Monito-Monita

When it comes to Christmas, no one celebrates it better than the Filipinos. The Philippines is known for celebrating the longest Christmas season in the world.

Gift giving is vey common during the season. And speaking of gifts, Filipinos takes an another adaptation of Secret Santa into a fun-filled practice called “Monito Monita” or Kris Kringle. 

This is a typical template of how it is usually done:

  • Form a group from your class, family, neighborhood or office
  • Write down your name in a small piece of paper and place it in a bowl or a box.
  • Take turns in picking a piece of paper from the box. Never reveal your “Monito” or “Monita” until the last day of your Christmas party. For those who picked their own name, you can return your name in the box and pick another one.
  • Decide on the schedule of your Monito Monita. You can make it on a daily basis, weekly basis or every other day.
  • For daily or weekly Monito Monita, gifts usually given are at around 5 pesos to 50 pesos.
  • The last Monito Monita is reserved for more expensive gifts.
  • Choose a weekly theme for your exchange gift. Themes makes your monito monita exciting.
  • Arrange where you would leave and pick up your Monito Monita gifts. The most logical suggestion is under your office’s or classroom’s Christmas Tree.

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Panunuluyan

When it comes to Christmas, no one celebrates it better than the Filipinos. The Philippines is known for celebrating the longest Christmas season in the world.

One of the common celebration is to watch a play called Panunuluyan – a tradition observed in some provinces in the Philippines. The Panunuluyan dramatizes the search for lodging of St Joseph and the very pregnant Virgin Mary. Originally, the images of the two, atop decorated carrozas, are processioned on Christmas eve and taken from house to house, in re-enactment of that event in Bethlehem. The images are preceded by altar boys bearing ciriales (cross and candles on poles) and devotees. Eventually, real people, instead of santos, were cast to assume the roles of Jose and Maria, almost always respectable citizens of the town. The dramatis personae expanded to include the 3 Magis, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar and even a Narrator and a Koro, a Chorus of singers who sang and delivered verses for the Holy Couple.

This tradition may have been adopted from Mexican Posadas and is usually re-enacted after the last Mass before Christmas eve.

#NicGoesOnlineChristmasTrivia

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Parols

When it comes to Christmas, no one celebrates it better than the Filipinos. The Philippines is known for celebrating the longest Christmas season in the world.

One unique Filipino Christmas decoration is the parol. Parol or also known as Philippine lantern is traditionally made from colorful papers, bamboo sticks, and shaped like a five-pointed star.

In the early 1900s, these lanterns were originally designed to help villagers find their way to chapels and churches to pray. Today, these lanterns are used to further enhance the spirit of Christmas. Putting up parols in homes, schools, establishments, offices, and schools is a common Filipino tradition.

Nowadays, Filipinos parol makers used new and recycled materials to make parols, like plastic glasses, candy wrappers, soft drink straws, recycled papers and shells. The present day parol come in different shapes and sizes and not necessarily star- shaped:  it can be round, rectangular or even square. It could also be designed like a diorama with the Nativity on it.

Indeed, the parol represents the Filipino innovation, creativity and it is the greatest expression of Christmas spirit.

#NicGoesOnlineChristmasTrivia

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Simbang Gabi

When it comes to Christmas, no one celebrates it better than the Filipinos. The Philippines is known for celebrating the longest Christmas season in the world.

A very unique practice of Filipinos during the Christmas Season is the Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo. It is a tradition originated in the early Spanish colonial period as a practical compromise for Filipino farmers who began working before sunrise, to avoid working in the fields under the heat of the sun. Simbang gabi is a nine-day series of masses to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. The daily mass starts from December 16 to Christmas eve. Filipinos wake up before the crack down to attend the mass in hopes of having a granted wish once they complete the nine days.

Completing the Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo is in almost everyone’s bucket list. It is believed that a wish can be granted after the series is completed.

#NicGoesOnlineChristmasTrivia

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How to Maximize the Philippine Holidays in 2012

The Long Weekends for 2012

Proclamation No. 295  signed last November 24, 2011 provided a list of Official Philippine Holidays and Special Non-Working Days. To the public and private employees as well as the students, this provides an opportunity to plan ahead for possible vacations, out-of-town trips, or for simply having longer quality time with family.
There are  six opportunities for those working in the Philippines to have an extended weekends:
  1. 3 day weekend from January 21(Saturday) to January 23(Monday), the day of the Chinese New Year celebration which has been declared a holiday.
  2. 5 day break from April 5 (Maundy Thursday) to April 9 (Araw ng Kagitingan). In fact, this could be an opportunity to take a very long break starting on the31st of  March and only file for a 3-day leave of absence(from April 2 to 4).
  3. 4 day weekend from Thursday November 1 (All Saints Day) to Sunday Nov 4
  4. 3 day weekend from Saturday August 25 to Monday August 27 (National Heroes Day)
  5. 3 day weekend from Friday November 30 (Bonifacio Day) to Sunday December 2.
  6. 3 day weekend from December 29 to New Year’s Day of January 2013.
In addition, there are also holidays that sandwiches weekends, so that taking one day off may also mean longer relaxation times:
  1. May 1 falls on a Tuesday, so one can take Monday April 30 off and get a 4 day extended weekend from April 28 (Saturday) to May1 (MOnday)
  2. One can take a day off on the Monday, June 11 and get a 4 day extended weekend: June 9 (Sat) to June 12 (Tuesday), a holiday
  3. Christmas day is on a Tuesday, so why not take take a break also on December 24, a Monday so you can get a full 4 days off from Dec 22 to Dec 25?
To recap, here is the full list of regular holidays and special non-working holidays for 2012:
Regular Holidays:
New Year’s Day                                                      January 1 (Sunday)
Maundy Thursday                                                    April 5
Good Friday                                                             April 6
Araw ng Kagitingan                                                  April 9 (Monday)
Labor Day                                                                May 1 (Tuesday)
Independence Day                                                    June 12 (Tuesday)
National Heroes Day                                                August 27 (Last Monday of August)
Bonifacio Day                                                           November 30 (Friday)
Christmas Day                                                          December 25 (Tuesday)
Rizal Day                                                                  December 30 (Sunday)
Special (Non-Working) Days
Chinese New Year                                                   January 23 (Monday)
Ninoy Aquino Day                                                  August 21 (Tuesday)
All Saints Day                                                          November 1 (Thursday)
Additional special (non-working) day                       November 2 (Friday)
Last Day of the Year                                                December 31 (Monday)
Plan you breaks. Enjoy your vacation leaves. You deserved it!
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From my Inbox – Signs You’ve Had Too Much Holiday Cheer

Signs You’ve Had Too Much Holiday Cheer

1. You strike a match and light your nose.
2. You take off your shoes and wade in the potato salad.
3. You hear a duck quacking and it’s you.
4. You tell your best joke to the indoor plant.
5. You refill your glass from the fish bowl.
6. You hear someone say, “Call a priest!”
7. You start kissing the portraits on the wall.
8. You complain about the small bathroom after emerging from the closet.
9. You ask for another ice cube and put it in your pocket.
10. You tell everyone you have to go home… and the party’s at your place.
11. You have to hold on to the floor to keep from sliding off.
12. You pick up a roll, and butter your watch.
13. You yawn at the biggest bore in the room… and realize you’re in front of the hall mirror.

 

Now, which one of the thirteen in the list were you on Christmas day?

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