Written by: Chris
Edited by: Sarah
Visual by: Summer
With the holiday season approaching and Manila easing restrictions, Christmas is starting to regain its festivity. Streets are bustling once more, shops are crowded with people searching for presents, and Manila as a whole is adorned with colorful lights that signal the cheer to come. Bamboo Telegraph interviewed members of the ISM HS community to get their perspective on these changes, and what hopes they have for Christmas 2021.
Tippi, a junior, decided to embrace the warmth of Christmas with her loved ones, commenting, “This year, my plans for Christmas are to spend it with my family and friends here.” However, she lamented the current travel restrictions imposed in response to the emergent Omicron variant. “I wish it was different so I could visit my cousins in Hong Kong who I haven’t seen in 2 years.” An anonymous junior said that though he’s experienced hard times of late, he’s “very hopeful and optimistic for the opportunity and time to help [himself] focus back on school.” He adds that “My hope for this Christmas break is to utilize this given time efficiently so that I can recover from the isolation [I felt] during the pandemic and ease the transition back to school so that I can enjoy and participate in the rich learning I have been missing out on.”
Mudit, a junior, took an introspective approach to his Christmas plans, stating that “I just want to be more productive this break and I want to be able to go out.” Meanwhile, sophomore Jinny plans to “go out and eat something delicious with my family, which didn’t happen last year. It’s also my birthday on the 26th, so I think I will prepare for my birthday.”
Reflective of these students’ hopes, Manila itself is slowly returning to normalcy. Walking through High Street, you can see this everywhere, with people eating at restaurants, overlooking mini-concerts, and gathering to take pictures around sights such as the towering Christmas tree. With Manila’s completely vaccinated population now at around 66%, the future is truly looking brighter than it has in a long time, boosting the already promising premise of the holidays.
Christmas has always been a time to celebrate hope, family, and comfort. With the pandemic’s spectre potentially beginning to lift, these ideas are becoming increasingly more prominent in our lives. The streets are bustling, the shops are crowded, and Manila is adorned with vibrant, festive lights. With luck, this will only improve, and Christmas 2021 is sure to hold a special place in our hearts with joy and celebration.
“National Covid-19 Vaccination Dashboard: Department of Health Website.” National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard | Department of Health Website, https://doh.gov.ph/covid19-vaccination-dashboard.
“Manila Population 2021.” Manila Population 2021 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs), https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/manila-population.