Social Icons

Monday, November 12, 2012

About Simbang Gabi, Puto Bumbong, & Christmas Carols: 10 Things I Love About "Krismas in da Pilipins"

We’ve past Halloween season. We’ve paid our due respect to our departed loved ones.

Now, the focus of the people is on the yuletide season. The hustle and bustle of the metro is on. The big rush on the streets, the busy shopping centers and malls, the overcrowding in Divisoria. Christmas songs being heard from every corner, from every houses. Indeed, there is no stopping the onset of the grandest season of the year. 

This time, I'll make a countdown of the different things I love about celebrating Christmas in Pinas. For us working abroad, nothing can beat the longing we feel every year that we miss celebrating Christmas back in Pinas with our family, relatives, and friends. It's hard. No! It's really hard. So I'll just contain myself enumerating things that will somehow ease that feeling of isolation from the rest of the family during Christmas. 

As a Filipino, we have intrinsic qualities that separate us in celebrating Christmas. Most often, we brand our celebration "Christmas Pinoy Style". I would proudly say that we're the only nation which celebrates this festivity in a month long period.

And so here's my list of things I love about celebrating Christmas in Pinas.

1. SIMBANG GABI - Topping the list is the "simbang gabi". It officially starts at the dawn of December 16. Though I haven't completed a complete cycle of it yet it always fascinates me when I see people waking so early in the morning and rushing to the church to attend the mass. No matter how tired they were during the day, many wouldn't miss this tradition. It's one of the distinct event that makes us celebrate Christmas the "pinoy way".

2. PUTO BUMBONG - Who would miss this sumptuous delicacy every Christmas. What's amusing about this tradition is the idea that "you should buy and eat it after the simbang gabi". It's like it's the perfect time to eat it. This one is made of mostly "malagkit rice" that eating one slice or piece will make your stomach full already.

3. CAROLINGThe tradition of Christmas caroling has been around for a very long time. It is a tradition that many people love, young and old alike. It is a way to spread the holiday spirit without spending a lot of money. It is also a way to lift the spirits of those that cannot get out and about during the holiday season, such as those confined to nursing homes. Christmas caroling is also used as a way to raise money for charities during the holiday season. What excites me most about the caroling fever during Christmas is when I see children go to every houses and starts singing with instruments some of which are improvised and even when lyrics and voices disagree to them. It's cool right?

4. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AND LANTERNS - These are the real indication that Christmas is around the corner. Seeing these flashy lights and lanterns in different colors twinkling at night on every houses, on main roads and the likes. It's the grand symbol of the approaching season. I can vividly recall during grade school and high school days, we used to prepare our own lantern as our project in one of our subjects. It's fun though. 

5. CHRISTMAS TREE - Without these Christmas ornament at home, it's a dull moment for you during Christmas. I mean who won't be tempted to rush and buy these decors? Everyone does right? This is one of the symbols that Christmas is alive and that everyone is in merriment anticipating the onset of the season. At home we usually busy ourselves preparing this after the "undas". And also, you can really tell it's yuletide season already when malls and shopping centers alike start decorating. When shops start selling this Christmas ornament.

6. EXCHANGE GIFTS - This is the exciting part. Everyone in the house buys a secret gift for the member of the family and put it under the Christmas tree. It will only be opened on Christmas day. The funny thing about it is that when you have toddlers and small kids alike, they are always tempted to take a peek on the gift to the point that sometimes they would really open it prior to the big day especially if the gift is for them.

7. THE FOOD - NOCHE BUENA - I so love this part of the celebration. Fooood! Drooling! hahaha. As a food lover, I always look forward to the menus that we are going to prepare during Christmas time. All time favorite of the family and even other household are spaghetti and pansit. Of course, the queso de bola won't be missed out along with the "HAMON". Buko salad or any type of salad is in the house too. Cakes and pastries, Chicken menus and pork barbeque. And by the way, this is also the time where you would hit the weighing scale more than your previous weight because of the food that you drooled in. That's the sad part of it hahahaha!

8. RUSH HOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING - Many would say, we do our Christmas shopping a month before or weeks before. But mind you, there will always be rush hour shoppers and it counts in thousands. We never learn about early preparation and we somehow always resort to rush buying. But the thing about it too is the excitement while you shop on a rush. Seeing people queue along with you inside the department store or supermarket is fun. Watching people running errands just to complete what's on their Christmas list is a joy to behold.

9. THEME PARKS  - Almost all the families in Pinas have their theme parks itinerary. Who won't. It's festive mood and it's the season of joy and giving. For us, we always visit theme parks on Dec. 24 but we usually head home before it hit 12:00 midnight just in time  that we are with the family before the clock ticks. It's fun to be inside this state of the art recreation center having grand time together with your family. It's a moment of bonding that leaves you awesome memories.

10. FAMILY BONDING - This is one of the essence of Christmas for me aside from celebrating the birth of our dear Savior. It is the time where you reconnect with family members, resolve petty feuds and rekindle the relationship towards each other. It's also the time to reach out with relatives and friends. And a time to share blessing to strangers as well.

So far, these are my top 10 things that I love about celebrating Christmas in Pinas. Maybe I missed out something. But I dare you to make your top 10 too. It would be fun.

Have a nice read :)


  1. Ang lapit na talaga ng Pasko :)

    guilty din ako about simbang gabi. di pa talaga ako nakaka kumpleto nyan >_<

    puto bumbong/bibingka - yan peyborit food ko din yan evey Christmas.

    caroling - we used to do that with my friends and siblings when I was still a kid. ngayon ata pag nangaroling ako, baka wala nang magbigay hehe.

  2. Iba nga ang Pasko sa Pinas: minsan ko nang nakumpleto ang simbang gabi, ang sarap lang sa pakiramdam at paglabas amoy na amoy ang mainit na pandesal at usok mula sa mga gumagawa ng mga bibingka. Pasko na nga!

  3. iba talaga christmas ng pinoy wa mang snow inuulan pa din ng masasayang ala ala, tradisyon at kultura mga bagay na di ko ipagpapalit kailan man

  4. Nakakahomesick T.T Sana ay nasa Pinas ako etong darating na Pasko. Malapit na talaga ang Pasko. Christmas Picture Greetings ko sir ah. hehe


Glad you've visited my site. Your comment matters to me. You can also subscribe via email so that you'll know when I replied to you.

Thanks and have a nice read!

Blogger Templates