Filipinos have the longest Christmas holidays in the world (starting the day after Halloween!). And while I love our warm Aussie Yuletide season, it always feels a little bit more like Christmas when I’m in the Philippines in December. I always get a little bit homesick around Christmas time. To me, Pasko will always be Simbang Gabi, churros, bibingka, puto bumbong, queso de bola, parols, a lechon, noche buena, a nativity scene or “belen,” caroling, and of course, the golden glow of candles and the warmth of being around all my family and friends.
Since we can’t all fly home to the Philippines every Christmas, we have brought “Pasko” here instead!
With the Philippine Lantern and Cultural Festival (that happened last November 20), we have recreated the special glow of Philippine Christmas right in the heart of Parramatta. It was delightful to see several Filipino community leaders who participated. There was a Christmas lantern making competition and many participants came up with elaborate parol entries! Some shared their talents by performing beautiful Pinoy Christmas classics like “Pasko Na Sinta Ko,” “Miss Kita Kung Christmas,” and “Ang Gabing Payapa,” There were several stalls that made available Filipino Christmas handicrafts and goodies.
Some simply showed up and participated in all the fun. Many brought family and friends and truly demonstrated the special and unique way that Filipinos celebrate Christmas! Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat! (Merry Christmas to all!) (www.alaillustration.com)