Trivia about the Filipino Christmas Carol

“Ang Pasko ay Sumapit” is a traditional Filipino Christmas song. It was originally composed by Vicente D. Rubi and Mariano Vestil in 1933 as Kasadya ning Táknaa (English: How Blissful is this Season!). A version of the song in Tagalog was used by Josefino Cenizal as a marching song for “Ang Pugad ng Aguila” (Hawk’s Nest) in 1938. National Artist Levi Celerio also wrote Tagalog lyrics to the song during the 1950′s. The song is still sung today in various communities, especially in Churches both in the Philippines and abroad.

The Filipinos are proud to proclaim their Christmas celebration to be the longest and merriest in the world. It begins formally on December 16 with the first of nine pre-dawn or early morning masses which culminates on Christmas eve with the observance of “Noche Buena”. It is a lavishly organized feast in buffet with every family preparing lip-smacking dishes like lechon (roasted pig), pancit, barbecue, rice, adobo, cakes (Western and native rice cakes) and lumpia. The celebration continues on nonstop until the first Sunday of January, Feast of the Three Kings, the official end of the season.

The bamboo “parol” or star lantern, is the symbol of Christmas in the Philippines. It represents the guiding light, the Bethlehem star. It emits a warmth unparalleled among holiday adornments and is unique to the Philippines.

To most Filipinos, Christmas is the most anticipated time of the year and is celebrated accordingly. The warm-hearted people with their true devotion to family and faith all contributes to a holiday celebrated in the true Filipino Christmas tradition.

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