Locals and tourists alike will agree that there is nothing quite like spending Christmastime in the Philippines. The country becomes more alive with shimmering lights, a festive flurry, and an abundance of celebrations left and right. During this time, soaking up the holiday spirit in the metro becomes even more enjoyable with a host of time-honored local traditions.
We’ve rounded up the most popular traditions and festivities that make a Paskong Pinoy truly special.
Throngs of people of all ages, up and awake at the crack of dawn to attend the Simbang Gabi masses. Starting on December 16 and ending on the midnight of December 24, the Simbang Gabi is a series of 9 masses held in anticipation of the big day. It is a common belief that if you complete all 9 masses, whatever wish you’ve made during this season will be granted. Another upside to waking up so early are the traditional delicacies made available outside churches in the mornings. Popular Christmas treats include bibingka and puto bumbong.
A reason why airports are filled with crowds and traffic is uncontrollable during the holidays. Folks make use of this season to come home and spend this special holiday with family and friends. Enjoy a hassle-free celebration with loved ones by skipping laborious cooking and opting for an expertly cooked delicious meal instead. Festive Takeaways from the best hotels and restaurants in the metro offer holiday favorites such as savory roast items and heavenly desserts for you to take home and share with the people you’ve missed.
Filipinos love to eat, and what could make waiting for Christmas more fun than with a mouthwatering buffet spread? Discovery Primea in Makati offers sumptuous feasts in its signature restaurants. Tapenade highlights a decadent buffet selection of Mediterranean dishes coupled with local favorites starting at PHP2,500++ per person. On Christmas Eve, the hearty Noche Buena dinner buffet showcases a selection of antipasti, homemade oven-baked pizzas, Tuscan Cacciucco, Roasted Pork, and Sweet Italian Sausage Casarecce complemented perfectly by tempting desserts.
For more refined dining, dress up and glam up for a night out in Flame. Savor each course of finely cooked Asian dishes such as the Salmon Aburi, Black Pepper Lobster, and Foie Gras “Char Siu” capped off with Chocolate Guanaja.
All these and more make Christmas in the Philippines so joyful and exciting. Whatever celebration you may want to partake in, or traditions you want to start, make sure to round up your family and friends because as they say – the more, the merrier!