21 Ways You Know You're At A Filipino Christmas Party

21 Ways You Know You're At A Filipino Christmas Party

Namamasko Po!


I've been to a number of Filipino Christmas parties myself. At some point, they begin to become predictable. Yet, I never get tired of them. Here are a few things you'll notice if you're at a Filipino Christmas party.

 1. There's a Belen or Nativity Scene Displayed In The House



Plus 10 points if the nativity scene came from the motherland.

2. Everyone at the party went to or will go to church late at night for "Simbang Gabi"


"Simbang Gabi" translates to going to church at night or night at church. There's a Filipino tradition of completing 9 days of "Simbang Gabi" in order for God to answer our prayers. This whole process called, Misa de Gallo, starts on the 16th of December to the 24th. The Philippines has one of the highest populations of Catholics in the world. Celebrating the birth of Christ is extremely important.

3. The host family prepared a Noche Buena!


Let the FEAST begin!

On Christmas Eve, Filipino families, particularly those that are Catholic and Christian gather for the Noche Buena or Christmas Dinner. Native Philippine dishes and delicacies are served. The dish symbolizes abundance and appreciation for life.

4. There are PAROLS hanging 

Dindin Lagdameo

No, we're talking about police paroles and yes, this was Ms.Philippines' (Now Ms.Universe) cultural costume!

This Philippine lantern traditionally made from colorful papers, bamboo sticks, and is shaped like a five-pointed star.

These lanterns were originally designed to help villagers find their way to chapels and churches to pray. Putting up parols homes or other establishments is a common tradition!

5. Kids are aggressively "mano-ing" everyone in hopes for Aguinaldo 


Don't forget to Mano to your titos, titas, lolos and lolas and ESPECIALLY your ninongs and ninangs! You may be rewarded for it *$$$$ HINT HINT $$$$$*

What is a "mano" first of all? Of course, it has obvious Spanish roots to it. Mano or pagmamano is an "honoring-gesture" in Filipino culture performed as a sign of respect to elders. It is basically a way of requesting a blessing from the elder. Similar to hand-kissing, the person giving the greeting bows towards the hand of the elder and presses his or her forehead on the elder's hand.

What is Aguinaldo?

It is when children are rewarded and presented with gifts like toys or money by their relatives or godparents. These gifts are popularly called as "Aguinaldo."

( I'm 20 years old...can I still participate in Aguinaldo?)

6. They're playing Monito-Monita


The Pinoy's Monito/Monita is a modification of the Secret Santa. You have to give a small gift to your Monito/Monita (Secret Santa Baby) every week if you have started the game earlier or every day if you begin the game nearer to the official Christmas party. There are often themes for each gift of the week or gift of the day. For example, Week 1: Give something colorful. Week 2: Give something sweet and so on and so forth.

7. There's a very LOUD game of White Elephant happening 


Lots of drama happens when someone steals the Amazon Alexa for the second time. Then there's always that ONE person who brings a completely useless gift like a toaster or a rice cooker.

"HOY Who brought a rice cooker to da white elepant ha?? My god, the minimum is $35 my goodness gracious naman. Mukang second hand pa naman yan"

8. Titos and Titas are fighting for the Karaoke 


"ANAK! Please play Halik by Aegis!"

"Ang haliiiik mohhhhh na mimisss kohhhh!!!"

"Okay Anak you change it again to da wan by Ogie Alcasid, You know da wan in dat telenovela?!"

"Bakit ngayon ka lang dumating sa buhayyy kohhhhhh"

11. There's Christmas Caroling...FILIPINO STYLE 

I've seen this more in the Philippines than in any other country. You'll often see groups of children and/or adults gathering together with instruments spreading the Christmas cheer with traditional Filipino Christmas songs and classic Christmas songs as well!

12. You'll meet that one Tita who always gifts your family "Quseo de Bola"


If you know...you know.

Queso de Bola is the Filipino term, from Spanish, for Edam cheese. The term literally translates to "ball cheese". It is a Dutch cheese in a sphere and is coated with red wax.

