From the 16th of December, people in the Philippines have been hearing the simbang gabi (dawn masses). Filipinos go to church at four o’clock in the morning and afterward have breakfast together. A traditional drink during this season is a warm ginger tea called salabat and a traditional treat is a flat but thick yellow rice cake called bibingka. They have their parols and other Christmas decorations. My granny used to marinate the ham or cure it for Christmas. We used to have keso de bola, and other kakanin, mostly made of rice flour. Every school, office , group, club will have their Christmas parties.
The Philippines is known for having the world’s longest Christmas season. The four months that end with the syllable “–ber” are considered Christmas months, which is why stores and households start playing carols on the first day of September! And the holiday season extends beyond December 31st. It doesn’t end until the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings (Tatlong Hari) which falls around January 6.
What every Filipino looks forward to is Noche Buena, the grand family dinner after the midnight mass. Christmas morning is the time for visiting relatives. Filipinos wear new if not their best clothes. Children do mano, which is kissing or bringing to their forehead the hand of an elderly person. This is when they receive their pamasko, certainly aguinaldo from godfathers and godmothers. Christmas lunch and Christmas dinner are with family.
rejoice! for He is coming
Lord Jesus is born
(c) ladyleemanila 2016