Tag Archives: Christmas

Jumpstart Your 2017 (Cliff Jumping in Fortune Island Resort, Nasugbu, Batangas): Photo of the Day

The New Year revelries are done — Christmas lights and decorations brought down and packed for the next year, the extra pounds starting to weigh down your belly, and the worries of 2016 left behind. It’s time to face 2017. So, how do you jumpstart the year? Most people do New Year’s resolutions. Some people, however, take it literally. Like Tom Sawyer (check his Instagram account, @whataboutpao, for more photos), enjoying the sun and sea, and jumping off the cliff in Fortune Island Resort, Nasugbu, Batangas. Looks fun. You brave enough to do it? Click the photo to enlarge. Continue reading Jumpstart Your 2017 (Cliff Jumping in Fortune Island Resort, Nasugbu, Batangas): Photo of the Day

Face Off at Twin Beach, El Nido, Palawan: Photo of the Day

We’ve been terribly inactive before and during the holidays, not so much because we’re gorged with the usual Christmas delicacies, but because there’s just so much things to do and people to visit over the look vacation. After all, Christmas in the Philippines is also about the family. So, 20 pounds later, as we start the new year, we’re at a loss where to start with our featured photos. The news items we’ve seen so far don’t inspire a jolly disposition, and it feels like 2017 is shaping up to be another daunting year. Nevertheless, as we browsed throught the Instagram photos tagged #visitpinas, we noticed this photo by Allan Pineda (check his Instagram acount, @allan_lira, for more photos), facing the angry waves in Twin Beach, Nacpan-Calitang, El Nido, Palawan. This photo captures the preferred disposition as we start the year — the happy fortitude and contagious resilience in facing whatever life throws our way. Join us as we embark on another year exploring the Philippines, and, of course, telling the world how beautiful it truly is. Have fun! Click the photo to enlarge. Continue reading Face Off at Twin Beach, El Nido, Palawan: Photo of the Day

The Light and Tree of the World’s Longest Christmas Celebration: Photo of the Day

Christmas is big in the Philippines, the only predomindantly Christian country in Asia. Filipinos — wherever they may be found — celebrate the longest Christmas season in the whole world. The Christmas tree is common everywhere in the world where Christmas is celebrated, but there’s something else that dominates the Christmas festivities than a Christmas tree — the parol. The star-shaped parol, or Christmas lantern is distinctly Filipino, having been created in the early 1900s by a Filipino artisan. When the Spaniards occupied the Philippines and spread Christianity in this part of the world, the parol was used to light up the way leading to the church. Simbang Gabi, or misa de gallo, is celebrated at dawn (yes, dawn, not the midnight as practiced anywhere else, because the Philippines was primarily agricultural, and farmers sleep early at night and wake up early at dawn). There’s a more distinctly Filipino creation — the Christmas tree created from the star-shaped parol. Here, look at this photo by Earl Masangkay (check his Instagram acount, @earlmasangkay, for more photos). “Probably the best christmas tree I have seen thus far,” says Earl. We couldn’t agree more. Onli in da Pilipins. Awesome! Click the photo to enlarge. Continue reading The Light and Tree of the World’s Longest Christmas Celebration: Photo of the Day

Summer in October: Photo of the Day

Yes, it’s pretty much smelling a lot like Christmas. A lot of places are now deep in winter snow. Ah, winter, that time of year when snow is a-plenty and Jack Frost tickles your, uhm, nose. But what if I tell you that somewhere, in a magical place called the Philippines, the summer sun still shines blazing bright in October — even deep in December? You don’t believe us? Take a close look at this photo by Charity Grace (check her Instragram acount, @iamcharitygrace_, for more photos), who spent some quality vacation time at Panglao Island, Bohol. See that beach? Those smiles? The sun? Yes, what she said is true: it’s still summer in October. Click the photo to enlarge.

