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!)