ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How My Family in the Philippines Celebrates New Year's Eve

Updated on July 8, 2011

By Charles, Calgary, Canada


Most people in the Philippines celebrate New Year’s Eve in their homes. It is usually an occasion just like Christmas, when a family reunion takes place.

There are three main elements that are usually present in the celebration: 1. family, 2. (lots of) food, 3. firecrackers.

http://dtemperante.wordpress.com/
http://dtemperante.wordpress.com/

Family. New Year’s Eve is usually an opportunity for Filipinos to spend time with their families. It is common for Filipinos who are working in the big city to plan their trip to their hometowns way before the holidays arrive. Those who are unable to go home to their hometown for Christmas Eve because of work are given a second chance to celebrate another major holiday with their family with the New Year's Eve celebration. People who are not able to plan their trips or reserve bus tickets beforehand usually have a difficult time catching a ride because bus terminals are jam-packed during this time of the year.

Those who are lucky to be given a chance to spend time with their families will be in for lots of fun. Some Filipinos celebrate New Year's Eve not only with their immediate family, some will have relatives over. It is not uncommon to see grownups: parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, cousins spending time in the kitchen preparing abundant amount of food. Some help each other in the kitchen while others are in charge of grilling barbecue, stuffed fish, squid, hotdogs, etc. outside the house.

Kids on the other hand spend time with their cousins and neighbour friends playing games, lighting up firecrackers, teasing each other, playing pranks, having a good time. Once in a while they'll rush into the kitchen or the dining room to grab food and drinks then go outside the house again to resume their playing. Kids in the Philippines are actually lucky because they have the luxury to spend time outdoors, meet with neighbourhood kids, play games, and enjoy their childhood to the fullest because the weather is mostly ideal.

http://www.filipino-food-lovers.com/
http://www.filipino-food-lovers.com/

Food. Filipinos love meat dishes. And it is common for Filipinos to prepare chicken, pork and beef dishes for New Year's Eve. Dining tables usually abound with colors, as a variety of dishes are laid on it. The dining table is a venue for a fusion of traditional Filipino and non-traditional dishes. This typically include Adobo, Menudo, Mechado, Kare-Kare, Sinigang, Lechon (kawali), fried chicken, barbecue, grilled fish, spring rolls, pansit (stir-fried noodles), spaghetti (w/ hotdogs), chopsuey, dinakdakan, kilawen, (macaroni, fruit and vegetable) salads, rice cakes (bibingka, puto, kutsinta, suman), maja blanca, and a variety of fruits. (Not familiar with some or most of the food I'm talking about? I'll just say, "Google has the answers.".)

Because of the abundance of food prepared for New Year's Eve, leftover food is also usually abundant the next day. Families usually don't have to cook the next day or two until leftovers are depleted. Just open the fridge, choose and devour. Another day or two for just fun and relaxation.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/macats/3159425171
http://www.flickr.com/photos/macats/3159425171

Fireworks. Filipinos greet the New Year with a bang! Literally. No one really knows since when firecrackers and sparklers have been a part of Filipino New Year's eve revelry. I just know that since the very first New Year's Eve celebration that I can remember, every single one of it is deafening with every hiss, boom, crack and whistle from all kinds of firecrackers Filipinos can get their hands on and that their wallets can buy.

Here are the most common firecrackers and sparklers Filipinos light up for New Year's celebration:

A. Firecrackers:

(1) Baby rocket — A firecracker with a stick so constructed that lighting of the wick will propel the whole thing to lift a few meters before exploding. The firecracker is about 1 ½ inches in length by 3/8 inch in diameter while the stick is about a foot in length;

(2) Skyrocket (kwitis) — A large version of a baby rocket designed to be propelled to a height of forty (40) to fifty (50) feet before exploding

(3) Bawang (Garlic) — A firecracker larger than a triangulo with 1/3 teaspoon of powder packed in cardboard tied around with abaca strings and wrapped in shape of garlic;



(4) Small triangulo/ triangle firecrackers— A firecracker shaped like a triangle with powder content less than the bawang and usually wrapped in brown paper measuring ¾ inch length in its longest side; rated depending on size; also known as Polumna firecrackers, Mexican style firecrackers, Black Bermudas

(5) Pulling of strings — A firecracker consisting of a small tube about an inch in length and less than ¼ of an inch in diameter with strings on each end. Pulling both strings will cause the firecracker to explode;

(6) Paper caps — Minute amount of black powder spread in either small strips of paper on a small sheet used for children’s toy guns;

(7) El diablo — Firecrackers tubular in shape about 1 ¼ inches in length and less than ¼ inch in diameter with a wick; also known as labintador;