Continue reading Summer in October: Photo of the Day

New Year Fireworks: More Fun in the Philippines

We’ve seen this amateur video — recorded in Metro Manila (Philippines, of course) when the clock struck 12 ushering in the New Year — immediately after it was posted in youtube, but didn’t repost it here. Not until now, anyway. The reason? We can’t decide whether we should be happy or sad about this sight. On one hand (no pun intended), we feel a lot of discomfort with the thought of injuries and pollution, among others, that surely come after the dust settles (or, more properly, after the fireworks smoke settles). On the other hand, there’s a weird side of us which is highly amused, giggling, at the sight of the non-stop explosions in EVERY part of the metro. The only other sight of fireworks that sufficiently moved us to write a post here in VisitPinas was the gold medal finish of the Philippines during the 2013 international fireworks competition (see video). Anyway, going back, let us know what you think of this kind of [fun] madness when it comes to New Year big bang, Philippine-style. There’s nothing like this in the whole world, we’ve heard. First, watch this video. Continue reading New Year Fireworks: More Fun in the Philippines

Photo of the Day: Simbang Gabi

There’s a belief that anyone who completes all the 9-day, or more properly, 9-night, traditional Simbang Gabi, gets a wish granted. The Simbang Gabi is a practice dating back hundreds of years ago when the Philippines was still a colony of Spain. The mass was celebrated before dawn (nowadays, there’s an option to have Simbang Gabi in the evening). Farmers would attend the mass before heading off to work and because it’s dark, the parol would serve as the light leading to the churches. It’s like the string of light in this photo by the lovely B E T H ( thewanderingwish_ ). Interesting. Just like the fact that the longest Christmas season is celebrated in the Philippines. Distinctly Filipino. Anyway, if you intend to complete the 9-day cycle, you better wait next year because the first mass was celebrated early morning of today (December 16-24). Nothing to lose in trying it, right? Here’s the photo (click to enlarge): Continue reading Photo of the Day: Simbang Gabi

Photo of the Day: Parol ng Pinoy

A parol or lantern, or what others refer to as a Christmas star (although it’s important to remember that a lantern is not limited in shape as a star), is a common sight in the Philippines, a warm country with the longest Christmas celebration in whole world (some say Philippine Christmas season starts with the “ber” months, September 1, while others say it officially starts on the First Advent, which happens to be today, the reason why we’re featuring the parol). So what makes a parol stand out from the crowd? We really don’t know, but somehow this particular photo of a parol captured our attention. This parol looks really simple, not the most expensive or the most ostentatious in the parol universe, for sure. Maybe our choice is based on this simplicity, yet this parol exudes the colors and warmth of Christmas, an occasion special to Filipinos — it’s one of the few events when you expect Filipinos to move heaven and earth to get home. For Filipinos, Christmas is, in large part, about the family. It is thus not surprising for this special photo to come from a “super dooper happy mom and wife,” like Jade “Jing” Barcas (jade_anne03). Look at this photo (click photo to enlarge): Continue reading Photo of the Day: Parol ng Pinoy

The Christmas View at Policarpio Street

Some places come to life at certain days of the year. This happens during fiesta celebrations, including the Sinulog, and, of course, Christmas. One of these Christmas destinations, although not in the scale as the other Christmas destinations previously discussed in this site, is Policarpio Street. Continue reading The Christmas View at Policarpio Street

Christmas in the Philippines

If you hate Christmas and anything that has to do with it, maybe you’d want to skip the Philippines. Filipinos celebrate the longest Christmas season in the whole world. Christmas is ushered in — no, not by the rumors if there’s any or how much is the Christmas bonus — but by the Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi, which is from December 16 to 24, with the 25th being the Misa de Aguinaldo, the final Christmas mass. Simbang Gabi literally translates to a “Night Mass,” but it’s being held at dawn, 4:00 a.m. to be exact. There are probably two general groupings for those who would want to complete the 9-day Simbang Gabi, resisting the urge to sleep, made more difficult by the cold nights — the devout Catholics and those who believe a wish is granted if the 9 days are completed. Still, regardless of which group you’re in, you’d probably enjoy the traditional Philippine Christmas delicacies — bibingka, puto bumbong and tsokolate — served, for a fee, of course, around the church area. Continue reading Christmas in the Philippines