Being an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) is already hard as it is. However, it becomes even harder when they know that they will not be celebrating Christmas with their families.
KAMI learned that there are Christmas traditions that OFWs definitely miss in the Philippines.
Here are the 6 Christmas traditions, as reported by the Expatreaders:
1. “Ber” Months
Most Filipinos look forward to the holiday season once the “Ber” months start or when it is already September 1. As early as that, Filipinos already plan their Christmas decorations and some malls already play Christmas songs like those of the famous Jose Mari Chan.
Putting up Christmas trees and decorating it as a family has been a tradition in the Philippines. It just shows how Filipinos love celebrating Christmas.
2. Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo
Simbang Gabi has become an old tradition in the Philippines. Every year, Catholic families attend masses 9 days before Christmas. It is a nine-day novena where families could also enjoy Filipino delicacies right after like the puto bumbong or bibingka.
3. Christmas Caroling
Once the Christmas countdown or the Simbang Gabi starts, kids and sometimes, teens, also begin to roam around their area do some Christmas carols.
Nowadays, carollers are being resourceful and creative. Sometimes they even use guitars, make some dance moves, and sing the trending songs to entertain the people.
4. Food or Noche Buena
There is no doubt that the food or Noche Buena in the Philippines is the best during the holiday season. Many OFWs miss the tasty lechon, the traditional hamon and queso de bola.
One of the favorite desserts during Christmas Eve is the fruit salad. Meanwhile, others also prepare some buko pandan and cake. Yum!
5. Monito Monita
Exchange gifts or “Monito Monita” has become one of the traditions in the Philippines as well. Sometimes, it feels like Christmas is not complete without giving gifts even just a small and simple one.
Monito Monita is usually done during Christmas parties in the office, school or even during family reunions.
6. Family Reunion
In the Philippines, the essence of Christmas is not just celebrating the birthday of Jesus, but also being reunited with the family. The best time to spend with the family is during the holidays and this is what the OFWs miss the most in the Philippines.
OFWs are truly the modern heroes for enduring the pain of working hard abroad, given the fact that they would spend Christmas and other important days away from their families.
Salute to all OFWs!
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and not to KAMI.
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