13. You'll never hear the end of all the Tagalog Christmas Songs 


Some traditional Tagalog Christmas Songs Include:

14. All the "balat" of the Lechon is GONE

Pass the mang tomas please!


All the "balat" or skin of the pig has probably been eaten by all your titos and titas who will have high blood pressure the following morning.

15. Your titos and titas are interviewing you about your love life


"No tito, I do not have a boyprend yet"

"Yes po, I am prioritizing my studies first"

"I am too young to have a husband tita"

16. Your titos and titas are also interviewing you about your school life 

Jeppy Paraiso

"So are you doing nursing eskewl?"

"Ah, does dat make any money?"

"I tink you should just do nursing eskewl"

17. You'll constantly hear: "Okay! Wacky, Wacky!"


Is it even a Filipino party if there aren't several group pictures that don't have "wacky" versions?

18. You stay an extra 3 hours after saying "Goodbye" (AKA: Filipino Goodbye)


Your mom says that we're all going to leave now, BUT FIRST you need to kiss goodbye to all your titos and titas. AND THEN you mom will get caught up in the chismis.

19. You're forced to play a children's game 

When the host finishes saying the first level of "Bring Me"


Of course, you're going to play it no matter how old you are. Some games include musical chairs, Bring Me, and Pinoy Henyo!

20. Your Tito or Tita is forcing you to sing or dance for everybody 



"Come on anak, you show dem how you sing and dance and they will gib you $20"

21. They're already planning Media Noche


Yes. Yes, there's more food involved. In case you haven't noticed, Filipinos were the original foodies. This feast is celebrated on New Years Eve where families and friends come together once again to celebrate prosperity for the new year! (Oh and don't forget the ROUND fruits!)

Popular Right Now

18 Ways The Disney College Program Destroys You

"I can only hope we never lose sight of one thing, that it was all started by a mouse" - Walt Disney

The Disney College Program, three little words that may or may not forever change your perspective of the world. Working for Disney has been my dream since I was a little kid. That’s all I ever wanted to do with my life-- to become a part of the magic. It wasn’t just because it’s Disney World, the most magical place on Earth. It's because I truly admire everything that this company stands for. Disney is all about bringing families and friends together, creating memories that will last a lifetime and sprinkling a little pixie dust over this magical place that I’ve called home for eleven months. I knew all of this when I received that “Congratulations!” email. Excitement rushed through my veins . The world of possibilities had finally opened its door for me. What I didn’t know, was what those possibilities truly meant, until post DCP depression kicked in. It's a real thing my friends.

1. You are always going to be an extremely friendly and approachable person.

No matter where you are or who you are talking to, you can't help to smile. You always carry a welcoming vibe with you, no matter what situation you are placed in. Working for Disney taught you how to have the patience of a Saint when it comes to dealing with people. You learned that the best way to communicate is listening to everyone with an open mind, even if they’re screaming in your face about Test Track being out of FastPasses.

2. You are constantly finding hidden Mickeys in the real world.

Admit it, your mind creates hidden Mickeys out of almost every random three circle formation. You can’t help it. You have Disney on your mind all the time.

3. You are FULL of Disney Park fun facts.

Did you know that there are 11,324 triangles that make up Spaceship Earth?!

You love sharing your vast pool of knowledge of random Disney Park fun facts. Sometimes even when people don't care about it, you just have to talk about all the things you learned as a CP.

4. You also may speak ride spiel.

“We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it"- Dinosaur at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

When you work for Disney, you live and breath Disney. You couldn't even count how many times you've been to the park, even just to hub grass and chill or ride the People Mover four times in a row. Those spiels were a part of your everyday life. You know when you are riding Hunted Mansion with a boatload of cast members when everyone in the stretch room whispers, "I am your host, your ghost host". Going to the park almost every day is a part of CP culture. Accidentally referring to ride spells still sometimes slips into your daily conversation. Did you really do the college program if you don't know at least one ride spiel?

5. You constantly feel the need to get down the small child's level and talk to them about their favorite Disney characters.

"Hi Princess! My, you look dashing today, what Kingdom did you travel from?!"

