The number of well-wishers typically swells during Christmas Day itself. People you don't know suddenly appear in front of your home and greeting you "Merry Christmas!" usually without the sincerity but seemingly as a substitute to a demand to be given money. We are no scrooges and we even prepared a budget for carolers and well-wishers based on the people who typically showed up in the place where we used to live but then we expected mostly kids in the neighborhood, the same ones who probably went caroling the previous nights.
We did not expect to see entire families going around and stopping by each house to ask for pamasko. It was not like this when we were young (i.e., our childhood years). There seems to be a lot more namamasko these days and this mendicancy has become a bit if not quite invasive. Given, it is a sad sight and a sad commentary on Philippine society. And I am sure that parents who brought their children (and in many cases even carried their babies) probably meant well but then there are deeper issues pertaining to these that seem to be beyond our understanding, and pure and simple compassion should not be the sole basis for dealing with them. It made me wonder if the social welfare department was really doing their jobs and if this was another case to support the push for more liberal if not radical reproductive health laws in this country. It was obvious that the couples were not in the best position to raise and support their children, and relying on the charity of others seem to be quite unfair and even unjust.