It’s Already Christmas in the Philippines
Yes, you read that right. My friends are already greeting one another “Merry Christmas.”
And yes, it’s still September.
The Philippines is known to have the longest Christmas in the world. Even CNN has made a story on it. When the BER months arrive (September and the other months with -ber as the last syllable), trust Filipinos to post Yuletide greetings or play Christmas carols. The season ends in January, during the celebration of the Epiphany.
Truth be told, I don’t really know why our country celebrates Christmas way before December. Maybe because of our culture? Majority of Filipinos are Christians or Catholics, and the birth of Jesus is one of the biggest celebrations in our calendar. Also, we have the dawn masses called “Simbang Gabi,” which is a nine-day novena mass leading to Christmas, which is attended by many devout Catholics (as well as those who want to have their wishes granted).
Christmas in the Philippines starts once September comes probably because we’re also preparing for arrival of relatives who’ll be celebrating the holidays with us. This season is usually reunion-time for families, especially those who have migrated or are working abroad. Because nothing feels like home.
Or maybe it’s because it’s the time that people start buying gifts as well. Because when December comes, prices of items usually skyrocket. Or supplies simply run out. So why not buy when they’re still available and pretty much affordable?
Or maybe this guy has something to do with it.
Way back in 1990, local singer/songwriter Jose Mari Chan released a Christmas album. The song “Christmas in Our Hearts” just touched everyone’s, well, hearts. And since then, every year, this song (along with “A Perfect Christmas”) has become a staple in radio stations, mall speakers, and even in someone’s tita’s home. Heck, even kids caroling in the streets put this on their repertoire. (It’s on Spotify, just in case you want to check it out.)
Whatever the reason Christmas in the Philippines would start early (even trumping Halloween and the official non-working holidays), it’s always a welcome treat. People just become a lot happier, their moods brighter.
And with what’s happening in the country, we surely need a bit of joy right now.
What else can I say? I guess nothing but… MERRY CHRISTMAS!