10 Tips When Visiting the Philippines for Christmas


Grandiose Christmas in the Philippines

A Grandiose Christmas Decorations! – It is more Fun in the Philippines – Photo by Kaizen Rivera, Makati Philippines

1. Learn to say “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!” in the following Filipino dialects.

Tagalog – Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon!

Tagalog – Maligayang Pasko at Masaganang Bagong Taon!

Aklanon – Malipayon nga Paskwa ag Mahigugmaon nga Bag-ong Dag-on!

Atá – Maroyan na Pasko woy kaopia-an ng Bag-ong Tuig kaniyo’t langon mga sulod!

Bikol – Maogmang Pasko, Mamura-way na Ba-gong Taon sa indo gabos!

Bicolano – Maugmang Capascuhan asin Masaganang Ba-gong Taon!

Bilaan – Pye duh di kaut Kristo klu muntug Felemi Fali!

Bol anon – Malipajong Pasko!

Bukidnon –  Maayad na Pasko!

Cagayan – Mapia a Paskua!

Cebuano – Maayong Pasko ug Bulahang Bag-ong Tuig !

Chavacano – Felices Pascua y Prospero Año Nuevo!

Dibabawon – Marayaw na Pasko aw Bag-ong Tuig kaniyo tibo na mga soon!

Gaddang – Mangamgam Bawa a dawun sikua diaw amin!

Hiligaynon – Malipayon nga Paskwa, Mahamungayaon nga Bag-ong Tuig!

Hungduan – Maphon au nitungawan. Apo Dios Kituwen baron di toon!

Hunguan – aphod au nitungawan Apo Dios Kituwen baron di toon!

Hunguan – aphod au nitungawan Apo Dios Kituwen baron di toon!

Ibanag – Mapalupaguiya nga Pascua!

Ilocano / Ilokano – Naimbag a Pascua ken Naragsac nga Baro nga Tawen! Or Naimbag a paskua ken naragsak a Baro a Tawen! (K and C are pronounced the same)

Ilonggo – Malipayong Paskwa kag Masinadyahong Bag-ong Tuig!

Kapampangan – Masayang Pasku, Masaplalang Bayung Banwa keko ngan!

Mandobo – Mepiya Pagasaulog sa pagka-otawni Jesus aw maontong kaling Omay!

Mangyan – Mayad paq Pasko kag!

Mangian “Buhid” – Fiya Pagpasko!

Mangian “Hanunuo” – Mayad pag Pasko kag!

Mansaka – Madyaw na Pasko aw malipayong Bag-ong Tuig kamayo, mga lumon!

Pangasinan – Maabig ya Pasko, Maaligwas ya Balon Taon ed sikayon amin!

Tagakaulo -Madyaw Pagsalog sa Pagka-otaw ni Jesus!

Christmas in the Philippines Starts in September

Even the simplest house in the Philippines deserves the grandiose decorations. – Photo by Bogs Lagman Bustos, Pampanga, Philippines

2. Don’t expect cold weather. The weather is in the low 80’s.  It gets a little bit colder in the night time, but pretty much daytime will still be warm.

3. The Spirit of Christmas starts September. Radios play Christmas songs all day on the first day of September which marks the beginning of Christmas.  Malls and other business establishments have the mindset to start putting up Christmas Trees and Christmas decorations.

4. Shopping malls start to get more crowded. Some of the malls that are popular are Robinsons and SM.  Some well known Bargain Shopping Places are Greenhills Mall, Divisoria and Baclaran.  Street malls and street vendors are abundant.


Filipinos love shopping like everyone else!

5. Popular foods like Bibingka, Puto bumbong, Suman, Keso (Cheese), Hamon (Ham), Queso de Bola (Edam cheese or Ball cheese), Filipino Spaghetti (sweeter sauce compared to Italian sauce), Macaroni salad, and Fruit salad are in high demand. Of course the well-known roasted pig or Lechon is in demand year-round.

6. Simbang Gabi (Midnight Mass) is popular among Filipinos. The masses are held daily from December 16-24, and occur at different times ranging from as early as 03:00 to 05:00 PST. On the last day of the Simbang Gabi, which is Christmas Eve, the service is instead called Misa de Gallo (Spanish for “Rooster’s Mass”).  Misa de Gallo is also practiced by other non-sectarian churches other than Catholic churches.

7. There are Christmas parties everywhere; Office parties, School Christmas parties, Barangay (community) parties. Town and City Christmas festivals are extravagant.  Parties start as early as the first week of December.  Christmas officially ends on the Feast of the Epiphany, more commonly known as Three Kings’ Day (Spanish: Día de los Tres Reyes; Tagalog: Araw ng Tatlóng Harì).  Three Kings’ is observed on January 6 (Twelfth Night)

8. Carolers start to knock on your door in the first week of December. It is time to share your blessings.  They come and go at your door from morning to evening time.  Some places set rules and time for their visits, but it is a part of our tradition to share whatever we have when they are around.  Some of these carolers are all over the streets also.  If you don’t have anything to share, join the fun of singing Christmas songs with them.

9. If you are planning to hold a Christmas party, include your neighbors because it is what Christmas is all about for Filipinos most especially those who live in the provinces.

10. If you are from a foreign land and visiting the Philippines, learn to sing the karaoke, eat the native delicacies, dance and sing at parties, and most especially share your blessings! Everyone loves Christmas, but the true spirit of Christmas which is Faith, Love, Peace & Joy is very evident among many Filipinos during the season.

SM Megamall, Philippines - 7th Largest Mall in the World

SM Megamall (3.6 million sq ft) – 7th Largest Mall in the World


SM Mega Mall, Philippines

SM Mega Mall -2016

See Christmas “Pasko” for Filipinos

> See Christmas Greetings Translations in all Filipino Dialects

>>> Read more stories about the Filipino Culture while you learn the basics of the Filipino Language.

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