How do you celebrate Christmas? Simple. Celebrate it at home.
Philippines is noted to have not only the longest Christmas celebration, but also the most serene and most interesting way of observing the yuletide season. When September begins, we can already feel the cool breeze of the air, plus the atmosphere of it already indicates that it is indeed the start of Christmas season. Christmas songs are already playing on air, lanterns are already hanging in our windows and malls are already displaying their extravagant Christmas decorations. But those are just the prelude of a more meaningful way of celebrating Christmas.
Filipinos are fond of secret gift giving called Monito Monita. They pick a name randomly and will give him/her a gift according to the category of the day (something bgm something colorful, something soft). Sure enough, students and workers alike, man or woman, young or young at heart, enjoy this kind of Christmas treat for this is a true testament that even small things can make you smile. To satisfy one’s cravings and hunger for unique delicacies, Philippines has the puto bumbong and bibingka, two of the most favorite delicacies especially during Christmas season. Puto bumbong, prepared using a sticky rice steamed inside a ‘bumbong’ or small bamboo tube, and the bibingka, a rice cake with salted eggs and fresh coconut meat, are normally sold at churches during the misa de gallo or simbang gabi. On the other hand, the simbang gabi is celebrated in a span of nine days, starting at the dawn of December 16 up until the 24th, usually starting as early as four or five in the morning . It’s a common tradition for the Filipinos to complete the nine-day mass celebration because according to the elderly, completing the simbang gabi will turn all your wishes into reality. But more than that, Filipinos attend the masses to give thanks to the Lord for yet another fruitful year and hope for another productive year ahead. Kids also take advantage of this as they go roam the subdivision and sing their Christmas carols. Caroling is a very common thing among Filipinos, kids or the kids and young-at-hearts. Kids bring their improvised drums made of milk bottles wrapped in a cloth and rubber, and together they sing their hearts out in the tune of their favorite Christmas songs. For the more professionals, they bring their guitars and other instruments with them, and like almost everybody else, they will knock at your door and will either seranade you with their heart-warming Christmas songs or will make you groove in their upbeat Christmas carols. Many schools, offices and organizations, and even groups of friends and families also hold their Christmas parties as early as October or November. This is their way of expressing their joy, excitement and gratitude for yet another year that had fruitfully came their way.
Nonetheless, what’s even more important than the usual gatherings and parties is the Noche Buena, a Christmas feast held a day before the Christmas Day. Noche Buena is also an integral part of the Filipino holiday because this is where families gather together in their dining table, enjoy the food they all prepared and wait until the clock strikes midnight to celebrate the birth of Jesus. On Christmas day, families go to church to hear the Christmas mass, visit their friends and relatives to share ‘aguinaldos’ or gifts and share yet another festive Christmas lunch and dinner. All these and more are some of the most memorable Christmas celebrations in the Philippines. What made it even more special is that Filipinos tend to celebrate Christmas with their extended families or with their families at the comfort of their own homes. Because for the Filipinos, there can be no better place to spend this special yuletide season than in the corners of their much deserved homes. Thus, Christmas is the perfect time to enjoy intimate family moments together in the corners of your new home. As a property developer with almost four decades of expertise in delivering quality housing projects in well-developed communities, Stateland, Inc. continues to provide Filipino families the houses that they rightfully deserve. With its durable, sustainable and stylish houses crafted in well-built and well-designed communities, every Filipino family would love to spend every important occassions in the comforts of their own house with the presence of their loved ones. As of to date, Stateland, Inc. has seven on-going projects in the province of Cavite and Laguna, and has over 40 finished projects in its portfolio. Its newest developments, the Washington Place, sets and redefines affordable and luxury living in the comforts of lush greeneries of the South without alienating yourself from the modernization of the Metropolis; while the Gran Avila and Casa Laguerta is every Filipinos’ realization of quality
Christmas is for everyone. Every nation has a unique way of celebrating it, but Filipinos do it best. With its long festive celebration, sumptuous and classic Filipino delicacies, remarkable and inviting Christmas decorations and homeland traditions, every Filipino would want to make the most out of their year by celebrating Christmas at their home lands, with their loved ones, at the comfort of their own homes.
Washington Place shines brightly with these sparkling angels.
Monito monita, anyone?
Christmas eve wouldn’t be complete without the traditional Ham and Queso de bola
Christmas in the Philippines shines everywhere, anytime.
Ahh… the ever famous bibingka and puto bubong sold in the streets especially during the Misa de Gallo (simbang gabi). Best served while it’s hot 🙂
Christmas is for families. The essence of Christmas is not about how much money you have, how many dishes you have in your table, or how many gifts you have received. The important thing is, you have your family with you.
Where will you celebrate your Christmas?
Disclaimer: Photos are from various and random sources. No copyright infringement intended.