From the moment we are born, traditions shape and define our lives. Every culture has unique rituals, celebrations, and beliefs that bring people together and create a sense of belonging and community. One such tradition is the Simbang Gabi—a popular Filipino Christmas tradition—which Barok and Takya explore in their Filipino Bisaya podcast episode. Barok and Takya explore what makes this traditional celebration so unique and how it brings joy to Filipinos all over the world.
What is Simbang Gabi?
Simbang Gabi is a nine-day religious event in December leading up to Christmas day in the Philippines. Each morning from December 16th through December 24th, Filipino Catholics attend dawn masses (known as simbang gabi or Misa de Gallo) held at their local churches or chapels. The mass is usually followed by a Feast Day, where people gather for food, drinks, and Christmas carols. It's truly a joyful occasion!
Why is Simbang Gabi important?
Simbang Gabi has been celebrated since the 16th century when Spanish friars introduced it to Filipinos—and it's still practiced today by millions of Filipinos around the world. It is an essential part of Filipino culture because it symbolizes hope and faith during difficult times. The nine days of Simbang Gabi remind Filipinos that they are never alone; they have family members who will be there for them no matter what life throws their way.
How do you live out this tradition?
For Pinoy podcasters, Barok and Takya, living out this tradition mean attending their local Simbang Gabi ceremonies each year with family members and friends, praying together for peace and harmony throughout the world. They also talk about how they start each ceremony with a traditional song called "Ang Pasko Ay Kay Saya", followed by carols like "Christmas in Our Hearts", which fill them with warmth and happiness during this cold breeze of December.
Traditions can be your anchor when times get tough, no matter where you come from or how far you've traveled from home. For many Overseas Filipino Workers living abroad, celebrating Simbang Gabi is one way to stay connected to their roots while bringing joy into their lives during this particular time of year. So why not take some time out of your day to listen to the Barok and Takya Bisaya Podcast about this beautiful celebration?You might find yourself inspired by its timeless message of hope and faith!
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