“What do you want for Christmas?” is a question that has been asked among friends, family, and colleagues as soon as the ber months came strolling in. Christmas, after all, is a time for giving, sharing, and saying thank you to the people who have been there for you in the year that has passed and every year before that. With the holidays right around the corner, we ask some personalities around campus to tell us what’s at the top of their wish lists this Christmas and we soon learn that the best gifts don’t come wrapped.
All I want for Christmas is a little extraordinary
Tina Largabo smiles at us as we ask for a moment of her time. Although we tell her we only have one question, she doesn’t seem to mind as we can’t seem to stop asking about more. Sitting behind the salty and sweet snacks in Perico’s, this Cebuano tells us why seeing her siblings has always been bittersweet and how one day she hopes that will change.
Ever since she was young, the only chance that she gets to see her brothers and sisters is when there is a death in the family. She dreams of a time when all of them could get together but this time for a much needed and deserved vacation. All together, they are five siblings: one each in Cebu, Bacolod, and Tanay, with a fifth sibling who has passed away.
She continues to sell candies and chocolates to students passing by between telling us more about her dream Christmas. Nothing beats lechon to her, especially when we are talking about a trip back to Cebu. If given the chance to spend time with her siblings, she would likely always be out of the house with them. Tina does not want extraordinary gifts from extraordinary places. She just wants good company, which given the situation is extraordinary in its own right.
All I want for Christmas is good health
Vicresio Cimafranca is just one of the many kuyas and ates manning the food stalls in Animo Biz. We ask him for a quick interview, just after he finishes handing a student his order. In school, he’s one of the kuyas flipping burger patties in Sandwich Corner, while at home he’s a husband and a father of two.
“Ang gusto ko lang ngayong Pasko ay good health…malusog na katawan. Walang sakit, walang mga [karamdaman],” Vicresio says, then adds that, “Siyempre kasi ‘yung Pasko para sa mga bata naman ‘yan eh. Wala na tayo ‘dun.” He shares that he would probably buy his wife and kids new clothes, or take them out to eat. His kid has been asking for a dinner at Kenny Rogers. Christmas, according to him, is also about giving, whether it be material, store-bought things or something intangible.
All I want for Christmas is time with my favorite people
Amelita Cutamora was cleaning the offices in the 5th floor of Bro. Connon hall when we approach her. She is a hardworking mother of one.
When we ask her what she wants this Christmas, her answer is immediate. “Ang gusto ko lang ngayong Pasko ay ang kasama ko lang ang pamilya ko,” she replies, a shy smile on her face. Amelita wishes for a simple gathering with her family and relatives for the holidays. “‘Tsaka masaya siyempre,” she adds.
All I want for Christmas is an international family reunion
Standing behind the turnstiles and ID scanners at the entrance of the Learning Commons, security guard Marites dela Cruz smiles shyly when asked for an interview.
“Ang gusto ko lang ngayong Pasko ay magkasa-kasama yung pamilya,” she replies. She shares that with everyone’s hectic schedules, and with some of her relatives working and living abroad, it’s hard to sneak in some time for one another, so Christmas is the perfect time for them to have their family bonding time.
As for the activities that they’ll do together, Marites just wants a simple family reunion with a program where the relatives could showcase their talents in dancing, singing, and the like.
Marites, who is also a mother of two–a boy and a girl–shares that they are foregoing gifts this Christmas for more important things–their children’s future. “Actually, sa ngayon, hindi kami nagbibigay ng mga gift kasi ang priority namin yung pag-aaral nila. Pagka mabigyan namin sila ng regalo man, yung kailangan nila sa pang araw-araw nila,” she admits.
All I want for Christmas is a heavy dose of happy
John Andrew Abkilan is the first face to greet you as you enter South Gate. Carrying a security scanner and a smile from ear to ear, he happily agrees to share his Christmas wishes.
When we ask him to describe his dream Christmas, he answers without missing a beat, saying “Masaya.” This would not be the only time he mentions that word. He continues sharing about the importance of family and good health and how Christmas needs the two to be truly special and great. He tells us about how he is excited for the new year and simply wishes for much of the same.
We couldn’t help but see the beauty of the holiday in his answers. We learned that we already have what we want for Christmas. All we can really ask for is the chance to enjoy it.