Holidays were originally thought of as celebration to remember an event or a person. Present-day practice is focused more on the observance of the no-work policy for public and private offices. Employers are opposed to holidays, because for them, holidays are counterproductive, limiting the output of workers and therefore shrinking the profit that can be derived from their businesses. With holidays reduced to a labor issue, workers consider holidays as a right and assert the benefits attached to it.

The dates of holidays in the calendar are printed in red to emphasize its importance. This gave rise to red-lettered days, a reminder just in case you forget. Holiday breaks allow workers to relax and for a moment divert their attention away from work. The need to be entertained and de-stress also feed the entertainment and tourism industries and enable the workers to go back to work with re-energized body.

When I started working, holidays gave me the opportunity to go places, from the simple strolling to hiking and the more adventurous exploration and mountain-climbing. Weeks of preparations ensure everything is in place to maximize enjoyment. Now that I am ‘slightly’ older, I am contented with just visiting places to visually appreciate, minus the ‘conquering’ aspect of the trip.

In the Philippines, the number of holidays is few compared to its neighbors. But we have ways of maximizing holidays by extending the number of days. Work days sandwiched between a holiday and weekends were taken off. If a holiday falls on Thursday, leave of absence will be filed for Friday to have 4 free days until Sunday. Enough to refresh body and soul.

Working in Cambodia, Vietnam and now in Myanmar is good because official holidays in these countries are more than 30 days in a year! A lot of these holidays can be extended to have more days off. I once tried to draft an annual trip calendar, but work sometimes interfere so I scrapped the plan and just played it by ear. When there is an opportunity (and the money), off I go.

The last quarter of the year is full of holidays. I traveled and visited places but not enough time to write about it. My last post was three months ago, I have to catch up.