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Monday, December 7, 2015

Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado 2015

Photo credit Kabayan Restaurant 49-12 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11377

Simbang gabi sa konsulado Dec 7th- 15th, 6:30pm weekdays and 3pm weekends at Kalayaan Hall Philippine Center 556 Fifth Ave. New York NY.

What is Simbang Gabi? Simbang Gabi has become one of the most popular traditions in the Philippines during Christmas season. But it is not just a tradition that is celebrated because we need to do so. It is a significant moment not only because it strengthens relationships among family and friends but also because it is the time where our faith is intensified. This is the time where we mostly feel the presence of the Lord because it is the spiritual preparation for Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. For Filipino Catholics, Simbang Gabi is above all an expression of their filial devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. For nine consecutive days, they join and accompany her, so to speak, as she awaits the birth of her Son. For this reason, the Masses on these days are celebrated as solemn votive Masses in her honor. It does not matter if one has the stamina to complete the novena or not, what really matters is what is inside the heart. The blessing does not depend on the number of mass attended, but what is important is the disposition of the person who receives the Lord’s blessing.

As we all know, any Filipino event or gathering is not complete without delicious food and Simbang Gabi is not an excuse for a mouth-watering array of Pinoy delicacies to warm the hands and stomachs of churchgoers. The most popular foods during Simbang Gabi are puto bumbong and bibingka. These two Filipino rice cakes are always available during Christmas season. You can get bibingka which is freshly cooked between hot coals. Each bibingka may include a tiny slice of cheese and salted egg. Yum! Puto bumbong is another snack associated with Christmas. It is made of glutinous rice and is steamed in a small bamboo tube. It is purple in color so you won’t have any trouble distinguishing it from other rice cakes. When serving, melted butter is spread on the puto bumbong with freshly grated coconut and brown sugar.

It’s great that Filipinos living in New York are keeping this tradition alive every year. Let’s make Christmas Merry to all! Mabuhay!!!

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