Pinaskuhan is a half meant Cebuano Christmas joke. Alright, I just made that definition up but that often (if not always) translates though.
Pinaskuhan literally means a gift for Christmas derived from the Filipino word for Christmas, Pasko. And yes, it may be in cash or in kind.
While in other countries, people give gifts to their loved ones, in the Philippines, you can give presents even to strangers or acquaintances. The concept of pinaskuhan is a present to anyone, as one could say to a mere acquaintance, “Maayong Pasko, pinaskuhan unya nako…” (Merry Christmas, I am expecting a present from you).
Most people take or say it simply as a greeting wishing somebody a merry Christmas while there are a few people who take this seriously and may not like it for it implies obliging someone to give the gift. This actually reminds me of the banning of Christmas greetings by airport employees one holiday season at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The management wanted to avoid the implication of asking for gifts or tip from the travelers by the airport staff.
On the other hand, I also believe there is nothing to really rage about. After all, it is often a half meant joke and the decision lies on the prospect giver. And, it does add to the Christmassy feel…sometimes, it even reminds us of the season in case we intend to give anyway but got too busy of some other priorities. It is a matter of perspective.
Well, good thoughts (hehehe…thanks for the good thoughts Diem!) can still pass as pinaskuhan especially to those people who matter to you and to whom you matter to. After all, those who really and deeply know you understand you (or your financial crisis) and appreciate your mere presence. They are more than joyful to know you are still alive for them to spend Christmas with you or for you to hear the greeting and respond to it.
But hey, before we forget. Christmas is not really about the gifts…it’s not even about us and our friends…or at least not directly. All we really need to know, we learned in Kindergarten (Robert Fulghum), so class… Why do we celebrate Christmas again?
And if we know that, we realize we don’t have to rant about Christmas traditions or how people go about the season. Because even if we don’t like how they celebrate it, we know it’s not the thing that really matters. Anyhow, some people do need some reminders, so might as well send them back to kindergarten. J
So, for Christmas, best wishes to all people in the world and wish you more Christmases to come to celebrate a Child born! That’s my pinaskuhan.