Reimagining Pinoy Christmas Traditions

David Laureta

December 10, 2020

Usually, when I look at my December calendar, it’s full to the brim with activities and people to meet.

It’s the time of the year when Manila traffic gets worse, malls become more crowded, and the voices of Jose Mari Chan and Mariah Carey dominate the airwaves.

Christmas season in the Philippines can be hectic and tiring, yet joyous and fulfilling at the same time.

However, much has changed in our lives, and the way we celebrate Christmas this year will definitely be a tad different prior to COVID-19.

But, since nothing will ever prevent us, Filipinos, from celebrating and finding joy despite any challenge, tuloy tuloy pa rin ang Pasko!

In the face of travel restrictions and social distancing, how can we have a merry Christmas this year? Here are some ideas!

Bring out your mukbang skills!

Family reunions and Christmas parties might be challenging to pull off this year. Even dining out with your friends and families can be difficult, especially since every restaurant out there is implementing strict safety protocols.

But, worry not! Technology is here to save the day so we can still enjoy the company of our loved ones and friends while eating our favorite Christmas dish!

Bring out your mukbang skills and enjoy eating together virtually! You may agree to have the same menu to have a feel of togetherness despite being apart. (Aww.) 

When possible, you may also send food to one another via Grab or Lalamove. That way, you can send your love to your friends and family and enjoy eating together during your virtual party. 

More than just enjoying the food, eating together is what really strengthens our bond with our loved ones. Food helps us connect family members and their shared history. Great food appeals to our memories. Some aromas can take you back to your childhood days in your grandma’s house. 

For now, at least, this may be as close as we can get, so let’s make the most of every opportunity to celebrate together.

Turn up the volume!

For your virtual parties, there are plenty of activities to explore and enjoy together. 

For one, Pinoy parties will not be complete without videoke. For us, it’s not really so much about who sings the best; it’s about who brings in the wildest entertainment! 

How can we do that virtually, you might ask. Share screen is the key! Pull up some video clips from YouTube, connect your laptop or device to a speaker, and voila! Your virtual party just got better and more thrilling! You might even consider turning this into a contest—the person who gets the most number of votes from everyone wins!

(Caution: Watch out for your cousin or aunt who puts in five consecutive songs of their choice and turns the party into a mini-concert!)

Aside from singing, you may also play some games such as Virtual Bring Me, Trivia Questions, Logo Quiz, or Guess that Gibberish. For more games and some fun ideas, check out this link.

LalaGifts!

Whoever told you that it’s impossible to exchange gifts and have our yearly monito monita because of the pandemic?

We live in the age of online shopping! Everything can be bought online and can be easily shipped via different courier options! 

Here’s a rad find: Virtual Secret Santa Organizer! This online tool helps you organize Kris Kringles with your friends and families. Each participant can even make their own wish list so their secret santa will know what gift to give.

If you have already come up with your own ideas on how to do your Christmas parties and exchange gifts, we’d love to hear from you!

***

The essence of all the singing, eating, and gift-giving is to really spend time with loved ones and dear friends. It is really about sharing lives with one another.

So, while you’re at it, you may consider having breakout rooms during your virtual party where people can encourage, honor, thank, or pray for one another.

Celebrations may be different this year, but the Pinoy Christmas spirit persists. 

This pandemic provides a perfect reason for us to commemorate the birth of Jesus: He came to bring light into the world, and to provide hope to the hopeless.

For this reason, Christmas will always be worth celebrating—no matter how life looks like, no matter what life brings—for there is hope beyond this lifetime.

 

 

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The Author

David Laureta

David is a Laker-lifer and a full-time campus missionary at Every Nation Campus Katipunan. He loves to eat, to play and analyze sports, lip sync in groceries, and cover all these in his IG stories.

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