Day 30 - It's not Christmas without...

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3 years ago

December 15, 2020. 10 days to go and it's Christmas! I was browsing my Instagram page and bumped into one of my previous posts. Originally, I posted this 2 years ago from my page, but I will add a few things with the current situation right now. For my previous post on Instagram, click/tap the image below to read more.

It's not Christmas without celebrating it the Filipino Way! And here are a few things how we Filipinos celebrate the yuletide season. Unlike other countries, we have the longest celebration starting from September to December since the countdown starts on the very 1st day of September. As people will prepare to purchase gifts for their loved ones, set-up their Christmas decorations, and every corner around the city full of lights and other decorations. Another thing I would add here is the misconception of the Godparents every Christmas. Let us not forget the reason why you chose them as the Godfather and Godmother as a role model of your child, and if you're not able to provide or take care of your offspring, the Godparents will step in as their parents. Remember, the Godparents are also making a living of their own. Moving on, the Filipino Christmas season starts from September to December and ends in the 3rd or 4th week of January for the festivities of Santo NiƱo and the procession of the Black Nazarene. Quite long, isn't it?

Aside from John Lennon's Happy XMas (War Is Over), Mariah Carrey's irritating hit single of which I'm not going to mention, and other Christmas songs. That feeling when you hear Filipino songs about Christmas, nothing beats to the music of Jose Mari Chan that is played everywhere wherever you go.

Another part of our Christmas tradition is called Misa de Gallo (translates to Midnight Mass). A 9-day mass starting from December 16 to 24. Once the bell rings at 4:00 am, it is a signal for churchgoers to attend, not just to give thanks but in preparation for celebrating Christmas Eve. It is believed that if you completed 9 days, you'll need to make a wish. After the mass, street food will be served outside from Bibingka to Puto Bumbong (both are translated to rice cakes).

Hours before the clock struck at midnight on Christmas Day, families gather for Noche Buena (translates to Christmas Eve) and will be served along with food like Queso de Bola, Lechon, Hamonado, Pasta. On Christmas Day, most of us would like to go somewhere else, to the mall, the park, amusement centers, pay a visit with our Godparents? Or at the church before going to what was scheduled for your family.

For Media Noche (known as New Year's Eve or Bisperas ng Bagong Taon in our language), it's the same thing that goes for Christmas Eve. As the clock struck by midnight on the 1st day of January, we would make a lot of noise by banging our pots, pans, blow handmade horns, and light up fireworks or firecrackers (which are now banned). Then, we eat after the merryment.

This is how we celebrate Christmas the Filipino way, but with the current situation right now there are only a few things we can do this season. Most people will search for a live stream to attend the midnight mass in the comfort of their home, make a video call for their relatives, children are now allowed to go outside with their families but Amusement Centers and Movie Theaters are still closed today. For buying your gifts and wrapping them up make sure its sanitized first before giving them to your loved ones.

I know that most of us are hooked into Santa Claus and other ways how the western world celebrates this season, but let us not forget how our ancestors and up to this day how we celebrate the season of giving. Let's also not forget it is also the season of hope. This year was like a nuclear bomb exploded everything on its path, and it is a very challenging one. The bigger you are, the harder you fall, remember. We need to bounce back! Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Lead Image was taken a year ago at Coreon Gate - Makati Avenue, City of Makati, Philippines

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