The heart of the Filipino Christmas spirit lies in the Catholic tradition of “Simbang Gabi” — a novena of Masses on nine consecutive days. The votive celebration in joyful anticipation of Jesus’ birth is an expressive affirmation of Filipinos’ faith and love for the Savior.
Since the time of the Spanish friars who developed among natives an affinity for the “kapilya” (church) as the center for worship, the Simbang Gabi (night Mass) has undergone only negligible liturgical innovations.
The core of this celebration, centered around the Eucharist, is devotional. It is a symbolic walk alongside the Blessed Mother in her final days of bearing the child Jesus in her womb.