Quantcast
Latest Stories

‘Family, food, lanterns’ bring fond memories of Christmas

By

LIGHTING THE WAY. Christmas lanterns on display along Jose Abad Santos Avenue in the City of San Fernando in Pampanga. PAUL KYRBY BALINGIT

Christmas in the Philippines, or “Paskong Pinoy”, has earned the reputation worldwide of celebrating the longest Christmas season, which starts as early as September all the way until early January.

But more than that, it differs from other countries in many ways, according to Paul Kyrby Balingit.

“Where do I start? Parols or lanterns, however you want to call them, comes into mind first. Particularly in our province, lanterns can be pretty huge. How about the groups of children beating on empty plastic containers of various condiments starting things off with “Sa may bahay ang aming bati.” Those among many more,” the 25-year-old production assistant of an information network said.

The star-shaped lanterns have become a Filipino staple during the holidays the same way as Christmas trees. It represents the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Kings.

Known for its giant lanterns, the City of San Fernando has become popular as Christmas capital of the Philippines.

In pangangaroling (singing Christmas carols), a group of children visit houses to sing Christmas carols.

Also, the holiday season described in Christmas songs as the “most wonderful time of the year” also means giving and receiving for Balingit.

“Giving back and at the same time, being given. And food, don’t forget food,” he told INQUIRER.net when asked what the season meant to him.

Some of the more known Christmas food staples include ham, queso de bola, bibingka, puto bumbong, lechon, among others.

Balingit also associates the yuletide season with family.

He refused to elaborate but said he thought that the best Christmases were when his grandmother was still alive. “Perhaps, the fact that she was around was what made them so special,” he added.

A shutterbug on the side, Balingit’s photo of Christmas lights was recently picked for INQUIRER.net’s Paskong Pinoy Weekly Feature.

“I’ve been meaning to take photos of those Christmas lights for quite some time and when I learned about INQUIRER.net’s Paskong Pinoy, I asked why not?” he said.

The photo was taken along Jose Abad Santos Avenue in the City of San Fernando in Pampanga.

“Though I’m more used to taking photos of people, I had an idea on how to play around with long exposures, thus, this photo,” he said.

Balingit took the photo with his Nikon D80 camera, which he fondly calls as Nadjes.

“I guess the simplicity of the photo doesn’t really show how hard it was to take it,” he said.

As the temperature cools and holidays draw near, Balingithas not made plans.

“Guess I’ll have to surprise myself. It’s fun to be complicated and spontaneous,” he said.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Christmas , holidays , Paskong pinoy , Paul Kyrby Balingit

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TCQMRK4HVOSF2IGML46TAGKMXU Benjamin

    What’s wrong with you Inquirer?  This report is on CNN today and you are not posting my blog. Is the Philippines under strict censorship?

    • http://twitter.com/gregson8000 Gregory Robinson

      Yes, they censor a lot because it doesnt fit their politics. they are low life and substandard media

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    The spirit of Christmas is not there anymore!

  • http://twitter.com/levadd ad lev

    yan, nagalit tuloy si manong benjamin,…..magki christmas na bati bati na tau….:)

  • http://seo-expert4hire.blogspot.com/ R.Baylon – SEO Specialist

    Christmas in the Philippines is the BEST!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TCQMRK4HVOSF2IGML46TAGKMXU Benjamin

    The reason I asked Inquirer is because of the news report yesterday on CNN America about Pope’s Benedict XVI statement on his upcoming book that there was a very big blunder by early Christians in determining that Jesus Christ was born on December 25. I tried to post a CNN link yesterday so that the people may read the report but the moderator here blocked my 2 posts. To fellow bloggers… Just access CNN America and you will be able to read the whole statements of the Pope about the wrong nativity of Christ. It is worth reading and you will be greatly enlightened by the Pope’s expose.

  • http://twitter.com/gregson8000 Gregory Robinson

    I’ve been here for several years, and the vast majority don’t even think about christmas until december. some might have a few flashing lights, but they keep them up all year. probably just for a little decorative touch. What I’m really searching for is a community that celebrates the Christmas Spirit of Christ, caring, sharing, joyful and selfless reaching out to others…1 month, 4 months or the entire year. 1 day would be nice.

    • bogusman

       You’ve probably been in wrong places. Christ has been and is always the centerpiece of our Christmas celebration. I guess it is not too much to say that having two canonized saints is adequate to prove my point. If you notice some lights flashing all year round you might have been in what we call “Red Light District” or places of music and drink you call bars. I strongly disagree with your shallow observation. Some might keep it hanging but not flashing all year. Ordinary folks are tight on their budget so they can’t afford the lights flashing all year but only during Christmas time. I urge you to go out with sincere intent; fill your heart with Christ’s spirit then and only then you will find what you have been looking for. The community begins right in front of your doorstep. Have you shared your table with the hungry?  Merry CHRISTmas!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Z32DU636QP4GZWZBW7C7ZURNW4 aga

    Why is the daily inquirer so stingy with pictures?



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. World bids Gabriel Garcia Marquez ‘Adios’
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  5. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  8. Garcia Marquez left unpublished manuscript
  9. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  10. Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  5. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  6. This is not just a farm
  7. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  8. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  • N. Korea finally offers condolences over ferry tragedy
  • 16 CADPI sugar refinery workers now out of danger after toxic shower in Batangas
  • PNP denies Purisima’s involvement in questionable deal with courier firm
  • Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist hostage
  • Sports

  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • UST posts twin kill in Filoil pre-season cup opening day
  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
  • Cha cha train to follow Obama visit?
    Marketplace