Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CHRISTMAS 2014 - What is a Simbang Gabi?


We begin our special CHRISTMAS 2014 post with a little question that foreigners travelled to the Philippines got their heads scratching for the answer. Just what is a Simbang Gabi?

My first day at this year's SIMBANG GABI

Simbang Gabi (mass at night) is a novena of Masses in honor of the Mother of God to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. This celebration dates back in the 1500's and it's part of the Spanish friars' plan to catechize the Filipinos on the birth of Our Lord and on Mary's role in the Incarnation. For the year 2014, it started since the 16th of December 2014 and it runs until the 24rd of December, 2014 and like all Simbang Gabis in the past, the masses started at early dawn (think 5:00 AM in the Philippine Standard Time or so).

Well, since I don't want to turn this into a history lesson, let me tell you about my first simbang gabi experience since last year. You see, when me and my grandparents went to the church on the first day of Simbang Gabi, I was skeptical at first but when others starting to think that if whoever completes all nine days of Simbang Gabi gets to grant a wish, it was like I'm accepting this challenge and I'm on it.

Nine days of Simbang Gabi is like nine episodes of Brainiac Science Abuse Season 4 for me because like that discontinued show I mentioned, masses take about an hour or so to finish and surviving the night (or day because they all starts at early morning) is an easy task but behaving in the church during the duration of the mass is a challenge. I was trying to act normal but all the urges are trying to distract my behavior so I try to fight it until this mass is over. No one says it's that easy.

Having managed to survive nine days of simbang gabi, I try to grant my wish and what's that wish I'm granting is everyone's guess but it involves "freeing the world from possible threats" or something because our world's facing a massive resistance from a massive stretch of land and someone's watching from up high, too. That's why I'm wishing to free this world from both of these threats and we're going to witness it.

Anyway, that's my simbang gabi experience and for this year, things are going to be very different because I already done my first day and tomorrow, I'll be going for my day two of the nine-day Simbang Gabi at our nearby church. Until then, happy Simbang Gabi, everyone!

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