The Philippines is a largely Catholic Country. 60% of Filipinos are Roman Catholic while the remainder comprise the Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu filipinos.
Though filipinos mostly enjoy parties on special ocassions, Christmas is always celebrated with solemnity. The Christmas fever usually starts in September where most malls are decorated with Christmas ornaments. At the start of December when strong winds blow, night markets start to rise in Manila and other big cities. The high demand for ham and cheese (queso de bola) starts and cheap bargains for christmas lights and trees swarm the Markets.
In December 16, the night mass or most commonly known as simbang gabi starts. People (especially the elder ones) are the first ones in the churches. After the mass, filipinos love to eat the bibingka and puto bumbong, a native delicacy that are commonly sold outside the churches.
Children start to serenade the neighborhood with their lamps, flashlights and instruments. In the eve of Christmas (Bisperas ng Pasko), people go for the last simbang gabi and, whoever completes their attendance on all night masses (as what I was told of), their wishes are said to come true. After it, families gather for Noche Buena and eat the all-time filipino christmas favorite, ham and cheese with hot chocolate.
On the day of christmas, children go to their godparents' house and recieve their gifts for being good kids.
So let's be good kids and recieve gifts at the end of the year!
HAVE A WORLD CLASS, FILIPINO CHRISTMAS!
The "parol", a traditional filipino lantern
Some of the majestic churches on christmas
The SM Mall of Asia on Christmas
pictures courtesy of Yahoo! and Google Philippines
NOTE: The percentage on filipino catholics have recently been corrected. Thanks to our readers!