Christmas in the Philippines is Like…

Christmas — it’s a pretty big deal for every Filipino, may they be overseas or not, may they be young or old, rich or poor. It’s part of the culture, it’s been the tradition and it is innate within everyone in the country. With that said, you’ll be surprised at how all out Filipinos can be when December hits. It’s definitely a month that’s already been marked on every calendar.

For most “Pinoys”, Christmas doesn’t start on the 25th itself but on the very first day of December.

That’s why celebrating Christmas in the Philippines is nothing like anywhere else and we’re going to describe it to you.

Christmas in the Philippines is Like…

A non-stop eating fest with Lechon and other delicious foods.

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It’s a mix of Filipino and Western-influenced cooking.

Expect every Filipino to be busy by the time the second week of December comes-a-knocking. There will be unending Christmas parties, dinners, get-togethers, hanging out, reunions (elementary, high school, college) and etc. With those gatherings come a wide array of yummy dishes, accompanied, almost always, by Lechon (a very scrumptious roast pig) and rice.

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You can’t call it a Pinoy meal without rice.

TIP: If you’re going to a party hosted by a “balikbayan” (meaning someone who works abroad and now has come back to his country), there’s definitely going to be Lechon involved so say “YES” if you want to taste it.

Christmas in the Philippines is Like…

One big drinking bonanza where happy hour starts at 5pm.

It’s common for Filipinos to drink during occasions. Any type of occasion is almost always accompanied by drinking as a form of merry-making and celebrating. Christmas is no different. In fact, the entire holiday season (from Christmas to the New Year with a few days in between) is an excuse to have a few beers with your buddies.

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After dinner drinking with “pulutan” (food paired with alcohol)!

Sometimes, you’ll be able to see a group of people (mostly men) drinking somewhere near their house at 5 in the afternoon. There may also be some karaoke involved because Filipinos LOVE to sing. This is a common sight and it’s usually influenced by the joyous spirit that the holiday brings.

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Pinoys either have their own karaoke machine or they have one as a rental.

TIP: Too much eating + too much drinking x the number of parties you go to = not at all good for your health.

During this festive season, you’ll have to watch out for hyperacidity on hyperdrive as well as high blood pressures soaring to the roof. Make sure you watch what you’re eating and drinking and how much of it you’re doing.

Christmas in the Philippines is Like…

A queue of sales, bazaars, shopping and maybe a bit of haggling.

Because it’s Christmas, it’s mandatory to give out Christmas presents to your god-children (“ijado” and “ijada” in Filipino). If you have one, we call you a “ninong” or a “ninang”.

You’ll also have to buy a gift to exchange at your Christmas party and let’s not forget your family and friends. So, as you can imagine, there’s going to be a whole lot of shopping involved.

Buying something for yourself is also in order. Most Filipinos find December to be the perfect time to reward themselves. One good example of a present to oneself is a pair of expensive sneakers or shoes.

Christmas in the Philippines is Like…

A special time for family and loved ones to gather around and just spend quality time with each other.

This is the main reason why your co-worker from the hospital is extra sad this season. In the Philippines, Christmas is always a time for families. In other countries, Christmas may be considered as a holiday for couples or it may be considered as just another holiday, but in the Philippines, the core of it is family (second to Christ of course).

Christmas in the Philippines is Like…

Nothing else in the world.

There’s more to it but we’re going to end here for our sneak peak.

Christmas is the season that calls out to every Filipino overseas to come home. And if you ask them, or any other Filipino you know, they’ll say that there’s nothing like a Filipino Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

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