Far from the fishy Christmas of the Czech Republic, today we’re travelling to the other side of the world to the Philippines, where Roneth of The Fickle Feet is going to tell us all about the festive traditions they hold over there.
Hello! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about where you are from!
Hi, I’m Roneth, and I’m from the Philippines. It is a tropical country with 7107 islands and has stunning beaches like Palawan and Boracay. Aside from the tourist destination, the Philippines is well known for the Filipinos hospitality, we welcomed our guest with big smiles and warm greetings.
How is Christmas traditionally celebrated in your country? Are there any strange or funny traditions?
Christmas is a very festive celebration. Philippines celebrate it for months. As the ‘Ber months’ start, there are lanterns called Parol hanging in front of every house. There are Christmas carols everywhere, mostly kids do that and I did that also when I was a kid. As the Christmas day is fast approaching, we have Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi, it is pre-dawn mass for 9 days before Christmas. Misa de Gallo is very hard to complete, especially for people who are not a morning person, like me. But for motivation, they say that if you complete it, your wish will be granted. Also, we have midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. And after that we have Noche Buena where we eat together as a whole family.
What is your favourite Christmas food and why?
I don’t have one, but most Filipinos love lechon. It is a suckling pig that is roasted. Also worth mentioning are the hamon and queso de bola, which are Christmas food taken from Spanish Heritage.
What would you recommend visitors to your country do during the festive season?
I believe that Philippines is best represented by its people, the Filipinos. I would like to recommend visitors to spend time with a Filipino family during Christmas. Filipinos are very family oriented and it shows in every situation, most especially during Christmas season.
Finally, what are you most looking forward to about Christmas this year?
I’m looking forward to celebrate it with my family. This year is extra especial since we will have a family reunion. It will be nice to have a complete family to thank the Lord for the blessings that given to us the whole year and hoping for a prosperous year to come.
Read the rest of my Blogmas 2016 posts here!
All photo credits go to Roneth Politud of The Fickle Feet. NOTE: The people of the Philippines speak many different languages (estimated 186) including English, Filipino (Tagalog), and even Spanish (list not exhaustive). The translation in the title was provided by Roneth and is written in Cebuano, the country's second most spoken language.