Many of our current Christmas traditions originated in Anglo-Saxon countries, so the standard imagery for the holiday season reflects a Northern climate: snow, pine trees, holly berries, and the like. Winning Writers subscriber Liz Davies, currently living in Manila, sent us this different but no less festive depiction of Christmas down south. “Happy Holidays–Maligayang Pasko–as they say here in The Philippines,” Liz writes. Enjoy more of her work at Winning Writers here and here.
Night falls early now, on a cool breeze
After a clear salmon and silver evening.
Little bats caper, stitching the skies
With carefree parabolas, and twittering
With the joy of mosquitoes for supper.
The roads light up one by one in the dusk
Colours deepen as night falls, and old Manila
Awakes; the ancient socialite adorns herself,
Drapes herself in glittering, flashing gems.
The parols*, like freewheeling rose windows
Seem to float and spin along the roads
As concrete falls away in the velvet dark,
And waterfalls of cool fire fall,
Fall on trees in icicles and stars.
Fleets of electric reindeer fly, legs flailing
And getting nowhere, and the malls deck their halls
With giant spiral crystals of styrofoam, so strange
For people who have never seen the snow.
*Parols are round stained glass effect lamps