Cover Here are Filipino words expats may hear during the holiday season (Photo: Sabina Sturzu/Unsplash)

Below are Filipino words that you may hear a lot on Christmas season! Which one of these are you familiar with?

Filipinos are known for having one of the grandest Christmas celebrations in the world; this is why during this season, many expats visit the country and celebrate with their Pinoy families, friends, and loved ones. 

To help them understand the country's Christmas culture better, Tatler has listed a few words that are uniquely Pinoy!

See also: Pinoy Christmas Must-Haves: 7 Decor Items That Highlight the Holiday Spirit

1. Noche Buena

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The Filipino noche buena during Christmas eve (Photo: Jed Owen/Unsplash)
Above The Filipino noche buena during Christmas eve (Photo: Jed Owen/Unsplash)

For Filipinos, Noche Buena refers to the feast prepared on tabletops every Christmas eve. Famous Pinoy dishes range from the crowd-favourite lumpia, queso de bola, and ham.

Tatler Trivia: The word Noche Buena is a Spanish term used for "Christmas Eve" though it literally means, "good night".

Related: A Filipino Christmas Feast: 11 Nostalgic Food to Serve on Noche Buena

2. Simbang Gabi

In 2015, it was estimated that there are currently around 84 million Catholics who profess their faith in the Philippines. This may be the reason why the churches are always full during the Christmas season. 

At the break of dawn, Catholics flock to the church for the Simbang Gabi, a devotional nine days-long novena masses in anticipation of Christmas. The liturgy for each Mass which begins on December 16 tackles the early life-journey of the Blessed Virgin Mary up to the birth of Jesus Christ. It is believed that Simbang Gabi, also known as Misa de Gallo began during the Spanish Colonial Period where parishes hold Masses for the farmers at the crack of dawn before they work in the haciendas. Today, Simbang Gabi also have anticipated Masses in the evenings.

Tatler Asia
Filipinos complete the 'Simbang Gabi' during Christmas season (Photo:  Wim van 't Einde/Unsplash)
Above Filipinos complete the 'Simbang Gabi' during Christmas season (Photo: Wim van 't Einde/Unsplash)

3. Pamasko/Aguinaldo

Time to open your purse! 

During the Christmas season, children often ask for their annual pamasko or aguinaldo from adult members of the family. The pamasko may come in the form of cash or thoughtful gfits. 

Related: Tatler Gift Guide: Make Christmas Memorable With These Fun And Functional Gifts

4. Monito-Monita

Secret Santa has its own version in the Philippines and it is called 'Monito-Monita,' a gift exchange that finds its roots in early Christmas traditions.

Each person buys the person they picked a gift. The gifts are then exchanged on a date that the group has agreed upon. 

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Monito-Monita is one of the most exciting parts of Filipino Christmas events (Photo:  The Retro Store/Unsplash)
Above Monito-Monita is one of the most exciting parts of Filipino Christmas events (Photo: The Retro Store/Unsplash)

5. Karoling

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Filipinos hop from one house to another to sing their hearts out on Christmas (Photo: David Beale/Unsplash)
Above Filipinos hop from one house to another to sing their hearts out on Christmas (Photo: David Beale/Unsplash)

Most Filipino kids hop from one house to another to sing Christmas carols as a group. Many people around the world who are not necessarily religious also engage in Christmas carolling during holidays.

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