There's nothing merrier than having a Christmas celebration in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country in Asia. This nation celebrates Christmas holidays longer than any other nations in the world.

The tradition kicks on the 16th of December with Mesa de Gallo or the Early Dawn Mass (nine days novena for the preparation of the birth of Jesus Christ on the 25th day of December and held in all Catholic parishes all over the country) and ends on the second Sunday of January during the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord. 

I grew up in the province, so I had the most wonderful and memorable memories of Christmas season in my life. In the province, Christmas celebration is merrier and happier, lots of native foods are prepared, never-ending laughter in the neighborhood, and we would roam around the town at Christmas eve for the caroling. Such a fascinating and joyous celebration indeed.

So if you are living in a far away land and want to experience a unique joy of the Christmas holidays, come to the Philippines and visit the provinces and you will see how people welcomed the birth of Jesus with a blast. In most of the key cities in the country, magnificent and elegant Christmas decorations dominate the thoroughfares, the twinkling and sparkling of Christmas lights with captivating brightness and color combinations ignite a different spirit of relaxation and contentment.

In Davao City, the gorgeous spirit and wonders of the Christmas season is truly felt when you pass along Lanang. There's a store of antique collections there called Mana Davao that had been practicing a tradition every Christmas of putting up a giant Christmas decorations in front of their building. Over the years, this becomes the best attraction at Christmastime in Davao City.

Everyone could marvel at its huge and amazing Christmas decorations. The environment is swathed with lanterns, twinkles and sparks coming from the gigantic trees wrapped with Christmas lights and other magnificent Christmas ornaments. Mana is a store of antique tapestries and artifacts collection and its owner traditionally turned the surrounding of the store at Christmastime into a breathtaking avenue of lights. It is always crowded at night as people thronged to the area with friends and relatives, of course carrying their digital cameras.

Mana 2008

Mana 2009

Mana 2010

Mana 2011

The area is not really huge, in fact there's no bench to rest on, so you have to endure the long hours standing, jostling and banging with the crowd just to get a good view of the Christmas lights and take pictures. Because the trees and the decorations are just within the side of the road, you could hardly get a nice view for picture taking unless you cross the street.

This scene sometimes attracts irritation and annoyance, so better prepare for this reality the moment you go there. Mana Davao creates a different, magnificent theme to interpret the holiday season so the decorations vary each year which build additional excitement. Mana unveils its magical creation every December 16. 

It's always wonderful and relieving to marvel at the glittery lights of Mana, seems like the magic of innocence did not stop. It's pretty amazing to see people having fun with their family and friends frolicking around the area. Now you know, there's always something to look forward comes Christmas season in Davao City, so why not plan your next trip to Davao next Christmas.

Happy Holidays every one!



Joyce Lamela said…

Yeah, we have the longest Christmas celebration and it's the most wonderful season of the year :-)