In the Philippines, there are well-loved Yuletide traditions that we’ve observed for years and are treasured by generations of families. Having King Sue hams on the Noche Buena table is one of them. Let’s look at some of these endearing practices that make Christmas in our country like no other.
Simbang Gabi/Misa de Gallo. It is believed that completing the nine-day novena masses will make Christmas wishes come true.
Caroling. Filipinos sure love to sing and during the Yule Season, this fondness for music is manifested through caroling. Neighborhood kids sing with hand-crafted tambourines while adult carolers have ventured into more high-tech versions, with microphones, mobile speakers, and even lights as they render their well-practiced song and dance numbers.
Exchange gifts. This sharing of blessings often comes in the form of “Aguinaldo” (usually from godparents), small funny items (from office Monito-Monita), and of course, the much-awaited exchanging of gifts with the family on Christmas Eve.
Putting up of Christmas decorations. As soon as November 1 is over, Filipinos immediately take down their Halloween decor and replace them with festive and colorful embellishments to signal the start of Yuletide. Think glittery buntings, the traditional parol made of bamboo and Japanese paper or Capiz shells laden with Christmas lights and of course, the Christmas Tree. There is no better symbol of Christmas than the Belen, the centerpiece of one’s home decoration. A representation of the Nativity Scene, it is present in almost all Filipino household.
Noche Buena. It literally translates to “Good Night” in Spanish but for Filipinos, Noche Buena is the ultimate feast on Christmas Eve. Here families get together at 12 midnight and share a lavish banquet prepared by the whole family. The Yuletide table is filled with all kinds of dishes including King Sue’s Chinese Bone-in Ham and other premium meat products. Its Pear Shape, Piña Ham and Sweet Hams, bacon, sausages, cold cuts and chorizos, are also the most likely ingredients in some recipes including lasagana, paellas, pasta, tacos, sandwiches and salads. Indeed, King Sue has always been one of the stars of the Filipino Christmas. It’s a time time-honored tradition that never grows old.
Merry Christmas from King Sue! May the Yule Season be a special and memorable one for you and your loved ones!