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5 Ways To Turn Your Christmas Into A Unique Romantic Holiday

 A man lifting a little girl to put a star on top of the Christmas tree while his wife is decorating. Just when you thought Christmas can’t be any better, you experience an unparalleled, romantic holiday in the Philippines! | Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels

In just a couple of weeks from now, the world will be celebrating one of the biggest and most significant holidays — Christmas day! Cue the winter coats, houses and malls covered with blinding lights, pine trees on annual travels and the deluge of gift shoppers.

This may be the picture for most of the people living in the Western hemisphere, but a different story unravels in the East, specifically in the country dubbed as the “Pearl of the Orient Sea.”

That’s right! It’s the scenic and unique islands of the Philippines.

Filipinos are known to celebrate the longest Christmas season in the world — that is, four months, beginning September until December, or all of the “ber” months. In this vast amount of time, there are many wonderful traditions that are (sadly) less known to most. But this dating tip will change that!

Read on to find out how you and your partner can experience a romantic Christmas, the Filipino way!

Try caroling

 soft focus on music score Who says caroling can’t be your newest romantic holiday tradition? | Photo by David Beale on Unsplash

Although this is also observed in other countries and cultures, Filipinos give a different feel to this tradition. Kids and even adults would travel to different villages with their handmade and recycled musical instruments and sing on people’s doorsteps expecting some loose change or a few bills from every household they visit.

And since the Philippines is a land of welcoming and kind people, you and your partner can join in such adventures too. There’s no need for preparation — just sing your hearts out and have fun!

What’s not to love with this tradition when you can travel, sing, earn money and waste time in the most exhilarating way possible with the one you love?

Join a street party

bottles and wine glass in front of dancing people What’s a romantic holiday without fun and friends? | Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Or, in actuality, parties since the country does not go out of festivals to mark every cultural celebration. There will be ones on the eve of Christmas and the New Year, and even the world-renowned Giant Lantern Festival in mid-December.

There’s no need to get glammed up because the party could be just right outside of your place! Also, sharing food is nice, but there’s no pressure to bring one in.

You might not expect a street event to be a magical and romantic experience. But once you party with Filipinos, you’ll realize just how fun-loving and easy-going they are. They find joy in the smallest of things so if you’re an outgoing couple who love to mingle with different kinds of people, you’ll definitely blend right in.

A fair warning though: it’s in Filipino culture to throw a party — especially if there are guests — and party hard, they do.

Attend the Misa de Gallo

 Interior of a church Can a romantic holiday coincide with faith? For Filipinos, it’s a yes. | Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Being one with Filipinos includes learning about and respecting their faith. Starting December 16, they will attend a novena of early morn masses known as Misa de Gallo that runs for nine consecutive days. It is a beautiful practice that shows their devotion to God while heightening the anticipation of the birth of Christ.

This may seem like an entirely new experience, but it’s one not to miss. We recommend that you witness at least a night of the “Simbang Gabi” and personally attest how Filipinos give importance to their faith, blessings, and traditions.

Outside the church, you and your date can eat delicacies that will complete the whole Christmas experience, namely puto bumbong and bibingka.

Also, local folks believe that God will grant your wish if you hear all nine dawn masses. It isn’t too bad to ask that your romantic holiday be nothing less than perfect, right?

Prepare for your Monito-Manita

photo of feet in socks beside gifts under a Christmas tree The romantic holiday calls for gift-giving — in a Filipino kind of way. | Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Gift-giving in the Philippines, called Monito-Manita is unlike any other you may have participated in.

First, you pick a secret monito (for a boy; manita for a girl) to give your presents to. And while it is usually done with a group — friends, family members and coworkers — you can make some modifications to make it more intimate, and keep it between you and your partner.

What makes this kind of Secret Santa unique are the gifts you have to prepare every day or every week. Filipinos go for a theme per schedule like “something soft,” “something long and hard,” “something noisy,” etc., and make it even more interesting by incorporating funny items or something that will personally relate to their monito.

This tradition can run until Christmas Day where you’ll present the best and biggest gift for your partner and share the awesome tales of your prep days!

Indulge in Filipino food.

table filled with food being passed around A romantic holiday can never be complete without scrumptious food for everyone. | Photo by Christiann Koepke on Unsplash

On Christmas Eve, every Filipino home will serve a Yuletide feast, also known as Noche Buena. It is undoubtedly the most exciting part of the season since there will be food (lots of it), friends, family and, of course, fun. The opening of presents are usually done at this time as well.

This holiday truly is the most significant one for Filipinos, not only because it is effectively the end-of-the-year celebration but also because it is about sharing and loving others.

This is why each Filipino household prepares for a grand and festive Christmas feast that is usually dominated by sumptuous Filipino food. So if you and your partner are foodies, you’ll certainly love a Filipino house during Christmas.

If you are looking for one of the best places to be at this holiday season — to feel the real spirit of love and have fun — we can confidently say that a Filipino home is a top recommendation for a solo visitor or for couples.

The takeaway

After reading all of that, it’s safe to claim that the Philippines has the best Christmas season ever, right? The unique interplay of culture and faith in this holiday is one you cannot compare anywhere else in the world.

But you don’t have to take our word for it when you can experience it firsthand! Tour around with your partner and find the best places for couples to visit.

Maybe these islands do carry the secret to finding love. And when you find it, the Philippines will be a place for you to celebrate not only Christmas but all special days of your life. So, what are you waiting for?

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