Christmas Food in the Philippines

Here are a few of the foodstuff and beverages that Filipinos typically enjoy during the holiday season of Pasko.

PUTO BUMBONG

purple-colored rice treat cooked in upright bamboo tubes

Puto Bumbong on Coconut

BIBINGKA

flat cake served on banana leaves and topped with a pat of butter and grated coconut

Bibingka on Banana Leaves
Bibingka

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Noche Buena: Filipino Christmas Eve

Noche Buena derives from the Spanish for “A Good Night.” It is the traditional feast Filipinos partake in after the midnight mass.

Noche Buena: Philippines

Simbang Gabi is Tagalog for “Night Worship” or “Night Mass.” Filipinos attend pre-dawn masses in the nine days before Christmas Eve. It is known as Misa de Gallo (Mass of the Cock / Rooster) in Spanish. Roosters crow very early in the morning, and this season’s masses take place at 4:00 am. Continue reading “Noche Buena: Filipino Christmas Eve”

Filipino Christmas Traditions

Being mostly Catholics, Filipinos start a novena (a series of nine masses) on December 16th. The masses are part of the cherished religious tradition of Simbang Gabi, which literally means “Night Worship.” It’s an accomplishment to attend all nine masses!

Filipinos go to church at four o’clock in the morning and afterward have breakfast together. A traditional drink during this season is a warm ginger tea called salabat and a traditional treat is a flat but thick yellow rice cake called bibingka.

PASKO: CHRISTMAS IN THE PHILIPPINES

The Tagalog word Pasko derives from the Spanish word Pascua. Although the word Pascua means Easter, Pascua de Navidad refers to Christmas.

The Philippines is known for having the world’s longest Christmas season. The four months that end with the syllable –ber are considered Christmas months, which is why stores and households start playing carols on the first day of September! And the holiday season extends beyond December 31st. It doesn’t end until the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings (Tatlong Hari) which falls around January 6.

If Mexico has piñatas, the Philippines has its parol. Of course, a parol is not something to hit with a stick. It is a Christmas lantern, most commonly in the shape of a five-pointed star. The bamboo or rattan frame is covered with rice paper, tissue or cellophane. Almost every family either builds or buys one to hang by the window or door. Shopping malls construct giant versions of parol. Traditionally, a candle was placed inside for light to shine through; for safety reasons, people now use bulbs or even a flashlight.

Families, schools and other places also display a creche or nativity scene called belen. Christmas trees made of plastic are decorated with lights, tinsel and balls. Continue reading “Filipino Christmas Traditions”

PASKO

from the Spanish Pascua 

Paskó
Christmas

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Top 10 Filipino Christmas Songs in Tagalog

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS SONGS FROM THE PHILIPPINES

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Christmas Greetings on Cards

Sending holiday cards to Filipino friends?

Make it special by writing a Christmas greeting in Tagalog! Continue reading “Christmas Greetings on Cards”

‘Merry Christmas’ in Tagalog

The Tagalog word for Christmas is Pasko.

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KAPASKUHAN

root word: Pasko, meaning “Christmas”

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