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Christmas in the Philippines

Updated on November 7, 2015
"Maligayang Pasko Sa Inyong Lahat" means Merry Christmas to Everyone !!!
"Maligayang Pasko Sa Inyong Lahat" means Merry Christmas to Everyone !!!

The celebration of Christmas in the Philippines begins on the 16th of December and ends on the first Sunday of January which is the Feast of the Epiphany (The Three Kings). It is quite different from the other countries of the world, it is the longest of the Philippine festivities stretching for over 3 weeks. This makes the Filipino Christmas celebration one of the longest Christmas season in the world. A rich tradition which dates back to the Spanish period.

Christmas or "Pasko" is the most awaited celebration and happiest event in the Philippines. This is also the time of the year when family get together, especially when family members from overseas come home with lots of gifts. ("pasalubong"), exchanging gifts and the family feast highligh the most loved celebration.

What makes the Filipino Christmas unique? Filipinos have a lot of Christmas tradition which makes us different from the other, here are some of them.

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  • Parol - Filipino Christmas Lantern

    As early as November, Filipinos houses offices, schools, shoppingmalls and even streets are adorned with these star-shaped multicolored lanterns.

  • Filipino Christmas Tradition - Simbang Gabi

    "Simbang Gabi" a Filipino Christmas tradition, it is is a series of nine (9) dawn masses, the mass starts as early as 4:00 a.m. It begins on December 16 and ends on the midnight of the 24th of December.

  • Monito Monita - Exchange Gifts

    Christmas is the season of gift giving. In keeping with the tradition of giving, Filipinos have their own version of exchanging gifts or Kris Kringle, it is called Monito - Monita

Pasko Na Naman - means "Its Christmastime Again"
Pasko Na Naman - means "Its Christmastime Again"
  •  Christmas Caroling in the Philippines  - Once the "Simbang Gabi" starts, children like to form groups and enjoy hopping from one house to another every night singing Jingle Bells, Silent Night and traditional Filipino Christmas songs.


Pasko Na Naman, Merry Christmas Ang Bati, Noche Buena

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Christmas Tree

Christmas is not complete without Christmas tree. Since pine trees grows only in a few places in the Philippines, not everybody can afford to have a fresh Christmas tree. Filipinos have created unique and original Christmas tree using different kinds of local materials, from recycled materials to a more exqusite form of art.

Giant, well lighted and decorated trees are a sight to behold in the city street, malls, parks and office building facades. Some big companies put their Christmas display with a different theme every year, and become a very popular attraction during the Christmas season.

Just like anywhere in the world Christmas tree is not complete without the gifts beneath and around the tree with eager children waiting for their gifts to be open on Christmas morning.

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Noche Buena

In the Philippines the much-anticipated Noche Buena - a traditional Christmas Eve feast is eaten after the midnight mass, usually Filipinos attend the Midnight Mass and then return home for a family feast called Noche Nuena,

Some family who don't go to church for some reasons,dine together around 12 midnight on traditional Noche Buena fare, but this varies from family to family.

Noche Buena is a very special occasion for Filipinos, they used their best china and silverware and cooked their best recipe. Food that are usually serve depends on the specialty of the family but there is always something special serve.

The most popular are morcon, embutido, relyenong bangus, lumpia, pansit, and for those who can afford the "Lechon ( roasted pig)

There is always ham on the table but usually not eaten right away, it waits until morning when sliced and fried for breakfast accompanied with Pan de Americano ( also known as sliced bread).

Suman sa ibos or sumang Pasko ( glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves or coconut leaves ) served with Halayang Ube and leche flan (egg custard) are the most popular dessert.

Noche Buena is a statement of the Filipino Family close ties, It is not only about food, it is a family tradition.

Differrent kinds of Suman

Suman sa Ibos- Suman sa Lihia - Sumang Pasko
Suman sa Ibos- Suman sa Lihia - Sumang Pasko

Christmas Day

Christmas Day in The Philippines is primarily a family affair. For those who were not able to attend the Midnight mass, there are masses celebrated during the day and usually in the late afternoon.

Most families with young children usually attend this mass. Children wear their new clothes and shoes to go to mass and after the mass, they visit members of the extended family, notably the elders in order to pay their respect.

