Christmas in the Philippines celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ who, according to Biblical tradition, was sent by God to save people from sin and death. The holiday is held every 25 December.
The Christmas season in the Philippines is summed up in three words: faith, family and food – with the three intertwined in almost every event. Masses are held in churches leading up to Christmas Day, with many feasts held alongside them. The length of the season varies: Christmas can last from a few weeks to a few months. Christmas carols are played in the shopping centres and malls from as early as September until well into January.
A clear sign the Christmas season has truly begun is the hanging of star-shaped lanterns called parol in every public space and household. The parol, representing the Star of Bethlehem, is unique to the Philippines and is as quintessential to the season as Christmas trees and fake snow are to the Western cultures.
In the week leading up to Christmas, a series of masses called Misa de Gallo are held late every night. On Christmas Eve, there is (you guessed it) another mass held at midnight helpfully named, “Midnight Mass”, followed by a traditional family feast called Noche Buena running well into the early hours of Christmas morning.
A Christmas lunch is prepared for extended family where they open presents, eat, play games, sing karaoke, and eat some more. Older members of the family are revered and traditions, such as Pagmamano (taking the older family member’s hand and gently placing it on one’s forehead as a sign of respect), are practiced. The day ends only when people are too full to eat or are obliged to go to another household to eat some more.
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Maundy Thursday is the start of the main Easter celebrations in the Philippines, which is part of the larger Holy Week celebrations. According to Biblical tradition, Jesus was crucified on the Cross on a Friday (hence, “Good Friday”), and Maundy Thursday commemorates the events leading up to the Crucifixion.
Maundy (also known as the “Washing of the Feet”) is a religious rite. A re-enactment of the Lord’s Supper and Jesus washing his disciples’ feet are often observed on this day. Filipinos traditionally visit either seven or 14 churches (this tradition is called visita iglesia or “to visit churches”) where this re-enactment is held.
Good Friday is part of the Christian Easter Week celebrations (also known as ‘Holy Week’). Good Friday is two days before Easter Sunday, which normally coincides with the March Equinox and may also coincide with the Jewish Passover.
Good Friday in the Philippines is a national public holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The crucifixion is symbolised by the Cross and, according to the Biblical Gospels, it was by this ancient form of death penalty that Jesus Christ sacrificed himself and died so that he could save humanity from their sins.
Easter is a solemn holiday season and many Filipinos abstain from activities they may deem as ‘worldly’ (e.g. drinking alcohol). On Good Friday, many choose to abstain from eating meat and often pray and fast as part of their religious traditions.
Masses are held in the early afternoon to commemorate and reflect on Jesus’ crucifixion. According to Christian scriptures, Jesus died on the cross at 3pm, so it is at this time in the mass that people become silent and meditate on Jesus’ sacrificial death.
Catholic Filipinos observe the Stations of the Cross as part of the Good Friday mass. These ‘stations’ are often paintings or sculptures that depict specific moments of Jesus on his way to be crucified. They are also often re-enacted by actors as part of an Easter procession. In the Philippines in particular, some people even go so far as to crucify themselves on a wooden cross to symbolise their devotion, as part of their penance or vow.
On “Black Saturday,” preparations are made for the late-night Easter vigil at church. There, the Gloria is sung, and some call it “Glorious Saturday.” In some places, an effigy of Judas is hung and burned up, though sometimes, he is blown to pieces by firecrackers. At midnight, the fasting and mourning ends because it is finally the day on which Christ arose from the grave in victory.
A 4am on Easter Morning, a ceremony commemorates the meeting of Mary and Jesus after the Resurrection. The black-veiled image of Mary is unveiled by one or more people dressed up like angels, and sometimes, the veil is tied to balloons or a dove to be carried away in the air. The image of Christ also is unveiled, and flowers and confetti fall down on the statues of both Mary and Jesus. Bells ring and fireworks explode in the sky. Legend has it, however, that if the veil is removed only with difficulty, bad luck will accompany the year to come.
