Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Paskong Pinoy

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for Filipinos, as it may be for people in other countries. The Philippines is known for having the world's longest Christmas season. As soon as we hit the -ber months, we start hearing Christmas carols being played in stores and households on the first day of September! The holiday season doesnt end until the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings (Tatlong Hari) which falls around January 6. People excitedly prepare for this special occasion by doing their Christmas shopping, decorating their houses with beautiful Christmas ornaments and planning for Christmas parties and get togethers.
A traditional Filipino household would have a lantern or parol hanging outside their houses,  most commonly in the shape of a five-pointed star. There are variations to the types of parols that Filipinos make but the most popular of which is the Pampanga lantern made up of capiz and illuminated by lightbulbs, which sometimes have a built in music that plays popular Christmas carols.Most households and malls back in Manila also display a creche or nativity scene called belen. The streets of Manila are well decorated with lanterns and bright Christmas lights all throughout the season. All shopping malls display giant Christmas trees and the most popular of which is the one found in Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.
Being predominantly Catholics, Filipinos begin a nine day novena on December 16th called Simbang Gabi, which literally means “Night Worship or Midnight Masses", wherein Filipinos go to church at four o’clock in the morning and share the breakfast together afterwards. There is always a time for fellowship after each masses depicting the hospitality of the Filipinos. At the end of the nine-day novena, which falls on December 24, the night before Christmas--- every Filipino family looks forward to the Noche Buena--- the grand family dinner after the midnight mass.
A traditional drink during this season is a warm ginger tea called salabat--commonly paired with a rice cake called bibingka, which is traditionally cooked by using a clay pot and charcoal. Another declicacy that is also being served during Christmas season is called puto bumbong, made from a special variety of glutinous or sticky rice called pirurutong which is purple in color. It is cooked inside bamboo tubes called bumbong and served with butter or margarine, shredded coconut and sugar. 
Puto Bumbong
For the month of December, Isla Kulinarya will feature Christmas dishes that are sure to wow your appetite! Our featured Chefs will share mouth watering recipes that will be a delight at your family get togethers, office Christmas parties and your school reunions. Watch out for Isla Kulinarya next week as we share with you these Christmas recipes.

Wherever you go , wherever you look the spirit of Christmas is upon us----the season of merrymaking has indeed began!
Isla Kulinarya lets you explore the islands, taste the food, relive the memories -- all made possible by Island Pacific Supermarket. Go and visit an Island Pacifc near you with branches in Southern California located at Cerritos, Canoga Park, North and South Vermont in Los Angeles, Panorama City and West Covina;  Union City and Vallejo in Northern California.Check out our website at Stay connected with us-- find us on Facebook @island pacific market, follow us on Twitter @islandpacificUS and  Blogger @island pacific market. For your comments, suggestions and request for recipes that you want us to feature, please email Presyong Sulit... sa Island Pacific. Advertising Supplement.

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