The Most Wonderful Day of The Year!

December 26, 2015

All the people I love in one photo!

M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S ! ! !

Filipinos are known to celebrate the world's longest Christmas season -- starting from the 16th of December or the first day of 'Simbang Gabi' up to the first Sunday of the year, which is the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings.  However, as early as September, you'll be able to hear Christmas carols play on local radio stations and see several TV commercials with the Christmas holiday theme.  Thus, it really is a known fact that Christmas is indeed merrier in the Philippines.  Just like what most people say, "Iba talaga ang Pasko sa Pinas!"

Spending this time of the year in an Islamic country is A LOT different.  Since they don't have Christmas in the Muslim calendar, this day is therefore treated as an ordinary working day.  Yes, employees go to work like business as usual.  Good thing the 24th of December happened to fall on their Prophet Mohammed's Birthday and the 25th of December was a Friday, which is an official weekend in UAE.  So basically, we got the chance to have a long weekend to celebrate this year's Christmas.  Although that maybe a lot shorter than the usual holiday break that we have in the Philippines, to us, that's good enough already!  It's actually better than nothing, right?

Anyway, I am really thankful that even if we are living in a predominantly Muslim country, their government still allows us, non-Muslims, to practice our faith.  Yes, we do have 'Simbang Gabi' or 'Misa De Gallo' here as well!  Just don't expect to find 'bibingka' and 'puto bumbong' vendors outside the church because we don't have one (in Abu Dhabi).  If you are craving for these traditional Pinoy 'kakanin' then you have to go to a Filipino restaurant to taste one.  Again, that's better than nothing, right?

Although we didn't get the opportunity to attend 'Simbang Gabi,' my family and I made sure to celebrate last night's Christmas Eve the Filipino way -- by gathering over a festive meal for our 'Noche Buena' and proceed with the gift-giving afterwards.  Of course, we also didn't miss to attend the Holy Mass for such special occasion!

Today was indeed a great day!  I hope you also had the best time celebrating this day with your family and loved ones!  Again, have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!  And may we all be blessed with love, happiness, and peace by the Heavenly Father from this day and beyond!

C H E E R S  t o  2 0 1 6 ! ! !

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