12 signs it’s almost Christmas in the Philippines | Inquirer USA

12 signs it’s almost Christmas in the Philippines

Christmas spirit can be found in almost anything: traffic, your inability to wake up early, your “nagpaparamdam” inaanaks, and best of all, in puto bumbong, bibingka, and castañas stalls
/ 06:45 PM November 06, 2023

12 signs it’s almost Christmas in the Philippines

Devotees flock to attend the “Simbang Gabi” or dawn mass at the St. Joseph Parish Church, Las Piñas City on Dec. 17, 2017. Photo from Philippine News Agency

Yes, I know that technically Philippine Christmas begins in September. But! Since we also observe All Souls and All Saints Days, and by extension, Halloween, all that yuletide preparation comes to a pause come the last week of October and well into the first few days of November.

This article argues that the real precursors of Christmas in the country are on full, uninterrupted display after Nov. 2. These things are undeniably what constitutes a Paskong Pinoy, for better or worse.

It’s harder to wake up in the morning

Climate change may have messed up our two seasons (dry “not summer” and wet or rainy season) but still, colder mornings prevail during “ber” months, thanks to the onset of Amihan, which started Oct. 20 this year. This makes waking up to your alarms an even bigger undertaking now, a palpable sign that indeed Christmas is here.

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It’s hard to get anything done, period

Chalk it up to cooler weather or to a longing to fast forward to holiday vacation but you may find it difficult to do your usual task with energy and gusto. It doesn’t help too that a lot of people are going on vacation this time of the year to beat the Christmas rush.

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Balikbayans are everywhere

There’s no place like home, and no Christmas like a Filipino Christmas, which is why many OFWs and immigrants are going home to celebrate with their families as early as now—again to beat skyrocketing airfare and the deluge of merrymakers come December.

Balikbayans are everywhere

People spend time in a big shopping mall in Quezon City on Saturday, November 6, 2021. INQUIRER.net / Katherine G. Adraneda

Everyone out and shopping

Because bonuses are given out towards the end of the year, you can expect more Filipinos going out to shop as early as now.

Sales, sales, sales everywhere

And because of previous reasons, businesses pounce on this opportunity to rack up more profits by organizing sales at this time of the year, creating special Christmas bundles and deals to lure shoppers.

You may also like: What you need to know about tiangge shopping in the Philippines


Traffic(adj.) everywhere

To go out shopping and to get to the said sales, you would, of course, need to commute. The deluge of Filipinos wanting to take advantage of these sales with the money they just made results in congested roads. Being stuck in traffic? Not very merry if you ask me.

Mariah Carey blasting everywhere

Luckily, you can count on taxi cabs and shopping establishments (among others) to blast “All I Want for Christmas” to make all these inconveniences somehow bearable. Long live, Lambs!

Puto bumbong, bibingka, and castañas stalls are up

Another upside is that seasonal food is upon us, too. If like us you’ve been craving puto bumbong all year, now’s actually the perfect time to get them—straight out of the steamer poles, slathered with butter, and sprinkled with coconut meat and muscovado sugar.

@nolisoli.ph Sabi nga ni Paris Hilton, “That’s hot.” #nolisoliph #putobumbong #filipinofood ♬ Calm Christmas Gift Commercial – AtagoSounds

Countdowns everywhere

And as if you need reminding, Christmas countdowns everywhere—on billboards, on TV and radio shows, on the newspaper—will tell you how many days there are left until Dec. 25.

Countdowns everywhere

You can pick your choice. Shown above are the various Christmas lanterns sold along Ortigas Extension near Gilmore Avenue in Quezon City. Photo by Lyn Rillon/Inquirer.net

Christmas lights and parol everywhere

This is probably a giveaway but there’s no other more tangible sign that Christmas is upon us than the kumukutikutitap na Christmas lights and bumubusi-busilak na parol.

You may also like: Is parol-making a dying tradition?

Inaanaks randomly making their presence felt

Social media savvy godchildren are also making moves, “randomly” liking your photos, replying to your Facebook Stories, and commenting on your posts. Yeah, that too is a sign that it is Christmas time.

Read also: How much is enough? The Nolisoli guide to digital aguinaldo

Carollers are roaming around

And if all these other sensory signs fail, you can always count on the merry singing of carollers who go door-to-door belting Mariah Carey songs and contemporary and traditional Filipino yuletide tunes to remind you that indeed ‘tis the season to be jolly.

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TAGS: Christmas, Filipino Christmas traditions, interesting topics
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