What you would do to get back to the days when you were paid to sit on the ground to talk to a child dressed up as Cinderella. You see a child at your real world job and you feel the need to ask them about the about their favorite Disney movie. You catch yourself accidentally referring to people as princess in the real world, but it instated of the magic it used to produce, they look at you like you’re a crazy person. *sigh*

6. If your friends hear you say, ”So this one time in Disney…" one more time they may punch you in the face.

OMG-- this reminds me of this one time in Disney when...*insert story of an amazing day you and your Disney fam had here.*

You can’t help it, every single day was filled with an adventure during your CP. You want to share your stories with everyone you encounter. It's like word vomit. The second something reminds you of your CP there is no stopping you. Your friends back home may either get really annoyed or end up learning everything you did when you had free access to Disney World.

7. Boy do you miss the days when Mondays were happy.

"We love you Mondays, we do."

For some who were into the social scene, you blankly gaze out your window on a Monday night wondering what county you would have been playing at Son On The Beach. You watch your remaining CP friends' Snapchat stories and think to yourself, "Anzacs VS. Gayllerie!? Ugh, must have been a good game." You miss the days when your only struggle was to make it out of work on time to get to Happy Mondays. Your friends back home wonder how you are so freakishly good at flip cup. It’s a CP thing.

8. 90% of your best friends are long distance.

Skype dates are essential.

You created bonds with people from all over the world during your CP. You celebrated holidays with these people. You spent every single day with them during your time in Florida. Your program would never be as magical if it wasn't for the amazing people you met here. Some of these people turn into your life long best friends-- even if they currently reside 12 hours ahead of you. There isn't a day that goes by that you don’t think about you CP BFFs. When they say you will meet the most amazing people you will ever interact with working for Disney, they were not kidding. These people are even more than friends to you, they are family. If it means staying up till 2AM to Skype with your old roommate, who now lives on the other side of the world, it doesn't even cross your mind how late it is. Catching up with them is always worth it.

9. You probably have roughly 500 "I'm Celebrating" buttons.

"Happy squad-iversary!"

You found every excuse in the book to rock an "I'm Celebrating" button when you and your squad hit the parks. "I'm celebrating ERs" was a great one to sport when you got off work early. The button days were the special days. You could probably fill an entire cork board with all of the buttons you collected over your CP. Thank goodness for that, you'll have a tangible memory of those magical days for a lifetime.

10. The clock strikes 3:00PM and you know the Festival Of Fantasy Parade is strolling out of Frontier Land.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the time has come to take your places” -The Festival Of Fantasy Parade.

You continuously catch yourself looking at the clock around 3PM and feeling a little empty inside. To all the days before work when you watched that parade with your roommates, you were the greatest. You can always spot a cast member as “dreams that glow” blur down Main Street. They are usually the ones dancing along and singing as their favorite floats pass by. What you would do to relive those days.

11. You know a lot about the world and the people it's made up of.

I’d be real keen to learn about your culture over some Maccas, eh.

You know to never tell an Australian their accent sounds like a Kiwi's or visa-versa. You can spot the difference from miles away. You’ve learned the lads from down under are some of the funniest people you’ll ever interact with, and there are in fact, no kangaroos in New Zealand— just wallabies. You know that the people from Spain and Brazil are usually down for some fun and it's always a good time to kick back with your friends from France or The Netherlands. It's true that the Italians are loud and outspoken, in the best way possible. The people from Japan are simply the some of the sweetest. You meet so many people from all over the world and learn so much about their culture. You get more of a feel for all of the greatness the world is made up of than any textbook could ever explain.

12. You could draw a map of Magic Kingdom blindfolded.

“Nearest FastPass kiosk?!” “Down the pathway to the left!

Not only is Disney World your home, but you know every square inch of it. You could still probably give someone directions to the nearest quick service restaurant of your location, from wherever you are currently sitting in the world.

13. Applying for jobs? Disney always makes you stand out.

“Wow, you worked for Disney World? Tell me more about that!”

Your resume stands out among the thousands. Potential employers want to hear about your Disney College Program experience and you are over the moon to share. You tell them about the days where you immersed guests into the theme of your location and all of the magic you made. Working for the number one entertainment company is something to be proud of.

14. You are constantly checking airline prices to reunite with your roommates and get back to the place that started it all.

There is nothing better than reuniting with your Disney family. Your most visited web pages are airlines sites. You count the days where you can rule the parks again with your favorite people by your side. You can't help but to run to them in the middle of MCO with tears in your eyes and magic in your heart, ready to create even more memories together. You know you found forever friends in them, it's never goodbye— it's see ya real soon.

15. You have a strong emotional attachment to certain rides of shows.

"The best part is, you'll never run out of wishes"- Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.

There are some shows and rides that take you right back to the days where Walt Disney World was your usual hang out spot. Some of those shows have so much more meaning to you and the magic you made. You tend to get a little teary eyed watching them when you visit. Even when your CP is over, the magic lives on in your soul.

16. Disney is not just a vacation spot to you, it’s your home.

You feel at ease here. You may have even found who you are and who you aspire to be here. It’s a special place to you that holds so much magic. Going back feels familiar. You never feel like an outsider here. Walt Disney World really is your home and it welcomes you right back every time you return.

17. People who know you before your College Program say you've changed.

You're more outspoken, you are confident in yourself and you carry on with pride. Not to mention your work ethic and customer service skills are outstanding. You believe in things and the people around you. You believe in magic and that's all thanks to the Disney College Program.

18. It was the best 4 months - 1 year of your life and you would do anything to relive just one more day of being a CP.

"While no one knows for sure what we'll see or do. I do know it will be quite an adventure, an adventure that we'll take and make together. See you in the future"- Spaceship Earth.

If you were given the opportunity to put on those extreme high-waisted polyester grandpa pants and that florescent shirt that was probably eight sizes too big for you— you’d do it in a heartbeat. Despite the long hours and blazing sun, sometimes your life felt like a dream. Your time spent working for the mouse will forever be your most magical days, as the Disney College Program was the best opportunity of your entire life.

Cover Image Credit: Dana Saccoccio

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4 Things To Do When You Don't Win The UVA Basketball Lottery

Better luck next time.


Now that it is officially winter, it is time to cheer on Tony Bennett and the 'Hoos in one of UVA's favorite sports: basketball. While die-hard fans have attended nearly every UVA sports game leading up to basketball season to rake in Saber points, other people (like myself) have only gone to some games and have very few of these points. I was able to go to the first, less intense games with my minuscule amount of points, but now that the team has begun to play major ACC opponents, I am out of luck when it comes to scoring tickets. I am sure that I am not the only one who has had this issue as well. So, instead of being upset and watching the game through the Sanpchat stories of the friends who did get tickets, here is a list of activities that you can do while the game is going on.

1. Stream the game

The Streamable

This is definitely the most basic solution to not getting tickets. Apps like ESPN can sometimes let you stream the game. However, if you do not have a TV provider, you are probably unable to do this. If you can't stream the game but still really want to see it, see if someone you know is watching it and watch the game together. You could also go out with friends to a restaurant or sports bar around C'Ville since they probably have the game on one of their TV's.

2. Spend time with friends

Casey Clarke

If you aren't able to watch the game on a device, you can spend some time hanging out with friends who could also not get tickets. When my roommate and I did not get tickets to the last basketball game, we played card games with some friends and watched the latest episode of The Bachelor and made it a night that was even better than if we had gone to the game.

3. Catch up on work

Lukasz Popardowski

Personally, I always have something that I need to do for a class or extracurricular. While I typically push the work off until later if it isn't very important, I could be finishing that work during the time that I would have spent at the game. Although this may not be the most fun way to spend your time, it is very productive and helps you in the long run.

4. Relax


When you don't want to work or go anywhere, just stay home and have a relaxing night. Get in some comfy clothes, make some popcorn, and binge watch some TV or movies. School can cause you to build up stress, so having a relaxing night in would help to alleviate some of the stress and make you happier.

Although you may be bummed that you did not win tickets to the game, hopefully doing one of these things will help to take your mind off of it. Then, go to more games to get more Saber Points and try again for the next game. Hopefully, you will eventually get tickets and have an amazing time!

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