Dec 31, 2008

Christmas in the Philippines

There's nothing like celebrating Christmas in the Philippines, where it is always a unique experience. It's more than lighting up your house and putting up a Christmas tree. Sure, there's joy inthat, too, but there are several other things that make Christmas in the Philippines special. The Aguinaldo masses, for one, are always looked forward to with eager anticipation. I love going to these celebration even if it meant waking up way before dawn. It was a huge sacrifice, really, and it takes a lot of determination to get out of bed.

Then, of course, there's always the craving for hot pandesal, hot bibingka and hot choco.

The celebration of Christmas in the Philippines is never complete without the traditional noche buena on the eve of December 24. This is the time when family members gather round the table, feasting on home-cooked foods prepared with love.

So really, there is nothing like celebrating Christmas in the Philippines.

Dec 3, 2008

What Christmas Would Be Like This Year

Christmas is indeed the most colorful season in the Philippines. With less than a month before Christmas, the streets are all glowing with lights of different colors and styles. The plazas come to life at night, indicating hope.

Our town was badly hit by Frank a few months ago, and I wondered then what Christmas would be like this year. It's so nice to see people moving on. Even more heartwarming are the efforts done by companies, business establishments and private individuals to make Christmas felt by those who have lost so much.

So I guess, it will still be business as usual this year. People will still look forward to the "9 mornings", and kids will still await with eager longing the "lights-on" @ Angelicum, Central Philippine University, and Pototan Plaza. The malls will still be filled with people buying Christmas gifts for one another, and most importantly, we will rediscover once more the magic and the miracle of the first Christmas.