Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi is one of the treasured Filipino Christmas Tradition. Even all over the world, Filipinos Communities stll practice this traditions. Misa de Gallo is a Spanish word call Midnight Mass or Rooster’s Mass and is typically practiced in Spanish Speaking countries as a Midnight Mass at the eve of Christmas. But for us Filipinos, Simbang Gabi starts 9 days before Christmas.
It was around 1660 in the Philippines when the tradition started. Originally, Simbang Gabi is also celebrated around midnight, but some said that with the imposition of curfew during the Martial Law declared in 1972, Simbang Gabi was moved before sunrise. Asking my dad about this, he remembered attending Simbang Gabi early morning when he was a kid. In the provinces, farmers usually do it before sunrise which is before their harvest.
For many Filipinos, completing the 9 days of early mass not only shows their devotion but also believes that it would grant their wishes. The 9 days is also a symbolism of the 9 months a baby in the mother’s womb. How Christians would prepare for the coming of Christs on Christmas day.
During Simbang Gabi, we’ll also get to see our famous Churches shine in their brilliance with beautifully decorated lights. The Manila Cathedral is no excemption as it was a beneficiary of Meralco’s “Maliwanag ang Pasko” project. One of the beautifully lit church during Christmas Season.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.