Peace and Goodwill to all ! ! !

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 ?


... Antique’s Glorious Past Choose Philippines. Find. Discover. Share

Ham and Queso de Bola (  Edam Cheese )

Christmas in the Philippines ~ Boarding Gate 101


Paella (  rice  with shrimps, mussels, crab, chicken, etc )


Want to see beautiful home designs in the Philippines? Click here.

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


Noche Buena 2010 | Blog ni ako

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.




59 responses to this post.

  1. Happy Holidays, Ren!


  2. Posted by Cassidy Frazee on December 24, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I want that pig!


  3. A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Look forward to 2017


  4. Merry Christmas 🎄 Dear.


  5. Dear Renxkyoko,

    Thank you for the outstanding music.The Filipino Christmas celebration for days, is a wonderful tradition. I do hope that you are still having a joyous celebration.

    Maligayang Pasko, Gronda


  6. Man, I get tired just reading about it. I just look forward to doing nothing. Come to think of it, that’s most days for me.

    Merry Christmas.


  7. Merry Christmas dear….. 😘😘😘


  8. Merry Christmas!


  9. And to you, Renx. 🙂


  10. Merry Christmas, Ren!


  11. Leeechoooon………!!! ❤


  12. Happy Holidays!


  13. Nice insight into Filipino Christmas. That music fits the mood perfectly 🙂 . Merry Christmas!


  14. It never occurred to me that pronouncing Kumukutikutitap is a struggle for some. It means twinkling. Sometimes, it’s unfair to translate a Filipino to English (in a good way for foreigners). Just like nakakapagpabagabag means troubling.

    Maligayang pasko, Ren. 😊


    • I asked my mother what it meant, she told me, but she herself couldn’t say the word in one go, and we laughed about that. She said she had never used that word herself. I don’t understand the words in the song except for a few like mata. ( eyes ) . Nakakapagpagabag ?????? What the heck ! Ha ha ha…. Do Filipinos actually use that word ?


  15. Merry Christmas and have a happy new year….


  16. Well isn’t that neat? The religious devotion is astounding. Such early morning dedication! Wow.
    The food looks and sounds wonderful 🙂 I like SOME fruitcake. It’s got to be just so. Picky picky, I am about fruitcake.


    • I know. I didn’t experience that when I was in the Philippines… I was too young to go with my mother and older sister.

      The Costco fruitcake is okay, but my grandma’s recipe tastes so much better…. it has less glazed fruits ( because the preserved fruits are expensive ) and more of the ” cake “, and it’s less sweet. Really great with coffee.


  17. Christmas music was a delight. Happy New year to you, too.


  18. Wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


  19. You have an amazing blog! Keep up the fun! Happy 2017!


  20. oh my lanta I wish I had been at your house! that pig looks so good!
    I had chicken 2x in the same day! made the same way! once at lunch and at supper.


  21. “Happy New Year…
    All to Best Wishes for You & Yours
    May God Fulfill Your Every Desire In 2017.
    Always Stay Happy. “


  22. Wow, talk about a packed house at church – that was amazing.


  23. Ha, my family always had edam on Christmas Day (it was a huge treat), but my husband is salivating over that pig. He’s Chinese, but grew up in Hawaii. Kalua pig is his favorite.

    Thanks for sharing your Christmas traditions.


  24. wow! I am starving after looking at your spread of food. Is the yellow color of the rice from Saffron? A friend made us paella once…and she looked everywhere in grocery stores for Saffron. Love your blog! and welcome to my blog! We share an opinion on he-who-shall-remain-nameless. 🙂


    • Saffron is super duper expensive. A pack of saffron the size of our littlest finger is about $ 14.00 so for the color we just add a bit of tomato sauce to the rice water, so the paella ‘s color is a bit reddish instead of yellowish.


      • when we had the paella party I mentioned my friend had to really search for the saffron. It was kept in a secure place in the grocery store’s office to prevent theft. 🙂 That paella was good!!!! My late husband’s margaritas were nearly as famous….


        • I’m sure your friend used a paella pan…. it’s huge, right ?

          I’m assuming the saffron is both for flavoring and color. ( I don’t really what saffron tastes like. The paella rice I had in Spain didn’t really have any distinctive taste, just yellow color. But I could be wrong.

          I think I’ll post a recipe of paella , Philippine version .


          • great idea, the recipe. What my friend used was a huge turkey roaster, an old blue-enamel two piece pan. She cooked the meats, chicken, seafood etc separately then combined it with the rice. It was yummy!


      • is saffron used for flavoring as well as color?


        • Hmmmm, I don’t know. For color, maybe ? I ate a lot of paellas when I was in Spain,( and though this is just my opinion, and taste buds, ha ha ha ,) I think Filipino paella tastes better. Filipinos call the dish Paella, Arroz a la Valenciana ( because the dish originated in Valencia , Spain, or Arroz a la Filipiniana, depending on the ingredients. Filipinos add more seafoods. ( because the Philippines are islands and surrounded by sea and ocean )


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