Quantcast
Latest Stories

The joy of Christmas

By

NO OTHER country like the Philippines celebrates Christmas like we do. The month of December is a festive month with our Christmas celebration the longest ever in the world. The Misa de Gallo or the nine-day Novena Masses (Simbang Gabi) at the crack of dawn marks the start of the Blessed Season. And with the dawn masses, the traditional Filipino delicacies of Puto Bumbong and Bibingka served with one’s choice of salabat (ginger brew) or chocolate E sold in stalls in the church periphery, add to the excitement of the Misa de Gallo. This is one of many beautiful childhood memories that are

carried on albeit with a commercial touch. Several five-star hotels have adapted the Misa de Gallo and offer the same Filipino delicacies in native stalls set in their lobbies. But more than the rush of people buying gifts, children singing Christmas carols in the streets, with the Filipino icon of Christmas, the “Parol” decorating houses and streets, Christmas draws out happy smiles from one of the happiest people on earth as families gather to celebrate.

The wedding of my son, Jason, on December 30, has brought the family together for the celebration of Christmas. It has been too long since we were together as a family on this blessed occasion. My daughter Patricia with her children, Silvian and Sabrina made the long haul trip from New York while Stephanie and her daughter, Sophie have been busy with the seemingly endless task of sprucing up their chic condo in Salcedo Village in Makati, in preparation for their arrival two weeks ago. And then there is the enormous task of preparing their favorite Christmas food for the Noche Buena or Christmas Eve Repast. My

classic Rellenong Manok (Roast Stuffed Chicken) and Chicken Galantina are at the top of our menu. Sophie will assist me in baking Christmas cookies,

cupcakes and food for the gods.

To keep the feel of the yuletide excitement, the kids are made a part of the preparation. Sophie, who turns 11 in two weeks, is showing great interest in baking. In fact, instead of buying gifts for her classmates in Singapore School Manila, she baked sugar cookies and packed them in fancy plastic containers. So last Sunday afternoon,

Sophie, with cousins Silvian and Sabrina as assistants assembled a Gingerbread House with a little help from Patricia. Watching them having so much fun putting the house together and decorating it with assorted candies can warm anyone’s heart.

Silvian handled the cake decorator with dexterity. Little Sabrina had a blast sticking the candies on the roof and walls of the gingerbread house and eating what was left. With their peals of laughter and the aroma of cinnamon, ginger and allspice, Christmas is truly around the corner.

I couldn’t help being reminded of how the

gingerbread house became a symbol of Christmas during my Cebu Plaza Hotel days. A life-sized

gingerbread house dominated the lobby then that was filled with Christmas cakes, pastries and goodies. And miniature versions were prepared as our Christmas gift to the

Cebu media. Several

hotels now have followed the gingerbread house tradition.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  5. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  6. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  7. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  8. Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  9. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  10. Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Lacson eyes P106-B ‘Yolanda’ rehab masterplan
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement