Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Maligayang Pasko

Merry Christmas from the Philippines! Whaddaya mean it's only September? I'm nearly a month behind on my celebrating, judging by when I heard my first Christmas carol at the grocery store.

The Philippines has the longest Christmas season on the planet. Fake pine trees start appearing in the stores Sept. 1 (though as stated above, the music started even earlier this year).

I kind of like it.

This is a shopaholic country to begin with, but when the Christmas season hits, look out! The malls go all out with decorations and snarled traffic to match. Tiangges, or bazaars, spring up everywhere. Makeshift booths line the side of the road, selling a crazy, blinking menagerie of capiz lanterns and rope-light creations shaped like Santa and other Christmas characters.

My favorite Filipino decoration is the parol (pictured). Made from bamboo sticks and colored plastic sheeting, these 3D versions of the Bethlehem star come in all sizes and are a common sight at Christmastime. They look stunning hanging from tall trees, backlit with clear, twinkling lights.

So call me crazy if I lug out the decorations well before Thanksgiving. If I can't have snow, at least I can have my four-month long Filipino Christmas.


Helena said...

We heard an ice-cream truck a few weeks ago that was playing Christmas music mixed in with other stuff. I told Doug maybe it was an Australian ice cream truck.

Sheri said...

Well then,
Merry Christmas!