Friday, December 19, 2008

Misa de Gallo

It is 6 sleeps to Christmas day. Are you excited for that event? I am sure some are not and some are so excited. Christmas is about family gathering to celebrate the birth of our savior. It is so nice to spend time and share your blessings with family on that day. I remember when I still in the Philippines I get so excited about this moment. I still get excited here in the U.S. But there is a huge difference. In the Philippines, every December, there is what we called "Misa de Gallo" which means " dawn mass". At the stroke of 4 in the cold early morning, the bells in the church awake the Filipino residents. It is a reminder that the mass is about to begin too soon. Traditionally, misa de gallo is a nine-day novena mass. It is great and full of a joyful atmosphere at the church. Outside the church, there are many vendors selling rice cakes, "bodbod", "puto", "bibingka" etc., and the sweet and appetizing aroma of these food fascinates people. I remember I would buy "puto" with matching "sikwate" (a native hot chocolate). I could still remember the exact taste of it. It is funny to remember inside the church, some people are still sleepy and are unwashed. But they go and hear the misa de gallo to commemorate and join in the preparation of the celebration of birth of Jesus which is the most significant of the mass. It manifests faith. Oh boy, I miss my parents and siblings.