Christmas Alpahor

Call us silly, but when we were much younger–and there were no televisions and no FM stations to distract us big time–we made up songs and stories. Mostly, we spoofed songs.

Christmas carols were by far the most popular. We would taunt the legit carolers with our small-town versions of songs such as:

1. Joy to the World (Joy, belekoy, hinat-hinat, tolo singko sa plaza…)
2. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (Rodolfo Boy Garcia, pirmi amo an bida. Lalo na sa bakbakan, pirmi amo an tumba. Then one pagi kinunot, kalunggay an bangot…)
3. Whispering Hope (Sopas, tahada, galleta. Palaman mantikilya…)

Of the made-up lyrics, Christmas Alpahor (to the tune of, of course, Christmas Alphabet), stood out. The Sorsoganon version (or what I remember thus far):

C is for the Capitol in front of Yama’s store
H is for the Hospital beside the capitol
R is for the Rural Bank in front of Victor Lee
I is for the ice cream, tinda sa Jomil’s Store
S is for Soreco, brownout na naman
T is for Tamulmol, asawa ni Tobol
M is for the Maya Theater in front of Gala-Rose
A is for the apple, tinda sa JB Line
S is for Soreta, where the radio is repaired
Be good and we’ll bring you everything in your Christmas alpahor.

Don’t look now, but except for Soreco and the Capitol, the places mentioned in the song are already parts of the distant past.

Yama’s store, the provincial hospital, Rural Bank, Jomil’s, Maya Theater, JB Line, the Shopping Center. They have all gone the way of progress and now but figments of Sorsogon’s “once upon a time.”

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