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					Like most any other country, the Philippines
is rich in customs and traditions handed
down from generation to generation. While
Filipinos were able to preserve most of these
olden and even revered practices, some of
these were products of foreign influence,
assimilated in the native culture and nurtured
through time.
Maligayang    Pasko
Kasalan
Maskara
Independence      Day
              PROCEED TO END
   Christmas in the Philippines is one of the
    biggest holidays on the calendar. The country
    has earned the distinction of celebrating the
    world's longest Christmas season, with
    Christmas carols are heard as early as
    September and the season lasting up until
    Epiphany (January 6 on the Julian Calendar
    and January 19 on the Gregorian Calendar).
    Christmas in the Philippines is a mixture of
    Western and native Filipino traditions.
   As December 24th dawns, the last Mass of
    Simbang Gabi is attended; then preparation
    begins for Noche Buena, which is a family feast
    that takes place after midnight.
   Christmas Eve is known as "Nochebuena" (the
    Good Night). It is a time for family members to
    gather together to rejoice and feast around the
    Nativity scenes that are present in nearly every
    home. Food is in abundance, often served in
    buffet style and all the friends, relatives and
    neighbors wish each other “Merry Christmas”.
   The typical foods prepared in the Philippines
    during Christmas are: lechon (roasted pig),
    pancit, barbecue, rice, adobo, cakes (Western
    and native rice cakes), lumpia, etc. The
    celebration goes on throughout the night and
    it is a night not meant for sleeping.




                                      BACK
   In the Philippines there are many unique
    wedding traditions, some which originate
    from Spanish missionaries who visited the
    country early in the 18th century. Many of
    these traditions are drawn from the dominant
    Christian religion of the Philippines,
    Catholicism.
   Rarely actually is it a small gathering! It‟s a
    big production, with a lot of traditions
    and pre- and post- wedding events.
   Wedding expenses are paid for by the
    groom's family in the Philippine setting,
    unlike in some western cultures. But more
    and more couples contribute their share from
    their hard-earned savings. Some couples
    even shoulder the entire wedding expense
    themselves. It normally follows that whoever
    foots the bill has the final say on how big the
    wedding will be and has the 'majority stake'
    on the guest list.
   Filipino bridegrooms also walk down the
    aisle, either alone or with his parents.
   Aside from the exchange of rings, the
    giving of the arrhae (earnest money in the
    form of 13 pieces of gold or silver coins)
    is a part of Filipino weddings as the
    groom‟s pledge of his dedication to the
    welfare of his wife and children.
   Aside from the bridesmaids and
    groomsmen, three additional pairs of
    wedding attendants stand as secondary
    sponsors who assist in the [a] wedding
    candle, [b] veil and [c] cord ceremonies
    held during the Nuptial Mass.
   The veil sponsors drape and pin the veil (a
    long white tulle) on the groom‟s shoulder and
    over the bride‟s head. This symbolizes the
    union of two people „clothed‟ as one.
    The cord sponsors stand up with the cord (a
    silken rope, a string of flowers or links of
    coins) in the form of a figure-eight, placing
    each loop loosely around the neck/shoulder
    area of the couple. This symbolizes the
    infinite bond of marriage.
                                      BACK
   The MasKara Festival is a week-long festival
    held each year in Bacolod City, the capital of
    Negros Occidental province in the Philippines
    every third weekend of October nearest
    October 19, the city„s Charter Anniversary.
   The festival first began in 1980 during a
    period of crisis. The province relied on sugar
    cane as its primary agricultural crop, and the
    price of sugar was at an all-time low due to
    the introduction of sugar substitutes like high
    fructose corn syrup in the United States.
   It was also a time of tragedy; on April 22 of that
    year, the inter-island vessel Don Juan carrying
    many Negrenses, including those belonging to
    prominent families in Bacolod City, collided with
    the tanker Tacloban City and sank. An estimated
    700 lives were lost in the tragedy.
   In the midst of these tragic events, the city's
    artists, local government and civic groups decided
    to hold a festival of smiles, because the city at that
    time was also known as the City of Smiles. They
    reasoned that a festival was also a good
    opportunity to pull the residents out of the
    pervasive gloomy atmosphere. The initial festival
    was therefore, a declaration by the people of the
    city that no matter how tough and bad the times
    were, Bacolod City is going to pull through, survive,
    and in the end, triumph.
   The festival features a street dance competition
    where people from all walks of life troop to the
    streets to see colorfully-masked dancers gyrating
    to the rhythm of Latin musical beats in a display
    of mastery, gaiety, coordination and stamina.
    Major activities include the MasKara Queen
    beauty pageant, carnivals, drum and bugle corps
    competitions, food festivals, sports
    events, musical concerts, agriculture-trade
    fairs, garden shows, and other special events
    organized ad-hoc every year.
                                           BACK
   The Philippine Declaration of Independence
    occurred on June 12, 1898 in the Philippines,
    where Filipino revolutionary forces under
    General Emilio Aguinaldo (later to become the
                                   General
    Philippines' first Republican President) Emilio
    proclaimed the sovereignty and independence
                                   Aguinaldo
    of the Philippine Islands from the colonial
    rule of Spain after the latter was defeated at
    the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-
    American War.
   The declaration, however, was not recognized by
    the United States or Spain, as the Spanish
    government ceded the Philippines to the United
    States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, in
    consideration for an indemnity for Spanish
    expenses and assets lost.
    The United States recognized Philippine
    independence on July 4, 1946 in the Treaty of
    Manila. Independence Day was observed in the
    Philippines on the July 4 anniversary of this event
    until, upon the advice of historians and at the
    urging of nationalist politicians, President
    Diosdado Macapagal signed Republic Act No.
    4166 into law on August 4, 1964, designating
    June 12, which had previously been observed as
    Flag Day, as the country's Independence Day.
   According to the history books, it was on this
    date that General Emilio Aguinaldo raised the
    Filipino flag from his balcony and called the
    people to take up arms against their colonizers.
    The day is marked with ceremonies, memorial
    events and historic exhibitions.
   This year‟s celebrations was like all other
    previous celebrations, very eventful.
   In a speech at a flag-raising ceremony to mark
    the 111th anniversary of the declaration of
    independence by the Philippines, the ambassador
    told his compatriots that unity would earn them
    the respect of others.
   A slew of other events marked the day-long
    Independence Day celebrations at Hyatt Plaza Mall,
    including cultural presentations, awarding of plaques
    of recognition to exceptional Filipino achievers,
    native games and martial arts demonstrations.
    Renewal of passports, registration for absentee
    voting, a medical camp, a bazaar offering free
    haircuts and Filipino food and a car show were the
    other attractions of the event.
   A concert by Filipino local bands at the Philippine
    International School Qatar and a musical show by
    famous artistes Rico Blanco and Rica Peralejo at the
    Qube club at Ramada Plaza capped the day‟s events.

                                              BACK
   My country, INDIA is a land of diversities and has
    many culture and traditions and similarly when I
    read about the history of Philippines on the
    internet, I found that Philippines is also a colorful
    country like mine. Then I decided to make a
    presentation on its traditions, cultures and
    famous days but I could only include the four
    that I found to be the most interesting and
    something new, which highlights the liveliness of
    the people of this “Land of Fiestas”. Hope you
    enjoyed it…
   MADE BY-
   MANI MAKKAR
   ST. MARK‟S SR. SEC. PUBLIC SCHOOL
   NEW DELHI, INDIA

				
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