Best Holiday Traditions:In the Philippines!
November 8, 2008 1:40am CST
"Christmas" in the Philippines begins as soon as the first "ber" months comes around the corner: September. Yes, four months before the actual date and most of us are already singing Christmas songs and putting up decorations around the house. I think the reason behind this eagerness we Filipinos have for Christmas, is because the season itself is an embodiment of the Filipino character. Being naturally, "masayahin" or cheerful and devout, it's no wonder then that the Paskong Pinoy truly is one of a kind. To date, the Philippines is one of the few countries that practice Simbang Gabi or going to mass for nine consecutive mornings until Christmas morning. You must have enough will power and of course, resolute faith to wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning (groggy and sleepy-eyed) to hear mass and honor the birth of our Savior. How's that for tradition. Let's not also forget the Noche Buena, the Christmas Eve feast that doubles as a family reunion. It's amazing to see that no matter how far away family members and relatives may be, we all come together to eat, talk, celebrate, and have fun as if we'd never been apart at all. Colorful lights, parols, and lanterns.. who could possibly miss these wonderful displays of crafts and design that can be seen literally everywhere? Along the streets, malls, establishments, and our very own homes, these vibrant symbols of Christmas add to the festive air of the season. Another reason to note is the Filipino custom of giving gifts to virtually EVERYONE. May be the person be family, friend, neighbor, or simply an acquaintance; Filipinos just have to give presents. It's also a way of our being hospitable outside the home. To look at this Filipino custom in a spiritual perspective, one could say that this is our way of emulating the way God granted us our salvation through giving us His only Son. Lastly, one of the very best reasons for being a Filipino is our belief that since it is the season for giving, one of the most meaningful gifts we could give is forgiveness. It is our very way of forgetting past grievances and starting anew. Christmas in the Philippines really is remarkable and I definitely would not have it any other way. Happy Holidays!
1 person likes this
12 Nov 08
wow what a nice post...i just want you to know that it has uplifted my hope and my faith...and actually really makes me look forward for this coming holiday because i will be celebrating it with my 3 kids, it will be the first christmas of my youngest baby girl and i hope to make it very meaningful to them...i do not look forward to the gifts that i will be receiving this time but to what i can give back to my parents..even a simple card will do...because this time i am not financially blessed and its a trying time for me and my husband always trying to make ends meet...but still i am happy and i know my kids will be.