CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD IN SANTIAGO CITY
Experience Christmas Around the World in Santiago City, Philippines: the Queen City of the North and the Economic Hub of Region 2.
“Its beginning to feel alot like Christmas…
Everywhere you go…”
is not complete without food stalls.
For the newbie, Filipino cuisine is a rich fusion
All these influences came from the rich colonial past of the Philippines
with Spanish colonizers lasting for about 300 years;
Korean food came into the scene not because Philippines was colonized by Korea,
( Korean themed Television dramas) and Korean groups and bands.
what you will find is usually Filipino-centric offerings:
baluts (duck’s egg with embryo), penoy, chicaron / pork scratchings, cup noodles,
rice porridge/ lugaw, pork & chicken sisig, lumpia, turon, churros, ice cream, etc.
This is not an exhaustive list.
During Christmas, you will find that some few food stalls
sell puto bumbong, bibingka, and other Filipino delicacies.
Filipino culture is richly reflected on their food.
You just have to deconstruct the dish to learn what ingredients have been used
and what they symbolize or what they do for the dish.
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS IN THE CITY
You will see lanterns (filipino parol), both big and small,
and oftentimes they are richly decorated with colorful lighting.
Giant Parol-making contest have long been a tradition in the Philippines,
and one of the most famous events are normally held in Pampanga,
which is quite a big tourist attraction itself.
CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD
and this year’s Christmas theme proves just that:
CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD.
real estate developments, industrial plants,
world-famous coffee & food franchises,
and other nationally famous banks & food chains.
and with the newly developed road that can now access the Pacific Beaches of Aurora province,
this is now proving to be a good tourist base for people wanting to explore Region 2.
CHRISTMAS IN FRANCE: THE EIFFEL TOWER
Feel the glamour even just for Christmas.
Paris, France is just a neighbour of London United Kingdom,
quite sad didn’t find London represented lol.
THE NATIVITY SCENE
Down through the ages, this quintessentially Christian of scenes
is a reminder of why we really celebrate Christmas.
Philippines is a highly Christian country so its no taboo to mention Christmas casually.
In some western countries like the UK,
its quite offensive and discriminatory to greet others of different faith
(or for the agnostics, or atheists) Merry Christmas.
Oftentimes, you will see Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings instead.
But for us, its the season to reflect on the birth of Christ
and what it really means for our Christian faith.
More than any form of gift we receive,
Christ coming down upon us is the greatest gift of all for all Christian believers.
CHRISTMAS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Christmas in the Philippines is perhaps one of the longest in the world.
Unofficially, people start getting that festive when the months begin to end with -ber,
e.g. September, October, November, December.
These are collectively & colloquially referred to as the BER months.
When these months start appearing on the calendar,
expect to see Christmas lights & decors appearing in some houses,
public places like parks & plaza, and of course malls.
For the foreign eye,
it can appear quite over the top to start this early
but Filipinos just gain a deep satisfaction doing these things
as its a continuity of a long tradition,
perhaps gained from their long association with their Spanish colonizers.
Filipinos have a tradition called SIMBANG GABI
wherein they attend nighttime mass in church and
receive the gospel regarding Christmas.
This is a heavily Catholic tradition and am not quite sure
if other religious groups have simbang gabi too.
You will see families, friends, and couples going to church together
and afterwards they go sample the Filipino street foods in night markets
or Filipino delicacies right outside major churches.
For most Filipinos, this is a time for them to have ‘bonding’ together
and it is usually a picture of warmth & joy.
CHRISTMAS IN GREECE
CHRISTMAS IN SPAIN
Christmas in Spain is not a very foreign concept to Filipinos
as the two countries are deeply intertwined in terms of food, culture, and traditions.
Oftentimes, most of the Tagalog or Filipino words
or expressions you will hear have some origins from the Spanish language.
Having visited Barcelona, Spain,
the place is not so much different from the Philippines.
If Barcelona is the more subdued version,
Philippines is the noisier & busier counterpart.
CHRISTMAS IN HAWAII
I would have thought this is a Halloween entry or Siquijor:(
Perhaps putting up this scene was too much of a bother
so skimping on artistic investment on the figures’ faces
is not a priority anymore.
Anyway, the scene is still very Hawaiian but not much of a Christmas lol.
Don’t know which country this scene portrays. Will have to leave that job to you:)
CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK:
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
When you think of a Yankee Christmas,
its not quite Statue of Liberty that comes to mind though. I
ts actually the bright & busy nightlife scene of Manhattan, New York-
the Macy’s, the neon lights, the yellow cabs,
and the beautiful window displays in New York stores.
Nice work though!
CHRISTMAS IN JAPAN
Can’t really figure out how is the traditional Japanese Christmas.
The only picture that comes to mind is the commercial side of it-
the usual malls or store displays & sales.
As far as reading is concerned,
the Japanese scene that comes to mind is more of the beautiful autumnal mountains,
the blooming Sakuras in springtime,
the clean & fresh village & rural life,
the bullet trains, the temples, sushis, Zen Buddhism & Shintoism.
If there is some sort of Christianity in Japan, its a minority- perhaps.
WELCOME TO THE FOUR LANES
NIGHT MARKET : AKA ‘TIANGGE’
there isn’t much that tempts the eyes.
The offerings are not touristy stuff,
rather it feels like a small extension of the public market.
Still worth walking around though.