Pinoy Christmas

Manila Travel Blog

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Midnight mass

What makes the Filipino Christmas different?

Is it about the tons of Christmas lighting around the metro, enough to burn down the houses and shoot up electric bills? Or is it the fancy lanterns and Christmas decorations all across the malls and house frontages? Could it be the traditional Noche Buena feast that almost all households are fretting in preparation and in spending for? It could also be the never ending Christmas parties for the office, for friends, for church, or the other occassions squeezed in between  like birthdays (such as mine!), baptisms, and weddings that you all need to juggle on your schedule. Can it be the exchange gifts and not to mention the cheek to cheek crowd and unbearably long lines at all the malls, stalls and shopping arena sales available to get hold of something to give to your loved ones, something that a Filipino would rarely miss! 

Is it about using up the 13th month pay that all employees look forward to or the cooler weather compared to the more humid one for the most part of the year?

It could also be the long standing tradition of dragging yourself to the 9 pre Christmas eve masses called 'Misa de Gallo' all of which normally happen at dawn (around 4am).

Traditional Christmas food: putobumbong and bibingka
Upon completion of which it is believed that you can make a wish. This has become through the years though more of a 'Courtship' mass for teenagers excited to hang out with their partners or sneak a peak at someone they're eyeing.

And then you also have the must-not-miss delicacies that you can unfortunately get year round in some locations, but nevertheless still fun to enjoy on this season such as 'putobumbong' and 'bibingka' both rice cakes.

But what I really think makes the Filipino Christmas different is the gathering of family and friends on this rare occasion. The greater population of OFW's (Overseas Foreign Workers) and other members of the family scramble to fly in from various parts of the globe and archipelago to join their families, and even foreign partners of intercultural marriages rampantly enjoy this occasion with their local relatives.

Our Christmas feast!

Most families still share the 'Noche Buena' on Christmas eve after exchanging gifts. A staple for most tables would be the 'Queso de bola' Edam Cheese and 'Hamon' or sweet ham. You also have the never ending salads (in my family's case, fruit, macaroni and potato salads) and a bit of drinking right after.

Above all the frills of this season what really makes the Pinoy Christmas memorable is fairly simple: spending it with those we love most.

blurbmoi says:
Thanks Steven, you should. Christmas back home is really a big thing, am sure you'll enjoy especially if you have friends or family there.
Posted on: Jun 23, 2010
baliw-katok says:
Hi Nina, I've been already 5 times in Philippines, but I never had the luck to celebrate there Christmas and New Year. Thanx for showing this in ur blog. :-)
Posted on: May 05, 2010
blurbmoi says:
uy,thanks! so glad you liked the blog, yup its really challenging for a lot of filipinos overseas:-( just wanted to share a lil bit of what i knew.
Posted on: Feb 04, 2009
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Midnight mass
Midnight mass
Traditional Christmas food: putobu…
Traditional Christmas food: putob…
Our Christmas feast!
Our Christmas feast!
Small group Christmas party!
Small group Christmas party!
More colorful lanterns! A childs …
More colorful lanterns! A child's…
My colorful creation: Niñas vers…
My colorful creation: Niña's ver…
Tons of Christmas decors
Tons of Christmas decors
Lights littering the malls
Lights littering the malls
Lanterns all around
Lanterns all around
Malls aglow
Malls aglow
Hanging out after my Birthday feas…
Hanging out after my Birthday fea…
How to make bibingka
How to make bibingka
The start of putobumbong
The start of putobumbong
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photo by: Deats