hristmas is more than just a celebration; for most Filipino-Christians it is a way of welcoming the coming of their savior Jesus Christ. Being in a country were catholic is dominant, church plays a big role when it comes to Christmas, for the nine dawns before Christmas they have something called Simbang Gabi where they attend mass for the nine mornings leading up to Christmas. I think it is believed that if you attend all the masses, you can make a wish. Since it was really early in the morning and a bit chilly Filipinos normally look for something warm to eat and there are vendors selling food such as Puto Bumbong and Bibingka.
Simbang Gabi is forever a part of the Filipino Christmas which is distinct from other countries who also celebrates Christmas. Another tradition is the reunion and for young Filipinos, it is the time when most grins are seen, parents are less likely to scold them, school works do not give too much pressure because there’s none, candies and chocolates fill their stomachs, and ninangs and ninongs fnally appear with their heart-warming gifts or aguinaldos, best dresses are worn and new shoes pamper their feet.
For the old ones, this is the time when “thank you” becomes a common expression, sweat shirts and long sleeves which were kept in the deepest part of the closet are finally worn, and friends, both old and new, finally meet for the longest time. Living in a place who has different traditions during Christmas has showed me something very different even though we don’t celebrate it, I learned to be thankful for the family that I have around me during Christmas and I learned that receiving is not everything, it is always better to give.