It wasn't exactly singing for supper. But as we braved the high notes and the December chill, the realization was clear: we had joined the ranks of those who made money out of Jingle Bells and Silent Night.
Now singing is not really my thing. Whatever "musical" dreams I had were effectively doused when my high-school music teacher ixnayed my audition to the choral group. I have since developed a phobia for Magic Sing, and I think people ought to apply for a license before they can be allowed to do the whole videoke routine in public.
But there was the monumental task of raising funds to prop up next year's grand alumni homecoming. There was the matter of reconnecting with former classmates, of digging into the arsenal of once-upon-a-times and remember whens. There was the business of knocking on doors and appealing on generosities. And so we had to sing.
As "Pasko Na Naman" segued to "Jingle Bell Rock," as we tried hard to make out the lyrics from our kodigos, the caroling became less of an item on our to-do-before-the-25th-year list and more of a bonding moment. Suddenly, we weren't just a ragtag group of carolers anymore: we became giggly teenagers trapped in the bodies of fortysomethings with flashing Santa-Claus caps.
Having skipped carol practice three weekends in a row, I stayed close to where I was safe: with Gina, my "bestest" high school buddy. The intervening years between high school and the here and now may have taken its toll on the closeness, but on this cold, cold night we are huddled together. Reunited by memories of high school and the fact that 25 years later, we still can't sing if our life depended on it.