For Filipinos who are Catholic, they will celebrate Simbang Gabi mean, meaning “night mass” or “evening mass” or “Misa de Gallo” (rooster’s mass). It is a nine day novena in honor of Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ the Savior. It is celebrated by going to mass everyday from the 16th of December to Christmas eve December 24th. Most churches celebrate the mass at dawn. When I was growing up we usually go to church at 4 am. Still sleepy at first, sleepiness would be gone after the mass starts. We had to go with my family. We enjoyed seeing our other families there too.
In the Philippines, most streets that lead to the church are lit up with Christmas lights or lanterns (parol), the lights I guess are signifying the star that led the wise men to the birth of Jesus Christ. In our province when I was growing up after the mass the church had a bit food at the back. After the mass, any church goers can partake the snacks. It’s for everyone. Not sure now though if some small church still do that kind of thing.
For you people that live near the catholic church. Have you noticed the church bell keeps ringing from the early hours during this time of Evening Mass? The church will keep ringing that bell for people to rise up from sleep in preparation for the Simbang Gabi. Some churches start the bell ringing at 2:00 am, and don’t be surprised if a band might roam around your street / neighborhood for a celebration and to wake you up.
Our helper goes to church now and she really goes everyday. She told me that at the churches she goes to it’s overflowing with people. That’s why she goes earlier for her to get a place to sit down. She told me that it’s mostly the whole family that attends the mass. Some families after church will have breakfast together and eat the Filipino delicacies.
I think in Manila they have mass during night time. Honestly Simbang gabi should be celebrated at night. Just by the name alone Simbang Gabi means “Evening Mass”, it should be during night time. Some churches here in Mindanao might celebrates during night time and I’m just not aware of it. When I studied in Cebu back in the 1980’s, they celebrates Simbang Gabi there during dawn too. This celebration could be regional, but I’m not totally sure of it though. If you or your church celebrates during night time here in the Mindanao and the Visayas to drop us a note here.
I think Filipinos in the USA also attend Simbang Gabi. I think Filipino priest there have Simbang Gabi mass. I think in California area they do have Simbang Gabi. They welcome everyone that wants to attend the mass. Check at your local parish church if they have. I would not be surprised if some areas in Europe have Simbang Gabi too, especially if they have many Filipino people in the area and with a Filipino priest that lives there that might be easily approved by the head of the church in your area.
Enjoy attending the Simbang Gabi with your family. Lets pray for peace and love for this holiday season. Hope everyone will have a good Christmas celebration and have a great New Year ahead too. Praying for our troops that fought for our freedom. Have a safe celebration everyone.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!
Well for all Christians all over the world it’s time to celebrate the holiday season again. Christmas is a time for celebration with family, friends and loved ones. For sure Christmas is one of the big festivities all over the world. For kids Christmas gifts sure to bring a big smile to everyone kids face. For other religions they also have special celebrations for the birth of their creator.
When we were still in the States, during Christmas eve we would usually go to Bob’s parents house, had dinner there with the whole family (Bob’s parents and his sibling and his family). After dinner we open presents then after opening come home to our house and open our presents. Later when both our family and Bob’s brother were expanding (both have kids) we changed the celebration at his parents to 2 days before Christmas day. The opening of presents took a lot longer than we expected and kids were getting cranky and moody. Plus we had to prepare for Santa, for him to swing by at the house to leave the presents under the Christmas tree for the kids to get in the morning on Christmas day.
For the Philippines Christmas celebration it’s a bit different though. Here in the Philippines Christmas and New Year are the most celebrated holidays here. For the Roman Catholic people here they go to church for 9 days in the early morning mass (called “Simbang Gabi”). So many parties going on here during December month.
So brighten your loved one’s day during the holiday season by sending them gifts through WowPhilippines. You can choose anything there for the Christmas Eve celebration with the Noche Buena basket (if you had some food in mind let us know). In the Philippines Noche Buena is a big celebration here, some families even celebrate family reunion during this time. With that they mostly have roasted pig (lechon baboy), spaghetti basket or you can choose from our Christmas items.
For those who have a girlfriend or wife here, you can choose from a lot of our gift items. We have many variety of tempting chocolates, beautiful arrangement of flowers, stuffed animals, personal care baskets, jewelry and from our Christmas items. Also we have personalized gifts. If you want something that it’s not on our site you can just email us and let us know and will try to get it for you. Better order early too so that we can deliver to your loved one as early as possible.
If you’re thinking of moving here, you can get books and e-books from us too. Learning about the language here we also have books and lessons for that. If you want to earn more money when moving here we also have books and e-books for that. We also have books about culture here.
For those of you that uses our services we thank you so much for the business. You guys help out a lot for helping some of our cause here in the Philippines too to help out others. We really appreciate you guys very much.
Hope you guys have a good Christmas celebration no matter what part of the world you are from. Hope the coming year will be a great one for you.