This custom has been an age-old tradition in the Philippines called "Pagmamano" this is done by touching one's forehead to the elder's hand saying "Mano Po". The elder then blesses the person who paid respect. "Aguinaldo" can be in the form of a gift or money given after the Pagmamano, most usually to younger children.

Christmas Lunch is is usually a reunion of family members. Well-to-do families tend to prepare grand and glorious feasts Some families choose to cook simple meals, nevertheless still special. Christmas day is a day for children to visit their uncles, aunts, godmothers and godfathers. Usually children are presented with a gift, candy, money or toys. Kids love to count their Aguinaldos as they go to their Christmas round.

In every home that you visit, you will always be offered food to eat because every family have made something especially for this day.

Christmas Eve gathering provides an opportunity for a reunion of immediate and distant family members and good time for a drink of Filipinos' most loved "San Miguel" beer with friends and family.

At the end of the day, Filipino Christmas is about family closeness and everyone wishes good cheer and glad tidings.

Happy New Year

Feast of the Three Kings

Christmas officially ends on the Feast of the Three Kings (Tatlong Hari in Tagalog), also known as the Feast of the Epiphany. The Feast of the Three Kings was traditionally commemorated on Jan. 6 but is now celebrated on the first Sunday after the New Year.

Some children leave their shoes out, so that the Three Kings would leave behind gifts like candy or money inside.

After the Feast of the Three Kings that is when all the Christmas decorations are removed.

Pinoy Christmas Medley

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    • profile image

      Ernest Joshua 3 years ago

      This helped me a lot for my project now I'm gonna do is memorize it

    • profile image

      Ernest Joshua B. Peñaflor 3 years ago

      I'm a filipino since we were in America I wished I would go back to the Philippines its just that there actually doing all of this last Christmas without me it's boring over here

    • profile image

      Maria Regina Cristobal 3 years ago

      (Contributor, www.ourhappyschool.com) Christmas in the Philippines is really superb. That's why it's more fun in the Philippines.

    • profile image

      Rae 4 years ago

      Came across this. I'm away from family during Christmas but reminded me how it was spent as a child

    • profile image

      Kathaleen Edwards 5 years ago

      man this holidy was the best thanks

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      chilieane 5 years ago

      i always remember the happines if chrismass day,and my mother is cooking any kind of food,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • profile image

      Liu-Yu 5 years ago

      This help understand others culture and religion which is a big part in their life x

    • profile image

      khaden 5 years ago

      I like all of this philippines stuff and the song

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      ken 5 years ago

      verry nice article.. i'm sure this will help more filipinos to be familiar and aprreciate the way we celebrate christmas in the philippines..

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      jennifer trinidad 5 years ago

      Masaya ang christmas tlga

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      feliz sofia taboada 5 years ago

      im so happy that the christmas is in ,

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      ritchie padchig 5 years ago

      i really miss christmas time in the philippines. wala talagang makakapantay sa mga pinoy pafdating ng christmas

      MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR TO ALL

    • profile image

      youngchow 5 years ago

      Hey guys! I found this restaurant that offers affordable and value for money treat in time for Christmas while walking around Rockwell. You may check out C2 Classic Cuisine on Facebook to know more about their "Pasko sa C2" promo. A ready to take home Noche Buena pack that can serve as a gift or as an instant Noche Buena treat.

      Here's the link to their page: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150435820...

    • profile image

      RXlovejesus@yahoo.com 5 years ago

      wow i sure miss Christmas already :)

    • profile image

      jeronni 5 years ago

      any one know the tagalog version of 12days of xmas by san miguel beer?

    • profile image

      CaloyB 5 years ago

      Nice piece. What I appreciate the most is how it reminds us that Christmas festivities in our country -touted to be among the longest Christmas celebrations in the world- properly starts on December 16 with the start of the Misa de Gallo. This somehow reminds us what Christmas is all about and how faith-centered Filipino Christmas is. Mainstream media, especially the big television networks, has of late been propagating the idea of the Philippines having the longest Christmas celebration in the world with a 100-day countdown starting in September. In my observation this is nothing more than hyping up the idea of Christmas shopping and reeks of commercialism. Their news features which center on what to buy where for the Christmas celebration speak for themselves. At a time like this, your post is not only refreshing but also enlightening.

