Christmas in the Philippines is one thing I miss here in Beautiful British Columbia, Canada. It is the happiest and most awaited celebration. The Philippines is so rich with traditions. The Christmas lanterns, caroling, fireworks will start in mid-December. Noche Buena is what we call it meaning Christmas Eve.
As a child, it’s hard to be patient; can’t wait for Christmas and it just doesn’t come fast enough.
The focus is attending midnight mass, a birthday celebration for Baby Jesus. After this, we go home and have a feast. I mean the feast of traditional Filipino food. The gather is circled around my family and anybody who does not have a family to celebrate with. This is the real meaning of Christmas for me.
There is no Christmas tree, and we do not believe in Santa Clause. What we believe is the Three Kings. Three Kings arrive on the first Sunday of January. That’s the time we received gifts in our family. This was fun. What we did at the eve of Three Kings, we lined up our shoes on the stairs, one pair only for each sibling. When we woke up, run down the stairs, our shoes were filed with candies. We really believed that Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar (names of the three Kings) came bearing gifts. Gifts of candies not Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold. This is how we end our Christmas. It’s the longest Christmas celebration ever.
“Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?”
Being with my family, visiting relatives and god parents to pay respect and ask for their blessings are the best gift I received. I couldn’t ask for more. No toys. Sometimes, I received money but it wasn’t important for me. What was important is we give one another our love and faith-based on the birth of Infant Jesus, Mother Mary and Joseph.