Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Namamasko Po

From HunnieBunch Flickr
During December 25, it is customary for us Filipinos to go around the houses of ninongs and ninangs to ask them for pamasko. Filipino children would wear their new clothes, shoes and other stuff they got as gifts. Sometimes they get gifts, some get aguinaldo, then they are served with some food or goodies left from last night's Noche Buena.

Pamamasko is our way of strengthening our social and communal linkages, bonding with the family and close friends. But there's another facet of this custom.

From USTNJ Blog
Even complete strangers can do the pamamasko. Before it was only children who do this, now, even the not so young do the same thing. People would go house to house, knocking at the doors asking for Christmas gifts and hoping for the generosity of the owners of the house.

If parents or guardians accompany the children while namamasko on every house, it is ok. Unfortunately, what happens is that adults are the ones asking for pamasko and take advantage of the holidays, minus the kids.

Christmas in the Philippines sometimes blur the lines of pamamasko and begging. In the Filipino Culture, asking for pamasko while you're a child or with a child is ok, and people will be glad to give whole-heartedly. If an adult is the one asking pamasko, people would have second thoughts, not unless they first sing a few Christmas songs.

Although Christmas is for all ages, aguinaldo and pamamasko is supposed to be exclusively for children. If you're an adult already, you should be counting what you can give instead of what you will receive during the Holidays.