    • profile image

      Brattboss 5 years ago

      Thanks for this hub.. Certainly its the most festive season in the Phil. Or not in the whole world.. How lucky I am, ill be going home this Christmas after 4 years abroad.. Very eager... Grrr.. Grrr... Lol...

    • earthbound1974 profile image

      earthbound1974 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Christmas in the Philippines is very unique. We really keep our faith at the pedestal above everything. Salamat for featuring this, MM.

    • Leann Zarah profile image

      Leann Zarah 6 years ago

      Filipino programs - some on TV, others on radio - start the Christmas "countdown" on September 1. There are also those who start playing Christmas songs. Essentially, it's when the "-ber" month strikes when Pinoys in the Philippines start preparing for Christmas Day itself.

      Most college students like the second semester because of the two-week Christmas vacation. And almost all employees look forward to their 13th month pay and/or Christmas bonus - to all Filipinos yearning to work abroad, please be advised that no other country (as far as I know) provides that mandated benefit. It will depend on your employer or company management if they'd like to give such bonus.

      This isn't to say that the Philippines has better living conditions. It's just that we also have some good things here that other countries do not offer.

      Maraming salamat for this is a great hub, MM. Carry on.

      :)

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      juni 6 years ago

      wow!

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      darlene 6 years ago

      we are proud to be FILIPINOS!!!!!

    • profile image

      WARREN  6 years ago

      MASAYA

    • profile image

      ams 6 years ago

      miss ko ito!

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      dilauda 6 years ago

      i loved reading this!

    • profile image

      DORA 6 years ago

      maligayang pasko

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      gel 6 years ago

      ..,Christmas in the Philippines (Pinas)is unique because Filipinos were so excited in this celebration. We started to count the number of days from the month of "ber" specifically September up to the birth of our savior JESUS CHRIST..saya talaga ng pasko sa PINAS ever!

    • profile image

      hazel miguel 6 years ago

      this will help in my theme writing

      (proud na proud na maging pilipino maligayang pasko!!)

    • MM Del Rosario profile image
      Author

      MM Del Rosario 6 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Thank you all for your comments, I enjoy putting this hub together, I also like to share how the Filipinos celebrate Christmas to the rest of the world. It is also good to know that this hub is being used by students in presentation in their class.

    • profile image

      reina 6 years ago

      theres no place like home....... i mz clebrating xmas in the philippines..

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      Ching2 6 years ago

      I am going to do an oral presentation in my English class and this helped me a lot. I am proud to share the way we celebrate Christmas in the Philippines! I really miss it! :(

      anyway, thank you! And Merry Christmas to all!

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

      Ahhhh, Christmas Pinoy style! I see the familiar pancit, hipon(shrimp), and relyenong bangus(bangus fish loaf). You rolled it all into one awesome hub. The Christmas cards, Christmas tree, and food are soon to give form again in the households. Vote up, awesome. Thank you.

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 6 years ago

      Indeed! Christmas rime in the Philippines is one of the most awaited holidays by both children and grown ups. Who would not look forward to puto bumbong, bibingka and hot tea?

    • profile image

      isie 6 years ago

      very helpful for christms project

    • Gift Philippines profile image

      Gift Philippines 6 years ago from Worldwide

      So nice to see a Parol again. I wish they had them here in Canada and the US. :)

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      Gennerine Gestupa 6 years ago

      It was my pleasure to be a Filipino, because we Filipinos are very friendly and also very helpful to one another, I hope that it will be forever in our culture.

    • ss sneh profile image

      ss sneh 6 years ago from the Incredible India!

      Hi! Nice hub! I have many friends from Philippines. Liked food as well! -- Thanks

    • adorababy profile image

      adorababy 6 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      I am truly proud to be a Filipino and I miss it so much. Spending Christmas in your home country is unlike anything in the world.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Hy, I enjoyed reading your hub! I love the Philippines and plan to visit again! I miss the beautiful sand of Boracay and the Home made Batchoy and Chicken Adobo! Mmmh! Great hub!

