We didn't just have a Santa Claus to bring us gifts when we were young, instead we have three, the Three Kings!
The feast of the Three Kings--"Tres Reyes" or "Tatlong Hari" in Tagalog--is traditionally observed on January 6 but after the changes of Vatican II, it has become to be observed on the first Sunday after the New Year.
Back then, on the Eve of Epiphany, Saturday evening, we would have been busy picking, cleaning and polishing our shoes. A feat in itself as Saturday evenings in my household was Turbo Rangers and Time Quest night and ordinarily, nothing could prevent us from watching these shows.
The trick about which pair of shoes to leave for the Three Kings is to pick the one that is the biggest or longest. Why? So that the Magi would be forced to leave more candy and money.
We knew how to deal with these Wise Guys from afar and we wanted our rewards from being, well, trying to be good for a whole year.
The task of choosing and cleaning the shoes completed, we would then line our now pretty and trophy shoes in a neat line by the large main window in our "sala" and decorate them with the figures of the Three Kings snatched from the "Belen."
All of these done, we of course go back to watching our shows and then afterwards, reluctantly go to sleep as we wait with frenetic excitement for the next day with its promise of possible reward to arrive.