Have you experienced celebrating Christmas until January? How about hearing carols as early as September? Here, in the Philippines, we always do. We celebrate the longest and most meaningful Christmas in the world..
Christmas in the Philippines has always been considered as the most unique and meaningful.. We don’t celebrate Christmas like the rest of the world.. Christmas to us, Filipinos, is very solemn and must be celebrated with our families and loved ones.. We don’t see it as something to be enjoyed commercially, but instead, we read the word Christmas differently–CHRISTmas.. Christ should be the center of everything during this season.. And since Jesus is Love, it should be spread and comes straight from the depths of our hearts..
Though we love to decorate lavishly our houses or the streets, that’s not all to it.. Each family, no matter how simple the food and the gathering, loved ones will cherish it.. And the most important thing is that they are all together during this time.. Relatives working or living abroad come back to spend this with their family and hold reunions..
Also, I don’t wanna sound religious but this is the truth.. Filipinos celebrate Christmas as a religious feast and consider this a solemn and joyous day since Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.. A day for Christ, kids and families..
The official start of Christmas in the Philippines is on the morning of December 16th.. Dawn Masses (Misa de Gallo) are held for nine days as a Novena prayer up to Christmas Eve.. Philippines is the only country allowed by the Vatican to hold Dawn Masses.. They say that if a person is able to complete the Novena for nine days, his/her wish will come true.. It may or may not be true but Filipinos attend these Masses as a thanksgiving for all the blessings they have received throughout the year..
Advertisements and plugs are centered about family values and love for neighbors which proved to be much more touching unlike if they will use different approach.. Network Station IDs revolves around Filipino Culture and Traditions which, will bring us back to close family ties, resiliency, positive perspective and strong religious faith..
To tell you guys honestly, in my opinion, Philippines may not be the best country when it comes to its economy, it may not have the safest places nor it may have the cleanest government.. But the treasure of the Philippines aside from its natural resources is its People.. Filipinos, who, no matter what disasters or calamities try to put us down and challenge us, we still keep that smile in our faces and see it in a positive side and still keeping their faith to the Lord..
Recently, we have experienced rebel attacks, earthquakes and typhoons, but still, if you ask the victims, they will always say they are still thankful they are still alive and then smile.. This is not hypocrisy, this is just how we cope with things.. We always have this notion that you can’t do anything with events that already happened and we just have to keep going.. That everything happens for a reason and God did this to make us stronger.. We never harbor grudges to Him and asks more for His Divine Providence..
I have seen lots of disasters in other nations and have seen them how they were able to stand up and start again.. But there is a distinct difference on how were they at the time of the trials wherein they were really devastated, crying and was really looking like there was no hope left asking why it happened to them of all people.. Unlike us, if media will interview the victims, yes, they might be crying as well but the answer will always be, “We can’t do anything now but we just have to move on, just keep the faith and God will provide.. He has His reasons why this happened..” And on the funny side, where can you in the whole world see that even in the middle of a disaster, you will have people waving their hands and trying to look cute infront of the camera! (Always! It never fails! 🙂 )
This Christmas, people might think we won’t celebrate it like before.. Yes, it won’t be the same like before because it would be much more solemn and prayerful.. We would be praying for our country and fellow Filipinos that have gone through these trials.. We will be finding ways to help them stand up again.. And strengthen our faith more and leave everything to God and understand that no matter how others try to put off the existence of God in our lives, we still can’t deny the fact that there is someone who is always in control of everything.. Just like the bamboo, we may bow down because of the wind but will never ever be shattered and uprooted..
People all over the world should always keep the smile not just this Christmas season, keep the faith not just these trial times and keep the positive outlook not just this moments of darkness.. We should always remember that Christmas is a celebration of life and love that should start from our hearts and spread to all throughout the year.. And this is the best time to start it–celebrating the longest and most meaningful Christmas in the world in the Philippines..