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      Rhea 7 years ago

      Hello people in the Philippines (which is my country i loved most). I'm gonna miss the christmas over there, even i am here somewhere in United States but my heart is in my family in Davao City..miss you guysss..it's CHRISTMAS DAY already there...I LOVE YOU MAMA, I LOVE YOU PAPA...as early as next year were going for vacation there in Philippines. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR....

      your daughter....rhea!

    • profile image

      Jones Velasco 7 years ago

      Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon Sa lahat ng Pamilya TORNADO '76 ng MARINDUQUE ACADEMY Mabuhay Tayong Lahat......................alwaystornado,jones

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      george ser 7 years ago

      informative. i like it. merry krismas.

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      _jhemz_  7 years ago

      "_"whatz up!hope you hve a hapi and blessed christmas this year 2009....ADVANCE MERRY CHRISTMAS......

    • profile image

      reizelle 7 years ago

      i want to say tnx for the info.. i know what the christmas is,,

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      jun D. 7 years ago

      There's really no place on christmas like home. God i miss it so much! I hope we can always keep our country looking so beautiful as during christmastime throughout the year.MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    • topgunjager profile image

      topgunjager 7 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

      I remember on christmas day, all the kids will go around looking for their godparents and ask for money, that's how christmas is really celebrated in the philippines, it's sad.

    • maudine_05 profile image

      maudine_05 7 years ago from United States

      Thanks for being humble and signing in as my fans...pngbbgyan mo lng b ako!? SALAMAT PO!!!!!

    • Litany Notch profile image

      Litany Notch 7 years ago from South UK

      Wow! 3 week long Christmas - that must take a lot of planning and preparation.

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      Shari 8 years ago

      I was really happy to read this. When the teacher next door to me (She is from the Phillippines.) gave me a gift for Three Kings Day today, I had no idea what that meant. I am very proud to think she decided to share her culture with me.

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      Romela A. Strong 8 years ago

      I enjoyed reading...thanks! this is my first christmas away from my native land the Philippies. Ibang iba talaga ang pasko sa Pinas, im missing it...foods, family, friends, fun, and a lot more. Sana lang huwag baguhin ang petsa ng Three Kings. Its should be on the 6th of January to complete the 12 days of Christmas...from Dec. 25 where Jesus is born.

      Maligayang Pasko and A Prosperous New Year to all!

    • profile image

      jamil bautista 8 years ago

      I missed Christmas again...I really missed the way we celebrate Christmas in our country, much my family and kids. Bonfire sa labas ng bahay tas kasama mo mga sila habang nag iihaw sa bonfire. Hirap talaga magtrabaho sa ibang bansa.Sacrifice talaga ang paairalin.

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      Minnie 8 years ago

      Totoo ibang iba ang pag si celebrate natin nang Pasko. Miss ko na rin kasi parang ordinary day lang dito sa Amerika. Pag tinatanong ako nang mga students ko kung nag si celebrate ba ang Pinoy sabi ko na pag pumasok na ang September, parang Pasko na yan sa Pinas at nag la last hanggang 1st week of January.

      Na mi miss ko iyong well decorated thoroughfares, buildings, malls and houses. Very proud ako sa tradition nating eto. Walang katulad.

    • profile image

      grace 8 years ago

      hei,happy to read this!Merry Christmas to all............................................

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      marissa of las vegas 8 years ago

      talaga naman nakaka home sick naman iyan... iba pa rin ang pasko sa philippines. walang katulad

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      ellein 8 years ago

      This is the best year I ever had,my best memories in the philippine is christmas and new year, ilove playing fireworks and watching,I wish Iwas there to celebrate it.

      MALIGAYANG PASKO AT MANIGOG BAGONG TAON SAINYONG LAHAT!!!~

    • profile image

      chelsi 8 years ago

      I miss philippines,i wish nasa pinas parin ako!!! to celebrate christmas

      MALIGAYANG PASKO AT MANIGONG BAGONG TAON SAINYONG LAHAT MGA PINOY!!!

    • profile image

      Hazelle 8 years ago

      omg!! this is very helpful for my presentation in public speaking..!!

      thanks to the person who did this...!!

      more power to you!!!

