Monday, December 17, 2007

Misa de Gallo

Today, December 16, marks the beginning of a tradition here in the Philippines known as Misa de Gallo or more commonly known as “Simbang Gabi.” The tradition is carried out by Filipinos worldwide. Basically, it is a tradition where nine dawn masses are celebrated in nine consecutive days, the last day being the day before the Christ Child is born. The tradition goes way back into the Spanish era where it was believed that a nine-day dedication of attending mass at this early in the morning will test one’s faith and devotion to our Lord. Through the course of time, Filipinos believes that upon completion of the “Nine Mornings,” our Heavenly Father will grant them their deepest wishes.

This is why I think more and more Filipinos every year are gathering 4:30 AM in churches to attend to this tradition. More and more young people are getting into this whole “Simbang Gabi” fad. But, I truly hope that they’re doing that for all the right reasons; being, to celebrate the anticipation of the Lord’s Nativity.

Usually, after mass, Filipinos participate in yet another tradition of buying Philippine goodies outside the church for breakfast and consumption. Bibingka, Puto Bumbong, Hot Chocolates are just some of the delicacies that I await every single year.

I have never completed this tradition. I started trying two years ago, but four days into it, I just couldn’t muster up the strength to get up that early and join the festivities. Last year, I don’t think I even made it the first day. This year looks promising. Hehehe. First day was successful as I went through it just fine. I really, really hope that I can fulfill my obligation this year. And, if so happens that the Almighty will grant me my deepest wish, well, let’s just say that I’ve been wishing for that for quite some time now. Anyway, only eight days left before Christmas. So an advanced Merry Christmas to all. See you in the churches.

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