(8) Watusi — Usually reddish in color about 1 ½ inches in length and 1/10 inch in
width usually ignited by friction to produce a dancing movement and a crackling sound;

(9) Judah’s belt — A string of firecrackers consisting of either diablos or small triangulos that can number up to a hundred or thereabout and culminating in large firecracker usually a bawang;

B. Pyrotechnic Devices:

(1) Sparklers — Pyrotechnic devices usually made of black powder on a piece of wire or inside a paper tube designed to light up and glow after igniting;

(2) Luces — Any of several kinds of sparklers;

(3) Fountain — A kind of sparkler conical in shape which is lighted on the ground and designed to provide various rising colors and intermittent lights upon being ignited;

(4) Jumbo regular and special — A kind of sparkler similar to a “fountain” but bigger in size;

(5) Mabuhay — Sparklers bunched into a bundle of a dozen pieces;

(6) Roman candle — A sparkler similar to a “fountain” but shaped like a big candle;

(7) Trompillo — A pyrotechnic device usually fastened at the center and designed to spin first clockwise and then counter-clockwise and provides various coloured lights upon being ignited;

(8) Airwolf — A kind of sky rocket shaped like an airplane with a propeller to rise about forty (40) or fifty (50) feet and provide various kinds of light while aloft;

(9) Whistle device — Any of the various kinds of firecrackers or pyrotechnic designed to either simply emit a whistle-like sound or explode afterwards upon being ignited;

(10) Butterfly — Butterfly-shaped pyrotechnic device designed to lift above ground while providing light;

(Source: http://www.bcphilippineslawyers.com/republic-act-no-7183/)

While the deafening noise of thousands or millions of firecrackers that mark the start of New Year make it to be one of the most memorable and exciting celebration in the Philippines, the national Department of Health responsibly educates the Filipino people thru infomercials about safe use of firecrackers and the dangerous consequences of careless handling of these explosives. This has been necessary because of the considerable number of firecracker related injuries that happen every year during this holiday. Hundreds or thousands of people, mostly kids, are rushed to the hospital every year because of injuries related to mishandling of these explosives.

Overall, the New Year's celebration in the Philippines is one would so hate to miss. With the way our lives have been so hectic, it gives us a rare opportunity to be with our family, enjoy abundance of great food that represent wishes of abundance of blessings and prosperity for everybody, and to enjoy a once in a year display of colourful firecrackers and sparklers that superstitiously aim to collectively invite good fortune and drive away evil spirits.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      gepeTooRs 

      2 years ago

      However, how could we be in contact?

    • chateaudumer profile image

      David B Katague 

      3 years ago from Northern California and the Philippines

      I enjoy reading this article and your Pinoy Spaghetti recipe.

    • fakfk profile image

      fakfk 

      8 years ago from China

      From what i remember, almost everyone gets drunk, they let kids play with firecrackers and you see them on the news the next day with their hands blown off, the pollution that all these firecrackers leave and all the mess for the street cleaners to clean up the next day. you really cleaned it up very well with this hub=)

    • topgunjager profile image

      topgunjager 

      8 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

      From what i remember, almost everyone gets drunk, they let kids play with firecrackers and you see them on the news the next day with their hands blown off, the pollution that all these firecrackers leave and all the mess for the street cleaners to clean up the next day. you really cleaned it up very well with this hub=)

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      pinoyconnection 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for your comment.

      It never fails to surprise people from other countries that Filipinos mix bite-size sliced hotdogs when we cook spaghetti sauce.

      Filipino-style spaghetti sauce is also flavored a little bit sweeter than others.

      Here's a Filipino style spaghetti recipe from www.filipinofoodrecipes.net to give you an idea how we make it:

      Spaghetti Ingredients:

      1 kg. spaghetti noodles

      1/2 kg. ground beef

      1/2 kg. ground pork

      1/4 kg. hotdogs, diagonally sliced

      1 kg. tomato sauce

      3 pieces laurel leaves (bay leaves)

      1/4 cup brown or white sugar

      2 green bell peppers, diced

      2 onions, chopped

      1 head garlic, minced

      3 tablespoons of cooking oil

      1 cup of water

      Salt and pepper to taste

      1/2 cup grated cheese

      Spaghetti Cooking Instructions:

      1. Cook spaghetti noodles according to package instructions.

      2. In a sauce pan or wok, sauté garlic and onions in cooking oil.

      3. Add ground beef, ground pork, laurel leaves, bell pepper and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.

      4. Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste then let simmer for another 10 minutes

      5. Add brown sugar and hotdogs. Continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

      6. Serve with the cooked spaghetti noodles and grated cheese on top.

    • laringo profile image

      laringo 

      8 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Very good article on the Christmas/New years family traditions of the Philippines. I was a bit surprise when you mentioned hot dogs though.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)