Christmas In The Philippines

Last night, while at the BBQ, my GF said that I should ask Bob about Christmas Traditions in the Philippines.  I thought that’s strange, why doesn’t she just tell me so I asked her.  When she told me that we should have money to give to people on Christmas day as the adults will not accept candy.

She wanted me to ask Bob because she knew that I wasn’t going to be happy with this information.   I’m like what do you mean they wont accept candy, who says I’m going to give strangers anything? If I do they will accept what I offer!  My blood pressure probably went through the roof too. This is likely why she wanted me to ask Bob rather

Philippines Christmas

than tell me herself.  She takes things personally and money tends to be touchy subject since I am doing without so many things.  Like hot showers….. LOL

She explained that people go door to door asking for gifts on Christmas. I’m thinking, wait, I can’t buy our own kids everything I would like to for Christmas and now I gotta give money to the neighbors, some of whom don’t even seem to like me?  I must say I’m perplexed.

I asked her if she was going door to door on Christmas and she said that she used too, when she was a kid.  I’m thinking that’s okay, sure kids can go around and are often given candy.  She had told me that’s normal here a year before I came.

I could tell that it was important to her so I ask more about it.  I ask her what am I expected to pass out, 20’s and 100’s and she said no.  It is only a 1 to 5 peso.  Oh, I can live with that.  She said in Tacloban, where she grew up, there were lots of people that came to their home..  That people came down from the mountains.  I wonder what makes her think they wont do that here?

Walking for Cash?

I need a new camera, when it comes to cameras I like to go all out and I have my heart set on a Canon Rebel Xsi.  With the two lenses I want, it will run around $1500 (though it is on sale right now for less thant $1000).  Maybe I should go door to door.   I try to go walking every day anyway.  I try to average 1.5 miles a day, perhaps I’ll go for three on Christmas.  At five peso though, that’s a lot of miles.  Still, I bet I’d walk more if people would hand me five peso when I walked by their home. 🙂  Keep in mind, that it takes almost 50 peso to equal 1 dollar, so this would really be a lot of walking.

It would be fun though.  I’m always wanting to visit people here, learn the culture and this would likely be a good way to do so.  With so many people living in nipa huts though, I just can’t see myself doing that.  My home is hidden away and if you don’t know its here you’ll likely never see it.  I don’t know, maybe the people would be thrilled to have me at their door.   But I’m not going to be doing that.  I’m thinking of going to midnight mass to take in my Christmas culture.  Since I know very little Cebuano, I’m not going to get a whole lot out of that, but I would like to do that.  I hope Jessie is up to it.

I would love to hear the thoughts others have about Christmas here.  Are things different in Leyte than Cebu, Luzon and Mindanao?  I’m sure there are some differences from area to area as this is a country of tens of thousands of small tribes.

There is this thing with expats, they tend to want to know more about living here than the next expat.  Or maybe I just feel that more as I’m still a newbie.  I could write an entire article on that.  I’ve had people tell me something then when I repeat it to the same people, a month later, they tell me that’s not true.  I’m going, huh? you just told me that. LOL  I had one person tell me I was of no value to his website since all I did was ask questions.  Geesh, that guy is really short sided.  Please ask as many questions as you can think  of.  That stimulates conversations!

My point is, I am not like that and I hope I never will be.  I admit I know very little and want to be educated.  I’m sure I’ll do the same thing five years from now.   I have no problem trying to listen and learn from as many people as I can.  Oh I might argue with you, thats just my nature.  I argue with doctors and lawyers too.  If the walls would talk back to me I’m probably discuss what color they should be.  I learn a lot from being like that.  I drive some people crazy too though.  I laugh but that’s really not good, I’m trying to cut back on that.  But, again, educate me on Christmas.  Use this article to tell me about your experiences.  I’m craving information about the Philippines.

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