Rise and shine!* …for Simbang Gabi

*Though to be honest, I didn’t wake up early so much as I never slept at all.

The whole church was filled with lights. See the gallery for more! :)
The whole church was filled with lights. See the gallery for more! :)

Simbang Gabi is a well-loved holiday tradition of the Philippine Catholic. For the nine mornings before Christmas Eve, the religious devout (or just plain dedicated) attends mass before the crack of dawn.

For some people it’s for the supposed wish (completing the whole set = one wish), or as a date for the odd pair of lovers, or for the (if you’re lucky) bibingka and other choice holiday snacks. But honestly, I’m not entirely sure why people think the nine hours are worth getting out of bed…

Still. For the first time in maybe three years, I’m attending simbang gabi (for one night only). Let’s go. Background: It’s a special simbang gabi, actually. One, it’s the last Sunday before Christmas, so there’re some special advent thing going on. Maybe.


Two, we’re not doing it in just any church. We’re here all the way in Nagcarlan.

Me in the dark on the way to Laguna. The scarf and the bad car lighting is me coping with my face, taken some time between “Midnight means ten more YouTube videos” and “Oh no I see the sun rising”.

Third and lastly, it’s a family thing, where my whole paternal clan (or seems like) sponsors the church’s lights. I got this nifty pink ribbon out of it.

I haven’t mastered the art of the selfie with my short hair yet. Somedayyy.

[ASIDE: At this point, 40 minutes after the mass and driving around the market for some lugaw (rice porridge) to eat, I would just like to say that my family (read: my mom ((especially)), sister and bro –thank goodness for superlola and ate Risa) have succumbed to hunger madness and are therefore unbearable. People (read: my mom) are shouting and making snide comments for no reason. It makes no sense, and once again absence makes the heart grows fonder proves true for the fam. Too much vacation-induced family exposure IS BAD FOR THE HEALTH.] Here’s a gallery featuring Christmas in San Bartolome Apostol Parish Church in Nagcarlan!!!

Lastly, no trip to Nagcarlan is complete without me trying (…and maybe failing…) to take a selfie with superlola!

I’m quite lucky disowning granddaughters is no longer an actual thing…

Overall, the experience was fun (especially the lights + seeing the extended family parts), but not really something I’d look for year after year. Maybe I’ll try a Holy Week tradition next??? xx [Posted this just as I woke up x Yawn and hunger pains… again]

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