If you are Pinoy or a Pinoy at heart, you will not be surprised with this post’s title. Yes, Christmas in the Philippines starts as early as September. The “ber” months is what we are all looking forward..to look forward for Christmas.
A cliche but true, there is no Christmas like in the Philippines or the least with Filipinos. Paskong Pinoy – he spirit is genuinely different. More than gift-giving we often associate it with gatherings, families and friends. Christmas is a joyous event for all of us and a chance to bury the hatchet.
Christmas is indeed a season in the Philippines and amongst us Filipinos. A Christmas tradition with our own local traditions. The simba gabi that originated in Europe and the after-mass-puto bumbong which is a local rice cake.
When September comes, we start the countdown and a countdown of inaanaks (godchildren) and people we wish to give some presents. Then we hear those Christmas carols from the classic to the new ones. And when we start our Christmas shopping, malls and department stores now put up Christmas merchandise from Christmas trees to lights.
The succeeding months means preparation for Christmas. Again, Christmas is a season not just a day. Hence the careful planning. Planning on where to spend it – husband’s, wife’s family or plan a solo family Christmas getaway. Living overseas also means going home and Christmas is the perfect time to go home for a vacation in the Philippines. To go home when it feels like everyday is a fiesta and everyone is just happy to see you never mind the endless mano‘s and visits from the kamag-anaks.
Oh, there is really no other Christmas like in the Philippines where the affluent find happiness in giving. Various activities from hosting a children’s parties for a local school to giving gifts in a nursing home. And the best part of doing it during the Christmas season? There is that smile, a radiant smile without opening our lips. We share the same happiness not because we need and they need to help but we love to share and they give some fulfillment no one can give us.
And when December approaches or fast forward to the week before Christmas day, noche buena is on our minds. From a simply and intimate food to a joyous fiesta that includes the kapitbahay and the overnight party of videoke.
See, have the best Christmas this year. Why not fly back to the Philippines and experience Christmas like no other.
Photo by: brownpau courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons