It is that time of the year where the children are knocking at the doorsteps singing carols, the churches open its entrance and welcome the hymns of choirs during the night masses, and the people gathering along the streets to get Bibingka and Puto Bumbong.
CHILDREN OF THE DAWN-Children frolicking around the north side of Cubao Cathedral's nave. The cathedral preserved its luminous architectural form since 1950. The ecclesiastical territory presently belongs to the Diocese of Cubao.
Philippines is a country where Christmas season is being celebrated in the beginning of ‘ber’ months. But as soon as the month hits the end of November, the sceneries and gimmicks of filipinos are already in display. The nights are longer and the weather is warmer; the bazaars are starting to appear in populous places selling brilliant ornaments, and switching colors of Christmas lights.
SANTA'S KNOCK-An imitation of Santa Claus stays afloat in the corner of the church. Santa Claus is universally known as the 'Father of Christmas' and has become the traditional symbol every December.
Most Filipinos are widely known as family-oriented people. During this season, families go on excursions and immigrants come back to share the holiday at home with their relatives. Some filipinos pack up to celebrate Noche Buena (Christmas eve) in their province to reunite with their friends or families.
FIGURINES FOR SALE-A parade of infant in a manger figurines charm the shoppers. The public market sells products made for holiday decorations such as figurines, ornaments, colorful lights and Christmas trees.
Touring around the busiest places, the people gather to go shopping for gifts and the malls are compressed with low-price products due to year-end sales. The closing time is extended, some go on for 24 hours and the crowd never sleeps during this season in the country.
CATHEDRAL BLUES-The Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Cubao begins the nine-day series of night mass. The night mass or "Simbang Gabi' traditionally occurs as early as 3 a.m to 5 a.m. The priest wears white as choirs together with the devotees and hearers sing 'Gloria.'
The church is mainly the heart of Christmas season. The community flock together to complete the nine-day series of ‘Simbang Gabi’ (night mass). Devotees believe that if completed, owns wish will be granted. The traditional belief has been disseminated and taught to children. Most filipinos strongly believe in it but priests stated that night masses are preparation for the coming of christ.
FESTIVE HYMNS-A food bazaar parades seasonal filipino dishes in the heart of Araneta Center. The space is decorated with a group of reindeer in excursion to the towering height of Christmas Tree. The place is buzzing, the night deepening, the lights are getting warmer as the crowd unceasingly come and go.
Spending holidays in the country is incomparable. The places light up with dazzling decorations, the trees stand tall with stars embracing its body and all smiles on the street whether you have a home to celebrate the season or some filipinos who will celebrate another Christmas Eve along the streets possessing mattresses, or none at all.
A HOLIDAY TREAT-The country's famed 'Puto Bumbong' is a must-have dish for every filipino. The food vendors amuse passersby in making 'Bibingka,' a holiday dessert cooked with charcoal-produced heat and 'Puto Bumbong,' made with bamboo steamers.
The most awaited day of the season is Christmas eve. It is the ideal time for filipinos to spend quality time over dinner table and recall stories that have happened over the past few years or reminisce over childhood memories.
Some organize the celebration of Christmas eve in different ways such as games, giving prizes and the exchange of gifts.
TAKE HOME EIFFEL-A fog timely arises on the feet of the seller. The stall is embellished with Christmas decorations abundant in Christmas lights and lanterns.
REFLECTION HUES-The boy in blue glares in a handy mirror while waiting for a customer. The isle is filled with ornaments, affordable gifts, and decorations intended for the holiday.
RED FACADE-One of the employees takes a rest in front of the beauty parlor. The holiday-themed decoration adorns the entrance of the parlor.
REVERSIBLE MOOD-Inside the luminous stall are two vendors expressing a joy and a scowl. The stall opens at 6 a.m to 11 p.m. The light bazaar which contains stalls of Christmas themed-products is located in front of Farmer's Market and will end in January.
ALL OF THE LIGHTS-The Ayala Triangle Gardens 'Festival of Lights' celebrates its 6th year wrapped in light installations and sound beating in different genres. The crowd pauses to watch the breathtaking show displaying variety of colors along with music. The motion of lights are designed by Zenas Pineda recreating the ten of the Philippines' oldest churches.
Christmas is-as the most cliche’ maxim-all about giving. The spirit of the season is the dramatical compilation of the year’s experiences and recollection of memories over good and bad things. Life-as we must say-is the greatest gift of all. The photo set exhibits the customary night of filipinos. Night is where the day begins during the month of December and the Christmas is created by us; the employees accommodating the demand of each Filipinos, the consumers providing the supply to meet the needs of the workers. This essay explores the art of 'give and take,' documenting the timeless tradition during Christmas season.