Five hours more and still everyone's tied up to the usual preparations for the New Year. This highly anticipated holiday in the Philippines is celebrated mainly with food, to symbolize abundance in the coming year. People are very busy now doing rounds around the kitchen to stock the table with anything that mimicks the shape of money. There's the usual 12 round fruits, each representing a month in a year and the ever-present pancit or any noodle dish to bring in luck of a longer life.
Late afternoon today when I also did my rounds in Carcar's market, I could say that the rains couldn't stop the swarm of people doing last minute shopping along the narrow alleys. Turned muddy by the unusual weather the past few days. Of course don't forget the fact that Filipinos are very fond of doing things at the last minute so every corner, anywhere you turn you'll see people buying bread, fruits and everything they need because you are not supposed to spend on the first day of the year. Superstition dictates that if you spend nothing you'll have plenty of money to spend the rest of the year.
The Filipinos penchant for grand celebrations, not only limited to the New Year celebrations, are influences from the Chinese. And before all fireworks (another great Chinese invention) are lit up later tonight let's think how we can make 2009 a better year for us.
Happy New Year all!