Kay bilis ng panahon, Pasko na naman mga Ka-Tsong! It’s that time of the year again—Christmas is in the air. And you all know what that means: uwian season for OFWs around the world. However, one should keep in mind that not all OFWs are as fortunate. Some will sadly be unable to go back home to their loved ones in the Philippines for various reasons (e.g., lack of money, saving more money, not allowed by employer, have to work on Christmas, etc). So one might ask, in these situations, what can OFWs do to celebrate Christmas? How can an OFW still have a Paskong Pinoy even if he/she is miles and miles away from home? Well, here are some quick tips for you:
- Decorate your place. Put up some Christmas lights outside your place. Set up a Christmas tree. Hang some of those decorations around your home. Make or get a parol and put it up for everyone to see. How about that belen? Don’t have money to get decorations—well, why don’t you make some from recycled materials? Make your place as jolly as possible, just like back home! If you want to bring the Paskong Pinoy abroad, you should first bring it to your place literally. 🙂
- Play some Christmas music. Christmas in the Philippines is never without Christmas music. (Ahem, naaalala nyo pa ba ang magkaroling?!) So why don’t you fill your home abroad with it? You can play Christmas songs from your local radio station all day. If you’re looking for some Filipino Christmas songs, you can always find some online or by using some apps on your phone. You can go to our previous cool tip by clicking here to find out how. Get that “Pasko Na Naman” rolling!
- Go to mass. The Paskong Pinoy almost always calls for going to mass in church. It’s a tradition most Filipinos do during the season. Check with your local church for mass times during the holidays. Some churches, especially those in places with a good number of Filipinos, even have special “simbang gabi” masses. Be on the lookout for these! They’ll surely give you the Philippine feels.
- Celebrate with others. In the Philippines, Christmas is what one would call a shared event. The Paskong Pinoy is always one that’s celebrated with family and friends. So, even if you are abroad, there’s no stopping you from celebrating the season with people you know. If you’re living alone, invite others to your place or go participate in Christmas parties/events in other’s places. Don’t forget to celebrate with tons of those Filipino goodies. Eat to your heart’s content! No dieting! Also, have fun by holding all of those activities and parlor games we Filipinos just love playing.
- Celebrate with your loved ones back home. Finally, and most importantly, remember to call your loved ones back home. Christmas time is family time, so don’t forget them!
Really, the key to having a Paskong Pinoy abroad is just to make sure that its spirit is there. As long as you have that, you’ll have the kind of Filipino Christmas you’re looking for. Yes, we all know that no matter how hard you try, Christmas abroad just isn’t the same as Christmas back home. But there’s also no stopping you from doing your best to celebrate the season as much Pinoy as you possibly can. So don’t hold back!
Isang Maligayang Pasko, mga Ka-Tsong! 🙂