Join the 7th Bisikleta Iglesia: Dasal at Padyak Para sa Pagbangon ng Batangas this coming April 04, 2020, 5 am at LimaPark Hotel as the assembly point and will proceed to The Outlets at 6:30 am.
Bisikleta Iglesia will be visiting the following churches including Sto. Niño Parish Church, Marawoy; Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel, Bulacnin; Our Lady of Fatima Chapel, Balete; Sacred Heart of Jesus Chapel, Marian Orchard, Balete; Nuestra Señora dela Paz y Buen Viaje Parish Church, Balete; Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, Marian Orchard, Balete and Metropolitan Cathedral of San Sebastian, Lipa.
Part of the proceeds would go to the areas affected by the Taal Eruption.
Free Commemorative shirt Bisikleta Iglesia Jersey for first 100 to register. Lots of raffle prizes await joiners! Registration fee is Php 499 nett inclusive of breakfast and lunch.
National Heroes Day in the Philippines is a public holiday to honour and remember the country’s National heroes.
These heroes are the men and women in Philippine history whose acts of courage enabled the Philippines to grow as a nation. Whilst National Heroes Day celebrates both known and unknown heroes, a National Heroes Committee was set up in 1995 to recommend those who should be counted as ‘National Heroes’. Following certain criteria, they found a select group of people who, they believed, should be honoured for their deeds. These were:
- Jose Rizal
- Andres Bonifacio
- Emilio Aguinaldo
- Apolinario Mabini
- Marcelo H. del Pilar
- Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat
- Juan Luna
- Melchora Aquino
- Gabriela Silang
Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio were two of the main proponents against Spanish rule. As a result, both were also given their own special days commemorating their lives and deeds.
National Heroes Day in the Philippines is held every last Monday of August. This date was chosen as it marked the beginning of the Cry of Pugad Lawin in 1896, the start of the Philippine revolution against the Spanish colonisers.
Filipinos celebrate National Heroes Day by attending local commemorations (e.g. parades, wreath laying at shrines, etc.). As it is a day off for most workers, people often spend the rest of the day with family and friends at parks, shopping malls and other public areas. Small firework displays may also be held during the evenings in some local areas.
Balayan Batangas Founding Anniversary on December 08, 2020.
Batangas Province Founding Anniversary December 08, 2020
Calatagan, Batangas Founding Anniversary December 16, 2020
December 01, 2020 Danilo Atienza 31st Death Anniversary Commemoration – Batangas Province
December 05, 2020 Teodoro Kalaw 80th Death Anniversary Commemoration
Every 8 December is Immaculate Conception Day in the Philippines, a holiday that is commemorated in many other Roman Catholic-majority countries around the world.
The devout in the Philippines attend special masses on this day in honour of the Virgin Mary and the belief in her having been conceived without sin. The day is also supposed to be a day when Catholics avoid any “unnecessary work”.
The main event on Immaculate Conception in the Philippines is the procession of Marian images from all over the country around the old walled city in Manila. There are 90 or more such images, many of them very ornate and associated with claims of miraculous appearances and healings or the like. This event is often dubbed, “The Grand Marian Procession”.
The carriages that carry the images of Mary, called “carrozas”, are also very ornate and are filled with flowers and lit candles. And a marching band may accompany the images “Marian parade”.
The first of these Immaculate Conception processions took place in 1619, was designed to promote the catechism, and lasted for 15 days. The modern ones are shorter, but have more images and are focused on reverencing the Virgin Mary rather than the catechism as such.
Celebration of Padre Garcia’s Kabakahan Festival 2020 on December 1, 2020.
Celebration of Fiesta De Los Toros at Nasugbu, Batangas on December 1-3, 2020.
December 10, 2020 Maria Katigbak 28th Death Anniversary Commemoration
Online celebration of 172nd Founding Anniversary of San Juan, Batangas and Lambayok Festival on December 12, 2020.
Calatagan, Batangas’ celebration of Kinuyog Festival 2020 on December 16, 2020.