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Dec 21st
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How Filipinos Reinvented Christmas

By Bobby Reyes y Mercado of Sorsogon Province, Philippines, and West Covina, California, U.S.A.

The biggest event that the more than 11-million Overseas Filipinos (total, as updated on Dec. 7, 2010) miss most is Christmas celebrated the Filipino way. For the Philippines, 85% Christian in population, celebrates Christmas (Advent) as more-than a religious season longer than any country in the world. Europeans and many Anglo-Saxon Americans celebrate usually Christmas in 12 days (December 25th to January 6th), as popularized by the carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas." The Spanish missionaries in the Philippines added in the 16th century a nine-day novena and morning mass from December 16th to December 24th, thereby making the Christmas season in the Philippines a festivity of 21 days. While Americans start to prepare for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the American-style Christmas season is more of a commercial undertaking or business venture in reality. The American Christmas pales in comparison with Hispanic-based Filipino Christmas, which the people of the Philippines actually "reinvented" by adding a lot of religious traditions and cultural customs.

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  • mabuhay : Remembering the start of World War II in the Philippines: «link» FYI.
  • mabuhay : Here's what Joseph G. Lariosa wrote about Bong Reblando: «link» FYI.
  • mabuhay : Fil-Am candidate wins Board of Education seat in Michigan. Cristina Gabarda-Elsen was elected tonight to a seat in the Board of Education of West Bloomfield School District of Oakland County, MI. She garnered the most number of votes among the candidates for two open seats in the Board. She will serve for a term of four years. She is the daughter of Joesan Gabarda of Sorsogon City and Corazon "Boots" Laroco of Baguio City, who are both prominent leaders in the Fil-Am community of Michigan.
  • mabuhay : Why Bicolandia is poor: «link» FYI.
  • mabuhay : (Con't.) According to the Philippine-American National Hysterical Society (PANHS), early Sorsoganons were the first Indios from what is now the archipelago of the PH who reached CA in 1528: «link» But don't readily believe the satire of Goliath Letterman.
  • mabuhay : Dr. Caridad P. Baldonado is survived by her husband, Dr. Jose Baldonado, a two-term FACLA president from 2002 to 2008, children and grandchildren. Pls include her in your prayers, as she and her husband brought respectability & stability back to the FACLA. Wake-&-funeral arrangements will be announced later.
  • mabuhay : Caridad Pulido-Baldonado, M.D. died at an assisted-living facility in Southern CA at 6:45 a.m. today, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. She was a former & beloved First Lady of the Filipino-American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA).
  • mabuhay : Bobby Reyes has been writing about an idea of keeping peace in Islamic countries by fielding All-Muslim security forces as accompanied by engineering brigades & medical corps. Here is a follow-up article that I wrote in January 2010: «link» FYI.
  • mabuhay : Here is our article on the "Ramon Magsaysay Line" in Solving National Problems of the PH: «link» FYI.
  • mabuhay : We have reactivated the section "NaFFAAgate" as our friend, Engr. Ed Navarra, is no longer the federation's national chairman. The link again to the NaFFAAgate Section: «link» FYI.

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