Yesterday morning at work, I was listening online to 90.7 FM Love Radio from Manila through my phone. Sometimes music just isn’t enough for me and so I turn to radio. Usually Filipino radio for some interesting banter and funny ads.

Aside from the super corny jokes that I have a love-hate relationship with, something the presenters said really resonated with me. DJ Nicole Hyala, who has an endless amount of quirk and sass, began talking about the struggles Filipinos face during Christmas.

At first it seems as if she was talking about more superficial struggles, such as feeling frustrated when you’re eating the same meat in meals that you’re tired of, feeling cold at the back when you’re sleeping, Christmas shopping crowds and whatnot. A lot of these are annoyances the typical Filipino encounters during this time of year.

However, Nicole had a much deeper point to drive home, she tells listeners to think before they even complain.

There are many unfortunate Filipinos trying to survive in poverty, whose lives are no better during Christmas time. They would be seeing all the cheer, gifts and families around them, while still worrying about whether they will have something to eat or a proper place to live. Nicole relays this so tactfully, stern yet considerate at the same time. Translated loosely, these are her wise words.

Before you complain about eating the same meat in Christmas meals, think about those who may not even have meals to eat.
Before you complain about having a cold back, think about those who have to sleep being cold all over because they are living on the streets.
This is the season of giving, think more about giving to the less fortunate rather than your own complaints.

Her co-host, Chris Tsuper agreed with her wholeheartedly and this really struck me. We have two hosts preaching against irritable behaviour, encouraging Filipinos to think of others before themselves this Christmas. Emphasising the importance of being grateful and extending a hand to help those in need.

I have never, ever heard such a message (to this heavy, emotional extent) on Australian radio.


Of course, plenty of hosts and radio stations in Australia would mention giving and being charitable during Christmas. Unfortunately, this is only sometimes and only usually when they’re endorsing a charity such as Red Cross or Caritas. But to actually direct our attention to the less fortunate, describe in detail their hardships and even discourage complaining behaviour just for the sake of it? Unheard of for me.

Maybe in the past, people would discuss this in Australian radio stations such as Fox FM or Triple J. However I have not heard any message of this sort on the radio since I first arrived here in 2005.

It just goes to show the cultural differences in attitude between the West and the Philippines. I think it is a great message overall to promote, it would be great to hear this from an Australian radio host.

We all need to have a big think about generosity and kindness this Christmas, beyond how it actually benefits ourselves.


PS. Happy 15th b-day, Love Radio! #kinsenalove

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