Christmas in the Philippines is a lot more unique than any other Christmas celebrations celebrated in different countries or states. The Filipino tradition invites us once again for the coming of the Savior every year. We Filipinos like to think and make Christmas more whiter than ever before. As usual, if you have guests coming over, you’ll have to prepare everything and make it perfect, but our guest is more precious and he is Jesus, that’s why we prepare alluring designs inside and outside of our place. Aside from decorating our homes, we also prepare different varieties of food even if we don’t have enough budget. Our celebrations are massive and grand. We invite more and more people everyday to come to our house and have a dinner, yet if you compare the dinner held in our house and your dinner if you are living outside the Philippines, you can tell that our dinner is pretty much different than yours, why? Because our dinner isn’t just ordinary, our dinner is like a feast. It’s not the food that unites us, but it is the presence of everyone that makes us more united.
In order for you to stay awake, read this blog while listening to this…
What makes us more different? Our children start their carols as early as possible like in September or October. Our formal Christmas celebrations start on 16th of December when many people go to the Church and celebrate the early morning masses or Misa de Gallo. The Church provides different artistic designs showing that they are celebrating with the people of God and they don’t just do nothing. The churches build small house structures with the following saints displayed inside that recaptures the real way of how was Christ born in the house of Bethlehem. Most Filipinos are Christians and about 80% of them are Catholics, the only Asian-Christian country, that’s why Christmas is the most important holiday in the Philippines.
If you are wondering why Filipinos await the Christmas day and staying late, fully wide and awake during Christmas eve is that, we believe that we are welcoming Jesus in our home and to receive lots and lots of blessings. Most Christians go to church to hear the last Misa de Gallo during Christmas eve and being followed by a feast, a midnight feast called “Noche Buena.” A big celebration together with the family, friends, relatives and neighbors and wishing everyone a Merry Merry Christmas!
When it comes to dishes, Filipinos are extraordinary. We include in our dish: lechon baboy (roasted pig), lechon manok (roasted chicken), ham, fruit salad, sweets, and drinks with different varieties. We also prepare the 12 fruits, a basket full of 12 different kinds of foods believing that it will bring good luck for the upcoming new year.
Because Philippines is an Archepelago and we are devided by large bodies of water, we were made to speak in our own vernacular that’s why we can speak Merry Christmas in different forms. I am an Ilonggo and we say it like ‘Malipayon nga Pascua,’ in Cebuano ‘Maayong Pasko,’ in Tagalog ‘Maligayang Pasko,’ in Bicolano ‘Maugmang Pasko,’ in Pangasinense ‘Maabig ya pasko’ or ‘Magayagan inkianac.’ Some of the Filipinos have their own katutubong dialekto or “Tradition Dialect” and they can also say Merry Christmas in their own way.