Merry Christmas to all of you. Maligayang Pasko sa inyong Lahat. Malipayong Pasko kaninyong tanan.
Last weekend was a busy time for Santa Bob. Started off last Friday night, Bob was hired by SM Ecoland (Davao City) to be their Santa. It was the lighting of their Christmas trees there. They had 2 trees side by side with “Hello Kitty” decorations. I think that’s the themes of all SM stores nationwide.
Before the lighting of the Christmas tree they had program and presentations with singers and dancers. And they invited like almost a hundred kids from the orphanage. Those kids were seated in front near the stage. They prepared gifts for those kids and Santa was giving each kid a gift. Those kids also were free to talk to Santa. Just watching kids talking to Santa, I think they had fun. Santa had some elves for his helpers. I think he had half a dozen elves helping him. The elves also performed there. It took Santa almost an hour to meet and greet the kids and adults. Really it’s just not kids that would have pictures with Santa, even adults asked Santa to have pictures too. It was tiring for Bob but he enjoyed talking to the kids though. For him it was worth it.
The next day, Saturday we went to General Santos City. They hired Santa Bob to do the same there. Thanks to SM for providing a nice van to transport us to General Santos and back the next day to Davao, as well as hotel and meals while in General Santos. It’s also the lighting of the Christmas tree at SM General Santos. They had programs, with singers and dancers. SM againinvited poor kids and Santa was giving gifts to those kids. They might have had over a hundred kids there. I could tell the kids were really happy seeing Santa riding the train from the stairs and around the stage. You could see the fascination of the kids seeing a white Santa. I was going to take lots of pictures. Problem was, I can’t be near Santa, he was surrounded by so many kids and the parents. Luckily we have so many friends there, I just asked them if I could have some of their photos that they took. Some friends took some videos too. Many of our friends were bloggers there.
It took more time for Bob there to have pictures and talking to kids. Honestly Bob didn’t even have time to have a break. But he said it’s okay, he said he had fun talking to the kids. Before Bob was called for the program and to see the crowd, he was in the waiting room in the SM clinic, near the stage. We already met plenty of kids there. One kid in particular, his name is RC. He was really a cute kid and not shy to talk to Bob. He already told Santa what he wants for Christmas (a robot). He came to GenSan for vacation to be with his aunt. He’s really from Marbel. Another kid that stood out there in the clinic is a 5 month old baby. She’s a cutie too. Hope to see them again when we return to SM GenSan in December for a four day gig there.
It was also nice seeing some of the people that were there who came from the place where I grow up. Honestly I didn’t recognize them at first. My sisters told me who they were. I’m glad my sisters were with me. Luckily my sisters saw them often in our farm. My goodness when I left the farm they’re not in school yet, now they’re already having grown up kids too. Some were married at a young age. It’s just embarrassing that I didn’t know at first who they were. But I definitely knew their parents when growing up there. I hope they understand. It’s not on purposed on my part that I didn’t know them at first. Which means I’m getting old already. LOL
The good thing about going there, the SM had the van to pick us up and brought us to GenSan. They provided hotel and food and transportation there and back to Davao. It was really a good gig for Bob both days. It’s also good seeing our friends there too in General Santos City. Last Sunday, we went to the Farmer’s Market before heading back to Davao. Bought some good stuff there. It was nice to be back in my hometown.
Please visit our Website: Santa in the Philippines
And also our FaceBook Page: Santa in the Philippines
A BIG Shout “Thank You” To Cathy (coordinator-agent), Cherry (SM-Davao), Ditzchie & Lourdes (SM-GenSan), and to Sandy (Bob’s hairstylist & extension’s expert).
Since Thanksgiving is coming up soon in the States, I am gearing up for the feast. Ever since living back here in the Philippines we do celebrate every year. We just celebrate on a different day (Saturday) since no holidays for the the kids here on the Thanksgiving day Thursday.
I’ve been cooking some food that usually had squash ingredients with it. Trying really some new stuff too on Thanksgiving day. We found this recipe on the net for cookies and been cooking for a few years now with this recipe. The main ingredients was the pumpkin. Well since we don’t have pumpkin here in Philippines I substituted it with squash. Some stores carry nowadays but it’s not often though. Quite honestly, I can’t even tell the difference between the two. It just taste like pumpkin to me. Everybody in the house loves the squash cookies. Really yummy.
Squash – Pumpkin Cookie Recipe:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ white sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened (1 stick)
- 1 cup homemade squash puree
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease or brush with butter the baking sheets
- Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Beat sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Beat the squashed, egg and vanilla until smooth. Slowly beat in the flour mixture.
- Using tablespoon drop onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges are firm. Let it cool at the cookie sheets for 2-3 minutes. Then transfer to the wire racks to cool completely.
- Drizzle with the glaze.
***For Glaze: ( Combine 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a bowl until combined and smooth). ***