It’s that time of the year when the usual bustle is cranked up to eleven with colorful light shows, masses, mall gimmicks, and more. It can get overwhelming sometimes, but you have to admit, Christmas is still best spent here in the Philippines

Here are some reasons why:

The Longest Christmas Ever

Filipinos are known to celebrate the longest Christmas in the world. Our celebration starts as early as September 1 and ends on January 6 or the Feast of the Three Kings. You can immediately feel the holiday spirit when the “ber-month” rolls around. Families start to put up their trees and many stores start to release special Christmas treats for their customers. You’ll also begin to hear Christmas songs everywhere you go making for a very festive environment that’s hard to find anywhere else in the world.

 

Gift Giving Tradition

Gift-giving is taken seriously here in the Philippines. In the age-old tradition of giving “Aguinaldo,” children dress up in their best clothes and go to the houses of their relatives and godparents to collect gifts like toys or money. Secret Santa is another popular gift-giving activity especially in the office. A part of the game is to find ways to leave your gift in the common drop box without being caught by your “baby.” Whatever your age, you’re sure to receive a gift, one way or another.

 

Misa De Gallo

We know that the real reason for the season is the birth of Jesus. Simbang Gabi or Misa De Gallo, which starts on the 16th of December and ends on the 24th, is a reflection of that spiritual devotion. Churchgoers also believe that if you are able to complete all 9 masses of the Misa De Gallo, one of your wishes will come true. This belief may be up for debate but what is true is the feeling of anticipation, positivity, and religious fervor you’ll feel from the people in every mass.

 

Family Reunions and Christmas Parties

Christmas is also a time for unlimited family reunions, gatherings, and parties – may it be in offices, schools, or organizations. These parties usually consist of talent shows and silly parlor games that everyone participates in. It’s a great way to unwind and have fun after a full year of accomplishing very important work.

 

Christmas Attractions

You will never run out of places to go to during Christmas time here in the Philippines. Festive, colorful, and picture-perfect attractions abound like the magical lights show at Ayala Triangle, the Grand Lantern Festival in Pampanga, and the bright Christmas lights of Policarpio Street in Mandaluyong. The best part is you don’t have to spend a fortune in enjoying these attractions because they are open to the public.

 

Noche Buena

Every Filipino celebration culminates with the Noche Buena – a grand feast full of delicious Filipino food. You won’t be able to resist a generous serving of lechon, glazed ham, pancit, roast chicken, queso de bola, pork barbecue, and more. But aside from the good food you’ll come across, Noche Buena is a great time to bond with the most important people in your life – your family.

 

We may not have snow or pine trees here in the Philippines, but the warmth and jovial spirit we put into our Christmas celebrations more than makes up for it. This is the reason Filipinos abroad do whatever they can to come home during the holidays. Christmas is truly the best in the Philippines.

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