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Commercial Gimmicks
« on: July 14, 2007, 08:39:20 PM »
Written By Joe Espiritu
Bol-anon writer based in Jagna, Bohol

Filipinos had been suckers for commercial gimmicks. First, nowhere in the world does Christmas season start early. It is about this time when Christmas songs are not yet heard on the air although there had been announcements regarding the number of days to go until Christmas. This is a form of subtle reminders to go holiday shopping early to avail of low prices and to build up a shopping spree spirit. That is for those who expect money. Another ploy for us to observe the Oktoberfest.

In the Western countries where we love to imitate their traditions, Oktoberfest is supposedly celebrated. This celebration is supposed to be an offshoot of the Harvest Home observed in the British Isles sometime in the last days of August. When the Puritans settled in America , they observed Thanksgiving Day in the first day of November. Some Canadians celebrate their thanksgiving in the second Monday of October. It could be this celebration that was converted into Oktoberfest.

By the name alone, this celebration is purportedly of German origin. The motif of the celebration is Germanic. Huge barrels of beer loaded in wagons pulled by big European workhorses like the Clydesdale, Percheron or Belgian are paraded. The tables full of food like various sausages, hams and cheeses fill the tents. Eating, drinking, dancing singing and other forms of revelry could be found there. However, the Germans say that Oktoberfest is a recent foreign invention.

In some places in Europe , before winter start, herders drive their cows home from the mountains where they are pastured. Some are butchered and made into sausages. Pigs are made into hams. Milk is processed into butter and cheeses. The farmers gather in the grains. Beer and wines are fermented, brandies and whiskeys are distilled. The stored food will be supplies for the winter and spring months. After all of those had been done, there is nothing left but to celebrate. Hence, Harvest Home, Thanksgiving and lately Oktoberfest are celebrated.

The Philippines , a tropical country has no reason to celebrate Oktoberfest. First, we do not have to stock up for the winter. We can grow crops all year round. Our harvest times are November and last days of March to early days of April. The logical months to hold festivities will be December and that is Christmas season and May, the month of fiestas.

Any other celebrations would have to be properly justified. The Filipino has too many holidays. Sometimes when holidays follow one another in the space of three days, the middle day is declared a special nonworking holiday. For daily wage earners, this is a great disadvantage. This too is a bane for manufacturing concerns. Production slows down. Only those who are engage in sales do not close down. Malls are always open during holidays. This could be a reason why the Philippines lag behind in the world market since our productivity is low due to much holidays.

In industrialized nations, holidays are timed to coincide with weekends. In Canada , their holidays except for Christmas and Holy Week are celebrated on Mondays. Besides, their nonworking holidays are few. All right, we may reason out that Oktoberfest is not really a holiday. It is now a month long revelry to those who can afford. However, it may become one if it could be justified. Revelry affect production. In some Western countries, sales of alcoholic drinks are controlled.

They are sold only at government outlets, licensed hotels and restaurants. They are not sold on weekends. Experts say that cars made on Mondays and Fridays are inferior in quality to those made on other weekdays. If the Philippines would like to be competitive in the world market, celebrations must be limited. We have too many of them. Not all of us could be farmers or fishers whose operations are not governed by holidays.

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