Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Simbang Gabi" or "Misa de Gallo"

Back in the Philippines, every year before the Christmas day, Filipinos have customs and traditions to go to the church early in the morning at 4:00 am for misa de gallo or we call it “simbang gabi.” “Simbang gabi” starts December 16th (today) through the 24th. I remember when I was in high school, I have to wake up at 3 am to get ready and make sure that I leave at home around 3:45am because the church was always packed or full or crowded. I saw some people sleep at the church (those are not committed to God), and some are talking to friends so that they won’t fall asleep and don't listen to the word fo God but the most I’ll never forget is that people were happy or wide awake or more alert when they know that the mass is almost over. I also remembered that after mass, outside the church, they are some vendors selling “puto,” “kutsinta,” “bibingka” and my favorite “puto bong-bong.” They are all made in sweet rice but different flavor. I loved eating “puto bong-bong” with hot chocolate or my favorite drink (before) coffee. Sometimes, if we are not eating the bibingka or other sweet rice, we go back to bed since we woke up early, tired and nothing to do after the mass. That’s what I remember back in the Philippines and hopefully next year when we go home for holidays, I will try to do the customs and traditions of Filipinos.

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