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The Philippines is known for having the world’s longest Christmas season. It starts as early as September till early January. Instead of going to the mall like usual, we went to the Liwanag Park at the Meralco Compound in Ortigas! Nothing like spending Christmas with your family and friends—we’re always busy with school/work and a walk in the park is just what we needed! Seeing all those Christmas lights got us more excited for the holidays! 

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Simbang gabi is a novena of dawn masses from December 16 to Christmas eve. Vendors outside the church offer many native delicacies such as bibingka and puto bumbong! Sarap! 

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Caroling is a part of the Filipino Christmas tradition. Carolers will go from house to house to sing Christmas carols. They usually have makeshift instruments made from cans, jars and bottles!

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To start the Christmas rush, a lot of stores in the malls will be on sale (with Christmas songs playing in the background). There would also be tons of Christmas bazaars everywhere! Hello traffic! 

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Every Christmas, a lot of Filipino homes and buildings are filled with parols—a star shaped Christmas lantern made of bamboo strips and colored Japanese paper/cellophane. You’ll see a lot of them at the Meralco Liwanag Park! 

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Christmas parties happen 1-3 weeks before Christmas. Usually students and office workers would hold ‘Monito Monitas’ or Kris Kringles—a Filipino version of Secret Santa! 

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On Christmas eve, families would stay up all night into Christmas Day to pig out and open presents! 

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The best part of Christmas Eve? Noche Buena!!! Families would dine together around midnight for some delicious Christmas ham, queso de bola, lechon, pasta, relleno, fruit salad, wine, etc! Mmmm…

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On Christmas day, Filipinos (in their best outfits haha) typically visit members of the extended family! The parents/grandparents give out presents or aguinaldo to their inaanak! Mmm I can smell the fresh and crispy bills from my grandparents! Haha just kidding! 

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Meralco together with the Department of Tourism is making Christmas brighter and more fun this year by energizing island schools, creating more Liwanag Parks, and giving out Php5,000 cash daily to customers!

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How? Just visit any of the Meralco liwanag parks (they have 31 all over the country), like Meralco on Facebook and upload the photo on the Meralco Maliwanag Ang Pasko app!  You have until December 22 to submit your entries! 

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To know more about Meralco’s Maliwanag ang Pasko 2012 campaign, click HERE. Only 7 days to go till Christmas! Happy holidays! 

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