    • profile image

      rosalinda 8 years ago

      Thank you for keeping Christmas alive anytime of the year through this hub.

      I, too, will miss Philippine Christmas, for the first time this year. It is my only favorite time of the year, since my birthday falls a day before Christmas Eve.

      My most wonderful childhood memories were woven from past Christmases of a simple Filipino family. The dearest to my heart is giving away gifts to less than a hundred kid-carollers each Christmas Eve. A tradition which I have taught to my children. I can always imagine and feel the joy emanating from a child's heart once he has taken hold of a precious but simple gift from a stranger! I will miss them all this year. MALIGAYANG PASKO AT MANIGONG BAGONG TAON SA INYONG LAHAT!!

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      may200543 8 years ago

      Maligayang Pasko to everyone. Hope we all share the blessing that we have and give thank's to the Lord God for the gift that he gave us...My wish for this Christmas is LOVE, HOPE, JOY, UNITY, FORGIVENESS to all the heart of Filipino people and to everyone...PEACE!!!

    • profile image

      aya 8 years ago

      hmmmm..

      what a nice hub..

      i really like the way how filipinos celebrate christmas..

      mabuhay ang mga pinoy!

      maligayang pasko sa lahat!

    • profile image

      April  8 years ago

      I miss christmas at home. Philippiness...see you next year :)

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      Theresa 8 years ago

      I'ts a great thing i read this site and that really makes me proud of my country..the traditions, festivals and the celebrations, especially the most memorable and exiting event..CHRISTMAS DAY!!! MALIGAYANG PASKO AND MANIGONG BAGONG TAON!!! MABUHAY AND PILIPINAS!

    • MM Del Rosario profile image
      Author

      MM Del Rosario 8 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi Trissy,

      thank you very much for using this hub as a guide in your library display.

    • profile image

      masseur4 8 years ago

      Christmas in the Philippines is the best in the world. There's nothing like it.

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      Trissy 8 years ago

      I teach english as a secoond language to two young Filipino girls I am planning a display in our school library showing how christmas is celebrated in The Philippines this website has given me alot of inspiration Thankyou

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      hanzel 9 years ago

      i am very proud to be a Filipino!!! Mabuhay

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      crez 9 years ago

      hmmmPPP!!!!

      i love cellebrating x-mas in the philippines>:]]

      because they celebrating it with the whole family and they gather each other.

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      annabel 9 years ago

      suman sa ibos at manggang kalabaw na hinog. wwwoooowww.miss ko na wala kami dito nyan sa toronto.

      maligayang pasko po at manigong bagong taon sa lahat.

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      Rizza 9 years ago

      MALIGAYANG PASKO AT MANIGONG BAGONG TAON SA INYONG LAHAT KABAYAN...

    • adelacuesta profile image

      adelacuesta 9 years ago

      ...at manigong Bagong Taon!

      Prosperous 2008 to all!

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      Amme 9 years ago

      Yes! That's how great we celebrate our Christmas in the Philippines...

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      jack 9 years ago

      Merry christmas and happy new year to all

    • anrev profile image

      anrev 9 years ago

      Sikat ang Pinoy! maligayang pasko sa inyong lahat......

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      criz 9 years ago

      advance MALIGAYANG PASKO!

    • profile image

      Ruella mae 9 years ago

      ty6o 74euu uuu7ll

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Enjoyed reading this one. I was lucky enough to be invited to a filipino birthday party recently, and the whole house was decorated for Christmas, in the middle of Qatar where there is no public expression of non-Islamic culture, so it was a wonderful surprise.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      Very interesting on how other another country celebrates Christmas. Very Interesting!

    • sheen princess profile image

      sheen princess 9 years ago

      enjoyed reading....

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      dannah 9 years ago

      this website is full of informatiion im glad to have a countryman like you!!!

    • MM Del Rosario profile image
      Author

      MM Del Rosario 9 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi Mark

      Christmas is the longest and the most awaited event in the Philippines.  It is really different from how other countries celebrate this holiday.  I am glad I was able to share our tradition through this hub. Thanks for visiting.

    • Mark Knowles profile image

      Mark Knowles 9 years ago

      Interesting Hub. I had no idea Christmas was celebrated in this way. Thanks.

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