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Misa de Gallo: A Set of Nine Masses before Christmas Eve in the Philippines

Updated on June 13, 2011
Misa de Gallo in the Philippines
Misa de Gallo in the Philippines | Source

Are you an early morning riser?

Misa de Gallo in the Philippines...this is a set of nine-consecutive early morning mass that starts on the 16th of December. The 4:00 am mass encourage parishioners to strengthen their belief on Christmas tradition, that became a part of Catholic Christian celebration in the archipelago.

 The pre-dawn masses excite people in all walks of life, especially teenagers and children. As the roosters habitually crow as early as 3:00 am ,  those interested to participate will rise 'sleepily' in order to listen to the Holy Eucharist. There's a lot of 'hush-bush' among the young ones who can't resist to sleep again, inside the church (I did it not so long ago, heheh!), just halfly listening to the srmon of the priest.

The usual homily of the assigned priest will start on the story of the blessed couple, Joseph and Mary; the latter conceiving the Son of God, Jesus Christ and other incidents from the Holy Bible that people should follow to receive redemption.

The chilly breeze of December make the people crave for those lessons, along with the heavenly voices of church choir that keeps the priest's explanations alive.

Not only that, after hearing the mass, there are lots of native food, colorful rice cakes (puto bumbong-cake steamed on young bamboo pole and bibingka-another rice cake-with white cheese toppings baked on charcaol stove or stone oven) plus steaming hot ginger ale to remove gas pains (hehe!) due to the cold  weather.

Note: The set of nine consecutive pre-dawn masses is a challenge to everyone to keep the faith and relive the main purpose of the celebration of Christmas.

MISA DE GALLO by All Alpha Stars c/o lensimpact911

Travel Man's steps to zealously attend the 9-day dawn masses

December is truly concentrated on the celebration of the birth of the Savior in the Christian world, Jesus Christ. This becomes the focal point of many activities that are being held during the last month of the year. (Please check the book at the Amazon on Misa de Gallo. Although, hispanic in origin, Filipinos religiously follow what the Spanish regime had contributed to the islanders, native or mestizos.)

I don't hate the flambouyant atmosphere duringthe season, but I find it hard to cope up with the weather and my pollen allergies causing me to sneeze frequently. And the chill that I experience due to the cold weather here in the Philippines. No snow is present; but the cold front always open the heavens to send heavy rains on us (La Nina phenomenon this year).

What I like about Catholic Christians is the 9-day dawn masses that is one of the highlights of the celebration.

Still snoring, with soft pillows being hugged by yours truly, Travel Man would like to activate his aging, aching joints to brave the cold breeze and be part of early risers starting December 16th until Christmas eve. How will I do this. I must re-energize my body in order to cope up with the young ones who are as eager like their older brothers or sisters with their parents to hear dawn masses. Here's what I should do to be with them.

  1. My sleep routine will start at 8:00 until 3:00 am as the roosters begin to crow. No tv shows or too much internet browsing.
  2. My alarm clock will ring at exactly three in the morning. I don't get awaken, just lit a firecracker (kidding!)
  3. I will get ready with my budget on food treats after hearing dawn mass. My nieces and nephew will request me to buy tasty and affordable snacks outside the patio of the church.

Nothing much fancy but I still prefer to sleep after hearing the mass when I come back home. See yah!

Misa de Gallo-aftermass Treats

The famed Puto Bumbong (usually colored purple sticky rice cake steamed on young bamboo pole)
The famed Puto Bumbong (usually colored purple sticky rice cake steamed on young bamboo pole) | Source
Bibingka (baked rice cake on pan ) with white chesse toppings made out of carabao's milk
Bibingka (baked rice cake on pan ) with white chesse toppings made out of carabao's milk
Cuchinta (steamed cassava cake) with grated coconut meat
Cuchinta (steamed cassava cake) with grated coconut meat

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    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Expert Gardener: There's a twist regarding Misa de Gallo this year. The 8:00 PM mass is dubbed as anticipated mass for those who can't be awaken at 4:00 AM.

      Thanks for dropping by. :D

    • Expert Gardener profile image

      Expert Gardener 6 years ago

      I love this experience attending masses every dawn 4am in our hometown.

      Only in the Philippines, that I heard that Misa de Gallo or Mass of the Rooster (because it is the time when the roosters crow) is held every year before Christmas.

      EG~

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Chin chin: Thanks for remembering those childhood memories. All of us have unforgettable incidents regarding Misa de Gallo plus those food delights waiting to be tasted outside the church.

      Have a solemn and memorable Christmas this year, Ms. C!

    • Chin chin profile image

      Chin chin 6 years ago from Philippines

      I remember attending the misa de gallo when I was still a child. But I think I never seemed to complete it. But the puto bumbong is really a treat.

      Happy Holidays!

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Good luck to you, Ma'am Lita. I'm sure you'll fulfill it. Just watch your diet, please. ^-^. I hope I could visit you before I go on board ship again. Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year, too!!!

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines

      I'm much much prepared to complete my 9-predawn novena this 2010. My blood sugar count in yesterday's monthly checkup was 6.6 mg/dl and my BP 120/80! Last year, I was down on the 5th. I suffered a "mini-stroke" called TIA Transient Ischaemic Attack while singing the communion song.

      I'm a church choir member. Now I'll be back for sure. And this is my mission I'm praying so hard to God to help me make happen. I had been a non-absentee Misa de Gallo participant ever since. Travel-man, we will prevail! Advanced Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your Loved Ones.

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      You're welcme, emievil. I can never finish the challenge. Hopefully in my old age, I'll fulfill my pledge. :D

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      It's been so long since I attended a Misa de Gallo. Haven't really experienced going through the 9 - day route but I really miss the puto bumbong. Thanks for featuring this event.

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      And the weather is cold, sailor! Don't forget to share with us what you've learned from church's dawn masses.

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 7 years ago from Seven Seas

      Can't wait to participate on Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo. Loved to hear masses and eating food treats after that. :D

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I think your body adjusted well in temperate country. Your metabolism and body clock is coping well with the warm weather. :D

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      I agree. I'm no longer used to the cold, even though I lived in Alaska for 3 1/2 years!!! Don't know how I did it.

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      That's nice hearing from you, Denise H! :D Dawn masses here in the country are a come-on among youngsters during the Advent season. December is truly cold around the world (due to the Earth's distance from the sun). I experienced my first brush with 'snow' in Ukraine in 2002. It's enjoyable at first but with colds and stinging ears, I still prefer the tropical weather. LOLz ^-^

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Wonderful information you've shared here, Ireno. I enjoyed reading this and can complete relate to the 'cold'. I visited my family in Michigan during the Thanksgiving holiday and while there the weather turned very cold. We even had snow showers twice. Brrrr. I'm used to the warmer climate of the south now. Thanks for sharing this tradition. It sounds grueling, LOL But, I used to love the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

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