For some of us who can’t go home during the holidays, we know we are going to miss out on the Christmas spirit. And the next best thing would be to have a video call with our loved ones. Or you can just make the most of how our kababayans make the most of the holidays while in Qatar.
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But don’t despair. Who knows? You’ll be able to go home next year in time for Christmas.
Christmas Celebration Pinoy Style
The Filipinos have a way of making the holidays more festive. If you cannot make it home this year, let us just reminisce about how we used to celebrate.
Christmas starts in September
You’ll hear Christmas songs as early as September. Some malls are also starting to bring out decorations. And if you are commuting, you will notice that traffic is starting to become heavy during rush hour. When December rolls around, the Christmas spirit is in full swing.
Every Filipino household prepares a special meal or two. This is also the time when the Christmas ham, keso de bola, bibingka, and puto bumbong become available. If you attend Simbang Gabi, your day will not be complete if you do not stop by the bibingka and puto bumbong stands. Some families also include lechon in their Noche Buena feast.
Extended Mall Hours and Tiangge
Since people are always in the mall to buy gifts for their loved ones, most shopping centers in the city extend their hours during the Christmas season. These additional hours are convenient for those who are working and do not have time to shop during the day. Even tiangge stores extend their hours of operation, allowing shoppers to buy gifts at a discounted price.
Some shops in Qatar also have extended mall hours during the Christmas season. But we doubt if you can haggle for a discount when you go shopping.
Numerous Christmas parties
The Christmas season is the perfect excuse to hold parties and reunions. Perhaps because there are balikbayans or mostly everyone has filed for vacation leave, there is plenty of time to hold the festivities. You can’t say no to any of these invitations because everyone will be looking for you.
As soon as the Christmas season approaches, employees are looking forward to their bonuses. Be it the 13th month pay or an additional bonus from the company, most of the Filipinos have padded wallets. The bonus that they received could also encourage them to share their blessings in the form of gifts.
It is a well-known fact that Filipinos love to sing. And because of this love of singing, the carolers who go from house to house can really belt out a tune. From children to teenagers to adults, the carolers know their Christmas songs by heart. There are also some groups that include a dance routine when they go caroling. You won’t find these performers in your host country, that’s for sure!
Indeed, Christmas in the Philippines is a unique experience. But even if you are not home, you can recreate some of these activities wherever you are in the world.