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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Philippines Series at FilipinoPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Filipino holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 2, Christmas. In Filipino, it’s called Pasko.
The most colorful and happiest season in the Philippines is Christmas. Note that here we say season, or in Filipino panahon, because Christmas in the Philippines is not just celebrated on a single day, but over 3 to 4 months! From September to January, the spirit of Christmas is felt across the entire country, which is why the Philippines is usually recognized for having the longest Christmas in the world.
In this lesson, you will learn how Filipinos celebrate Christmas.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What do Filipinos call the tradition of Secret Santa?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Before Christmas Day, Catholics in the Philippines must make many preparations. Misa de Gallo, also known as Simbang Gabi, is a novena of nine masses held from the 16th to the 24th of December. This mass is celebrated over nine consecutive days, usually beginning at 5 in the morning, but some masses are held as early as 3 in the morning.
Many Filipinos wake up early and strive to complete the entirety of the Misa de Gallo. It is believed that if you are able to attend each ceremony, you can make a wish and it will come true.
During Christmas Eve, Filipinos usually go to church to attend Misa de Aguinaldo. This is held on the 24th of December between 10 in the evening and midnight, or in Filipino hatinggabi.
Like other feasts and celebrations in the Philippines, parties, food, and most importantly, family, are key pillars of the festivities. In the Philippines, big families are very common, which is why Christmas celebrations are always lively and noisy.
During Christmas gatherings, families come together to eat Noche Buena meaning Christmas meal. This feast includes queso de bola, which is edam cheese sealed in red paraffin wax, chocolates, fruit salad, ham, and sometimes even roasted pork. This is also the time when people exchange and open presents, or regalo.
Also, wherever you go you will undoubtedly hear Christmas Carols, or in Filipino karoling, often sung by children carrying copper bottle caps, spoons, forks, and other household items that can make a sound to carry a beat.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What do Filipinos call the tradition of Secret Santa?
In the Philippines, Secret Santa is called Monito or Monita, and of course, the gift recipient doesn't know who picked him or her. It is also called Kris Kringle and done during Christmas parties with friends, classmates, or workmates.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you have your own version of Secret Santa? What do you call it?
Leave us a comment telling us at FilipinoPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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Do you have your own version of Secret Santa? What do you call it?