Christmas. More Fun in the Philippines!

There has always been a saying that Christmas is always more fun in the Philippines than any other country in the world. I agree. Definitely.

In some cases, even people from around the globe would miss Christmas celebrations in the Philippines more that they would in their country.

These are mainly due to these reasons:

  1. Christmas in the Philippines is celebrated as early as the first day of September. You’ll start to hear Christmas carols when shopping at malls and countdowns to Christmas from news outlets start on September 1. This season spans up to the first week of January.
  2. Decorations are not just seen at the malls. We take it to the next level everywhere, from the city streets to our homes. One Christmas decor that’s unique to the Philippines is the Parol (Christmas lantern) – a star-shaped decor (representing the star that guided the three Kings to Jesus’ birthplace) usually made of bamboo and paper that comes in various colors and sizes (see more of these Parols the photo and video I posted below).
    Bubbly Santa decoration at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, Metro Manila.

    Bubbly Santa decoration at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, Metro Manila.

    Rockwell's Powerplant Mall in Makati City always ups game every Christmas. Christmas Poinsettia plants are always present in and around the mall during this festive season.

    Rockwell’s Powerplant Mall in Makati City always ups game every Christmas. Christmas Poinsettia plants are always present in and around the mall during this festive season.

    Look out! Kids play with moving mechanical bears at Rockwell's Powerplant mall in Makati.

    Look out! Kids play with moving mechanical bears at Rockwell’s Powerplant mall in Makati.

    This year's decoration along Ayala Avenue in Makati Central Business District. Each year's decor in this famous avenue is always much awaited for.

    This year’s decoration along Ayala Avenue in Makati Central Business District: Famous Philippine churches with parols (Christmas lanterns). Each year’s decor in this famous avenue is always much awaited for.

  3. It’s only in the Philippines that you’ll find different TV networks competing to show the best Christmas station ID. A station ID is where artists of a particular TV station come together and sing in celebration of a particular season. I find ABS-CBN’s 2009 Christmas station ID to be the best yet, because of it’s message of hope to the typhoon victims of 2009. You’ll find the tune very catchy even if you do not speak Tagalog. The video kinda summarizes what the Filipino Christmas spirit is like. And yes, it’s full of parols, too.
  4. Christmas is a big deal in the Philippines. The month of December is full of celebrations, from office Christmas parties, to reunions, and family gatherings. You’ll also have gifts coming in as early as December 1. Given all the events and shopping sprees, you’ll also experience a worsening traffic situation during the season.
  5. Food! Filipinos love to cook and celebrate. Expect a few more inches on your tummy as the end of December nears.
  6. This season is celebrated with warmth, friendship, and love. The fun loving nature and culture of the Filipino people levels up during this season. People are more in the festive mood.
  7. Filipino people give more meaning to Christmas by remembering what the holidays are for in the first place – the birth of Jesus Christ. This is especially true during church events.
    Angono, Rizal's San Clemente Church on Christmas Eve. Festive, eh?

    Angono, Rizal’s San Clemente Church on Christmas Eve. Festive, eh?

    Procession of the Priest and his acolytes at the beginning of the special mass.

    Procession of the Priest and his acolytes (sakristan in Philippine term) at the beginning of the special mass.

    These two huge Christmas lanterns move towards the front and then lights up the main lantern waiting at the altar as part of Angono's Christmas tradition.

    These two huge Christmas lanterns move towards the front and then lights up the main lantern waiting at the altar as part of Angono’s Christmas tradition.

    The Holy Family (Belen as it's called in the Philippines) is a symbol of Christmas, showing the birth of Jesus Christ.

    The Holy Family (Belen as it’s called in the Philippines) is a symbol of Christmas, showing the birth of Jesus Christ.

    Since it's a special celebration, it looked like all of the acolytes (sakristan) were called in to be present in the mass.

    Since it’s a special celebration, it looked like all of the acolytes (sakristan) were called in to be present in the mass.

    At the end of the mass, people gather at the altar to seek blessing from the officiating priest.

    At the end of the mass, people gather at the altar to seek blessing from the officiating priest.

    The altar at San Clemente Parish.

    The altar at San Clemente Parish.

    It has been a tradition for the mass-goers to kiss the Infant Jesus and seek blessing for the year ahead.

    It has been a tradition for the mass-goers to kiss the Infant Jesus and seek blessing for the year ahead.

    Christmas Celebration at San Clemente church in Angono, Rizal

     

Here’s to wishing you, your family and friends a joyous and peaceful Christmas, and a very prosperous New Year ahead!

Happy Holidays,

FRUSTRATEDBILLIONAIRE

What do you love about Pinoy Christmas celebrations? Feel free to Share Your Story, comment, share your tips, or ask a question. Please also like me on Facebook and Twitter! Thank you!

FrustratedBillionaire