It will be a nationwide celebration of Christmas in Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’s “Philippine Christmas Islands” episode on Sunday, December 18.
They say no matter where one goes in the more than 7,000 islands here in the Philippines, one can discover a unique way Filipinos celebrate Christmas—not to mention the different variations of Noche Buena among the provinces.
In Batanes, the spirit of Christmas lives on even if the island has been recently devastated by typhoon Ferdie. Locals even put up their own version of Christmas tree which they call the Aryus Tree. This tree is said to symbolize the Ivatans’ fortitude that even typhoons could not uproot nor topple over.
Still up north, Mt. Ulap in Benguet offers a breathtaking view of its sea of clouds. The trip won’t be complete without sampling what they consider as the “Star of Noche Buena—the Kinuday or smoked pork.
Every year, tourists look forward to the Giant Lantern Festival in Pampanga where giant Christmas lanterns from various towns try to bag outshine one another in design. But this is not the only tradition Catholic Cabalens have during the Christmas season. They also have a Pahalik, the Maytinis, and a festive banquet featuring Minalin’s Buldit Silyo and Pastel de Lengua.
Meanwhile, music highlights the Christmas celebration of Cebuanos. They even wrote the original Cebuano version of “Ang Pasko ay Sumapit”—the “Kasadya Ning Taknaa.” This Sunday, tune in to the Christmas songs to be sung by the Children Rondalla Group, opera singer Zarie, and harp player Mang Benny.
In Iloilo, Simbang Gabi is very much alive in the centuries-old churches. KMJS visits the churches of Miagao, Tigbauan, Mandurriao, and the Jaro Cathedral. A food trip awaits viewers as well featuring the Balasan bibingka, the Valenciana, and the all-time favorite Morcon and Duck Estofado.
In Tangub, Misamis Occidental, locals celebrate Christmas Symbols Festival featuring the glittery light decors that showcase their creativity.
Catch Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho this Sunday, after Hay Bahay on GMA 7.