Hello, Renxkyoko Iglesias here, wishing you peace, happiness, prosperity , and good health in 2017 and the years to come.
So I promised to post something about how Christmas is celebrated in the Philippines.
To start off, a joyful Filipino Christmas music. maybe you can click it , and listen while reading the rest of the post… yes ? We learn a country’s culture through its music. So, click , please ? The title is Kampana ng Simbahan or Church Bell, or Bell of the Church
How does the Philippines celebrate Christmas ?
a) It’s the longest holiday celebration in the world. Everyone starts decorating right after All Saints’ Day ( Filipinos call Todos los Santos , Nov. 1, which is a holyday in the Philippines , no work, no school, so the people can go to the gravesites of the deceased loved ones )
b) Officialy, celebration starts on Dec. 16, at 5 AM, the start of the 9 – day Mass, called Misa de Gallo ( Mass at cock’s crow ). Filipinos go to Mass at 5 AM, everyday until Dec.24, …… then , another Mass at midnight of Christmas eve. Filipinos look forward to this, that’s why all the churches are full. I haven’t been to one, though I remember getting woken up by a loud but lively marching band playing Christmas music , ” marching ” around the subdivision, at 4 in the morning ! They are hired to wake everyone up , that’s the idea. lol
I am not exaggerating when I say the churches are full. lol
c) Then after the Midnight Eve mass, they eat a midnight meal with the family ( and friends /relatives ) , which they call Noche Buena ( Good Night ). So what are the traditional Filipino
Noche Buena dishes ?
Ham and Queso de Bola ( Edam Cheese )
Paella ( rice with shrimps, mussels, crab, chicken, etc )
Fruitcake…… I know we, in the US, make fun of this cake, but for some reason, Filipinos love it.. My mother tells that my grandma ( who has a baking business ) used to make thousands of fruitcakes every year . They were orders from the biggest drug company in the Philippines which were given as Christmas gifts to clients , usually huge food baskets. I did bake several loaves of fruitcakes for Thanksgiving….. we still have 2 left , saved for Christmas, one month after, ha ha ha . Eh. I brush the fruitcake with brandy once a week, and that’s a good thing, right ? He he
Ooooh, the glazed fruits, the nuts….. yum.
d) Lechon , if they can afford it. Here in the US, we make lechon kawali ( roasted pork belly )
And then the usual suspects…. the desserts….. leche flan , cassava cake, rice cakes, fruit salad, etc, etc. etc.
I’ll post our own Noche Buena after Christmas.
This is all for now. Merry Christmas !
And so I finish this up with another charming and joyful Philippine Holiday song… ( I can’t even pronounce the title …. it’s about the twinkling Christmas lights.