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
You’ve probably heard that out of the 9 finalists in the talent reality show Asia’s Got Talent, 4 are Filipinos — El Gamma Penumbra, Gerphil Flores, Gwyneth Dorado, and Junior New System. This is a testament to the talent of Filipinos, something to be truly proud of. The finals show was aired on 7 May 2015, with voting open until 11 May 2015. If you haven’t watched the performances, watch below. Really amazing. We’ve also expressed our thoughts on the voting below. Enjoy! (And vote!) Continue reading Filipinos in Asia’s Got Talent (AGT): Vote for El Gamma Penumbra, Gerphil Flores, Gwyneth Dorado, and Junior New System
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
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again (and we’ll most likely say this a thousand times more), singing is a national hobby in the Philippines. So it came as no surprise that the 25th Anniversary gala performance of Miss Saigon, playing at the Prince Edward Theatre, London, featured the original Kim, Lea Salonga. It also featured another Filipina making her mark in the world musical stage, Rachelle Ann Go. Lea Salonga is also known as a Disney Princess (the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan). But, lately, in her participation in The Voice Philippines, we see a different personality shining through — we don’t know if it’s just role-playing, but she sure comes across as a b*tch. Still, as someone noted, every time Lea Salonga sings the classics, our hearts melt, and we remember that we love her. Yes, we still love her. Here, watch: Continue reading Lea Salonga, Rachelle Ann Go, Miss Saigon: Told You, Singing Is More Fun in the Philippines (video)
The reaction of Americans on their first encounter with Filipino snack food is a bit funny and absolutely fun to watch (c’mon guys, it really takes years of practice to master the art of eating, or sniffing, the Mik Mik Sweetened Choco Powder). It’s surprising how this video puts a fresh perspective to something we Filipinos naturally take for granted: chichirya. Watch it and tell us what you’re favorite Pinoy snacks. Continue reading What’s Your Favorite Filipino Snack?
The roads are eerily quite today. No traffic. Not much people. Crime rate was practically down to zero. No fighting in politics (but not the “politicking”). No, there’s no coup or some destabilization plot. No war between the military and the rebels. But there’s another war brewing. Continue reading Unfinished Business: Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez