Christmas in the Philippines

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It’s just a few days before Christmas! Christmas in the Philippines is the happiest in the world and I am beyond excited to spend this year’s festivities with friends and family.

Christmas in the Philippines is something very special. For the Filipinos, this season is the time to forget all our woes and just focus on being happy and making everyone else happy as well. Christmas is about giving and helping those in need; it is all about spreading the holiday cheer all over the islands and even overseas.


The Filipinos have so many Christmas traditions. The most popular of which is Simbang Gabi which starts every December 16th. It’s the 9-day novena before Christmas that happens before the break of dawn. Churchgoers feast on bibingka, puto bumbong and tsokolate shortly after attending mass.

Filipinos celebrate the longest Christmas in the world which starts in September. As part of tradition, Filipinos start hanging lanterns called parol outside of homes and playing Christmas carols over the airwaves. Malls hold sales more often to urge people to buy gifts and avoid the holiday rush.

Christmas in the Philippines Abreeza Ayala
Christmas rush at Abreeza Ayala Mall.

Filipinos living and/or working abroad journey home to reconnect with old friends and beloved family members during Christmastime. Those who can’t travel send care packages called Balikbayan Boxes containing all sorts of goods to their families back home.

Food During Christmas in the Philippines

Aside from the popular puto bumbong, bibingka and tsokolate, there are a wide array of Filipino dishes and specialties that everyone looks forward to during Christmas. Noche Buena, the traditional Christmas feast, is something celebrated in every household, even in the poorest communities. During this meal, the best that the family can afford is served at the table, be it a meager loaf of bread and some cheese or grander feasts of lechon, seafood and hamon.

The ebook Christmas in the Philippines has some of the most popular holiday recipes in its pages. Filipino cuisine classics like Crispy Pata, Kare-Kare and Lumpiang Shanghai are described in full detail so that your family may enjoy the Filipino Noche Buena with authentic Filipino flair.

Christmas in the Philippine food: kare-kare
Kare-kare – a scrumptious beef-peanut stew © symplex on flickr

Visit our Christmas site ChristmasinthePhilippines.com for stories about this season in the islands and to download your own copy of Christmas in the Philippines ebook. There’s a bonus coloring book too!

Christmas is the perfect time to be merry, generous and proud of our traditions. As a Filipino, I find great joy in giving small presents to my loved ones and preparing delicious food for family gatherings. But more than the food and the presents, it’s the thought that everyone in the world is a little happier this season that warms my heart.

Merry Christmas, Philippine Travelers! And may 2023 be a great year for all of us!


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