A worker standing next to some festive decorations. AFP
The Philippines is known for having one of the world’s longest Christmas seasons, celebrations start in September with house and malls decorated, festive tunes hitting the airwaves and calendars jam-packed with parties.
However, the pandemic seems to be a spoilsport for this year’s four-month-long celebration.
The Philippines has banned gatherings, imposed night-time curfews and many other measures to help curb the spread of the virus that has stifled the economy and left so many jobless.
Jose Mari Chan, the crooner of ‘Christmas In Our Hearts’ that usually indicates the beginning of festivities when it hits the airwaves in September, summed the year as a sad one.
However, the bleak situation of things is not holding Filipinos back from enjoying the Christmas season.
Cecilia Moore recounts as she was purchasing festive decorations for her house that Christmas must be celebrated with or without COVID-19, it is the Filipino tradition.
Moore’s husband lost his job during the lockdown putting a strain on the family’s finances.
She added that decorating her home with colours will help get rid of the gloom hanging over the family.
Although the official Christmas date is in December, there is no explicit reason on why Filipinos start celebrating in September.
According to sociologist Yellowbelle, the reason might be cultural: they love party.
Filipinos are known for their hospitality, they love to entertain, she added.
For Jeffrey Lopez, maker of festive lights, sales have reached 40,000 pesos a day, doubling during the weekends, just as it was pre-pandemic.
"Nothing, not even the pandemic, can stop the coming of Christmas," he added.
A Filipino returning from Brazil tested positive for the P.1 variant after 752 samples were sequenced at the genome centre, the ministry said in a statement.
The country has seen record new cases in three of the past five days, while the infections reported in the past 10 days accounted for a tenth of its total of 702,856 cases.
The world is scrambling to contain the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant, despite travel bans, new lockdowns and a tightening quarantine measures in dozens of countries, amid concerns it could not only be more transmissible, but deadlier.
Fruit has vitamins and minerals that the body needs in abundance. According to Dr. Archana Batra, a dietician and a certified diabetes educator, "Many people consume fruit wrongly, which might cause more harm than benefit if not corrected." She also shares a list of mistakes one makes when eating fruit.
On WhatsApp, people can now use their personalised avatars as profile photos or choose from one of 36 custom stickers reflecting many different emotions and actions.
He is the son of renowned singer and music director Ismail Darbar. Despite hailing from a family that has its roots deep into the Bollywood industry.