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Family Christms

What is Filipino Christmas in Australia?

What is Filipino Christmas in Australia?

Even in the face of its successful outcome, the recent Philippine Christmas Festival at Tumbalong park led some sections of community to ask what is Filipino Christmas in Australia?

Immediately one’s thinking is tinged with feeling of homesickness, a feeling of ennui for a happiness especially in one’s childhood filled with family gladness and spiritual joy for celebrating the birth of the most important and deeply revered personality  by a believer.

Question like “How would Santa Claus appear in Filipino Christmas?” comes up rightfully or wrongly. Would the Christmas “noise” (like firecrackers) be still desirable in Australia?

As for food on Christmas, “boodle fight”, bibingka’t puto bumbong and other kakanin would be appropriate for the celebration, but many of them would certainly be missed.

Being transplanted to a different setting, the Filipino migrant has to contend not only with the physical attributes of a changed environment, music, cuisine, and means of celebration.

The cultural change is more eminent with different or even nil celebration of Christ’s birth.

The parols, Simbang gabi and Christmas carols are missed by Filipinos, if not ignored at all in some quarters.

The merry making in Australia come in different ways, very different.

First with the hot summer months in December, people prefer travelling to the beach and seaside resorts so the scene of closely tight family gathering is replaced by an excursion  to the seaside towns and villages.

Filipino clubs and associations try to recreate the old barrio fiesta feeling in their Christmas celebrations, presenting to non-Filipino friends the best of Filipino dances and singing and even dramatization   of the Christmas story.

And because of the fusion of customs and traditions of different nationalities such as Spanish, American, Chinese and to less extent minority migrants i the Philippines such as Indians and Japanese all overlapped by the Indo-Malasysian heritage what Christmas celebration you get is not really homogenuous, but  a celebration of diversity.

It is celebration of the birth of Christ with Santa Claus, Rodulp the red noosed reindeers and many other commercial features from the Anglo-Western festivity of Christmas in cameo roles.

People think differently, and on many occasions celebrate differently.

But at least Christmas offer everyone what that angel said  in  on the birth of Jesus Christ as told by the Scriptures “ “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”

This we have to agree.