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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas in the Philippines’


Just attended the first Simbang Gabi at our village chapel. What a beautiful celebration of the mass.  Simbang Gabi which means  “Night Mass”,  Misa de Gallo in Spanish or “Rooster’s Mass”, or Misa de Aguinaldo, “Gift Mass”  is a novena of dawn Masses from December 16-24  which is  Christmas Eve.  It’s a lovely and unique celebration of attending masses which is normally held at dawn  but the Church allows it to be celebrated a little earlier the night before like tonight.  We witnessed the lighting of the Christmas tree inside the chapel and the lighting of the  Christmas Belen  before the mass started.

Christmas celebration in our country is replete with these  age-old traditions which we inherited from our ancestors.  Dawn masses are usually held at 4am  and start on December 16.  We wait for the nine days till Christmas day.  You are blessed if you complete the nine novena masses because they say that you can ask and pray for certain favors  and they will be given to you.

It’s actually almost nine days to go before Christmas. what is more fitting in honoring the Christ Child by offering this novena. Sometimes in the frenzy of preparing for Christmas, we simply forget what it means, the birth of our Saviour.  We are more focused on the material side of  celebrating Christmas –  giving gifts, preparing for Noche Buena feast, parties here and there, office parties everywhere and  lots and lots of Christmas decor in our homes and on the streets.

But what is Christmas without all these? Here’s a beautiful meditation on Jesus’ nativity from Pope Benedict XVI.

“In the birth of Jesus,
God comes to us and
asks us to receive
Him, so that He can
be born in our lives
and transform them,
and our world, by the
power of his love.

The
Christmas liturgy also
invites us to
contemplate Christ’s
birth against the
backdrop of his
paschal mystery.
Christmas points
beyond itself, to the
redemption won for
us on the Cross and
the glory of the
Resurrection.”

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Got sick again.  Been so busy the past few days that I had fever last night accompanied by muscle pains, sore throat and that feeling of being so helpless and sleepy. Son reported for work early this morning and I went back to bed when he left. I was surprised when he came back  two hours later carrying a large bag of Pan de Manila   pandesal, two soup pack and some medicines for headache and fever. He said he filed a leave of absence so he could take care of me. So sweet, I was touched. We did our groceries for Christmas the other day after which he  asked me to accompany him to the appliance section of the store. Gosh, he bought me additional birthday gift,  an AC/DC rechargeable AM/FM radio with LED  light.  He said I could use it for gardening since it is so handy to carry around. We had a good laugh while he pointed out the advantage of having one (although I have an old radio that I still use to listen to news).  We repainted our gates and did some minor works at the house with the help of a neighbor.

And it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, it’s actually 29 days to go. Who’s counting? I am. I took shots of our street a few minutes ago with the Christmas lights on, it is so beautiful. It is the only street in our village that has uniform Christmas decoration. We have permanent lamp posts in every house here and our street coordinator had them all decorated with lights and lanterns.

IMG_5410Violet St. at night.

IMG_5404In front of our house

IMG_5409A corner street light

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