and stop doing things we know we shouldn’t to. You see, you can be a senior citizen and still have the heart of a child! Age is just a number!

#THROWBACK: Christmas Caroling in the Middle EastPhoto from Angel Gaddi Larena

Well, that was the main reason why the adults decided to brighten up more than a few houses or apartments here in Nizwa, Oman through Christmas carols. The adults wanted the children to experience caroling, even if they are living in the Middle East. Never hinder your children’s growth! It reminded me of the inspirational quote, “They told me I couldn’t, so I did.” Nothing is impossible if you put your heart into it!

#THROWBACK: Christmas Caroling in the Middle EastPhoto from Angel Gaddi Larena

Days of continuous practice and hard work paid off because their objective – to reach out to everyone and let them feel the spirit of Christmas – was achieved! The organizers, or should I say managers, put everything in order so we only had to tag along! They arranged all of it from the list of houses we were going to stop at up to the late night food trips. Everyone worked together so we achieved more. It is a memory I will be eternally grateful for being part of!

#THROWBACK: Christmas Caroling in the Middle EastPhoto from Angel Gaddi Larena

Undeniably, experience is the teacher of all things. The children, mostly ranging from ages 7 to 8, involved in this activity got acquainted with a lot of lessons. One of which is nothing worth having comes easy. Practice makes perfect, too! They were able to visit more than twenty houses and gathered more or less 200 OMR. If converted into Philippine peso, it is estimated to be 24,000-25,000 pesos. I’m not even kidding! How generous of the Filipino community here!

#THROWBACK: Christmas Caroling in the Middle EastPhoto from Angel Gaddi Larena

My younger sister was even part of the group. Together with her friends, they sang Give Love on Christmas Day and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. At the start, they sang the first song with deep emotions, avoiding the distractions around them. Each of them knocked at the hearts of many Filipinos which reminded all of us that it’s Christmas season. Like the title says, we should give love on Christmas day, whatever type of love it may be. Forgive your enemies and make up with them. Don’t prolong the argument. To be understood, you first have to understand. So, take the first step. Don’t waste anymore time!

“No greater gift is there than love.” The second song was livelier and more dynamic. The eight kids even brought along their maracas and tambourines! After some time, they greeted everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with harmonizing bubbly echoes coming from the musical instruments!

#THROWBACK: Christmas Caroling in the Middle EastPhoto from Angel Gaddi Larena

We visited other races who are also Christians! For example, we paid a quick visit to a Korean, Indian, Scottish, and American’s residence. These bighearted individuals gave out snacks such as cookies, candy canes, tarts, and juices. The supportive families came along too, but we just watched them over and over again at the side. We took pleasure in the activity that lasted for three days!

#THROWBACK: Christmas Caroling in the Middle EastPhoto from Angel Gaddi Larena

The carolers usually sing in front of your doorstep, but we were permitted to stay inside and hang around for a bit. That was one of the things that made this caroling session different from the ones done in the Philippines. We met up with people we knew, including other nationalities and not just random neighbors. Plus, we traveled using a car because the houses weren’t that close to one another.

#THROWBACK: Christmas Caroling in the Middle EastPhoto from Angel Gaddi Larena

It was an enjoyable activity both for the children and adults/teenagers who came along. We got to mingle with each other, which is something that rarely happens now. We bonded longer than we expected and laughed for reasons we didn’t even understand. We were in the company of one another and that’s what Christmas is all about. It’s about giving, expressing our gratitude, and bridging gaps to all relationships. On behalf of the carolers, thank you for the warm accommodation and thoughtful souvenirs!

This Christmas, we were united as one!

“Christmas is the season of joy, holiday greetings exchanged, gift-giving, and families united.”

–Norman Vincent Peale






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