Author: jason

Boracay A Staycation like no other

Boracay A Staycation like no other

For many seasoned travelers out there, they value the opportunity to visit a beautiful island wherein they can enjoy a tropical vacation getaway on earth. To experience this, it is important to visit a place that can offer a breathtaking paradise with sparkling blue water to relax and appreciate the nature.

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Of course, one of the most popular provinces to consider is Aklan in the Philippines. The reason is that this place is home of the world famous Boracay Island. According to the information about this island, it is about 7 kilometers long and its white sandy beach is part of the Yapak, Manoc-Manoc and Balabag, and Yapak barangays. The local provincial government and Philippine Tourism Authority are responsible in managing this beautiful vacation destination.

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Going to Boracay is very convenient because you can ride a bus from the other Panay areas, ride a ferry from the Batangas Port or by plane from Manila heading to Caticlan, which is the main gateway to access the island.

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This beautiful island in the province of Aklan will let the tourists experience the best vacation getaway in the Philippines. Among the most popular water adventures here include scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling, island hopping, banana boat ride, paragliding, jet skiing and a lot more to enjoy. Of course, this stunning place is very popular in the world because of its crystal clear blue water and breathtaking talc sand.

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Many experienced and licensed divers are also visiting here regularly because they enjoy the available diving safaris as part of the most interesting activities not to be missed. In most cases, it is best to stay in Boracay for a week to appreciate the diving safaris and experience the satisfaction it offers tourists across the globe. As for newbie divers, there are also existing dive sites that are suitable for them.

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One of the best options to consider is the Laurel Island 1 and they consider this one as a great place for newbie divers to swim through a hole in the island and view the different corals.

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As for those who love to discover impressive coral gardens, the best destination to consider in Boracay is the Fridays Rock, as it offers a close view of these incredible gardens. The other attractions here include the different sea creatures include the moray eels, starfish and sea cucumbers, among others.

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As expected, visiting the province of Aklan does mean enjoying Boracay Island alone. There are other remarkable things to do here like during the month of January, the Aklanons are celebrating the renowned and annual Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo. Thousands of tourists worldwide are visiting the place and joining the colorful street parades on the main streets.

The Beautiful Island of Bohol

The Beautiful Island of Bohol

Bohol is undoubtedly one of the best islands to visit and enjoy while in the Philippines. Located at the central Visayan region and, it offers remarkable tourist spots just like its nearby provinces such as Cebu and Leyte. Definitely, this beautiful province continues to attract more tourists who are visiting the country during summer.

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If you can ask people who had been to Bohol especially those who spent time at the stunning beach resorts here, they compare it to the wonderful white sandy beaches of Boracay and Palawan. These are actually the other popular tourist destination in the Philippines with millions of visitors all year round.
When visiting here, majority of the residents here are Boholano speakers and this dialect is somehow related to the Cebuano. However, history reveals that the migration of different races in the province allowed the resident to learn to speak English, Chinese and Tagalog, which is the primary language in the country.

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According to the tourism department of the province, thousands of travelers worldwide are visiting Bohol each year and they continue to increase in numbers. These people travel here to relax and enjoy the best attractive tourist attractions and natural wonders of the entire province. Of course, the most popular destination here is the world famous Chocolate Hills in Carmen. The province also has the popular rivers that continuously grabbing the attention of many tourists known as the Loboc River and Inabanga River.

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For people who love to spend time with their loved ones in beautiful white sandy beaches, the best place to visit in Bohol is the Panglao Island. The different beach resorts here offer remarkable accommodations for both local and foreign travelers who desire to stay and enjoy the breathtaking sceneries. Of course, Bohol is home of the smallest primate in the world known as the Tarsier and visitors can have a glimpse of this animal creature when they visit.

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Besides the stunning tourist destinations, people who visit here can also enjoy the different annual festivals in the province. To mention a few of them include The Sandugo Festival, SidlaKasilak or Festival of Lights, the Tagbilaran City Fiesta as well as the Bolibong Kingking Festival. These are all popular celebrations in Bohol and worldwide tourists will definitely appreciate what they can discover from these festivities.

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Going to the province is not a problem because there are different accessible means of transportation. People who want to come in Bohol can ride a ferry, airplane or by bus through the RORO hi-way. The Philippine government had already established the best seaports as well as airports to make the entire province accessible to many travelers and enjoy the beautiful island.

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Without a doubt, visiting this remarkable province in the central Visayan region offers different kinds of adventures, beauty of nature and history. This is one reason why many people are choosing this place a one of their dream vacation getaway.

Guimaras Island – A Unique Destination for the Whole Family

Guimaras Island – A Unique Destination for the Whole Family

If you have plan to find and enjoy an idyllic vacation place in the Philippines, I suggest to begin packing your things with your family members and visit the beautiful island of Guimaras in the Western Visayan region.

When talking about the best and untamed white beaches in the country, Guimaras is undoubtedly among the finest places in the world. To prove this, the island is beginning to showcase the different beach resorts and accommodations, which continuously foreign tourists.

Like any other famous province in the Philippines, Guimaras has remarkable improvement in its own tourist. Because the province is truly blessed with massive agricultural lands, its local government has been consistent in promoting it as one of the top agri-tourism destination in the country. Of course, there are many interesting and popular tourist attractions to enjoy while visiting this beautiful and tranquil province in the Visayan Region.

Relive Your Spiritual Life inside the Trappist Monastery
When you visit Jordan, one of the most interesting attractions to consider is the Trappist Monastery. This is actually a quiet place that lets you experience your hidden spiritual life. Of course, the resident Monks here are producing home-made products such as delicacies, jams, processed food items and jellies when visiting the souvenir shop inside the monastery. For those who want to stay overnight in Jordan, they can rent an affordable guest house also inside the place.
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Enjoy Staying at the Guisi Beach Resort
Another interesting attraction in Guimaras for worldwide tourists is the beautiful Guisi Beach Resort. With the perfect crystal blue waters and remarkable natural views surrounding the area, it can definitely escape anyone from a busy city lifestyle. This particular beach resort features stunning rock formations and beautiful coastline. Of course, never forget visiting the 18th century old lighthouse when you explore the island.
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Taste the Sweetest Guimaras Mangoes
When visiting this beautiful place, among the most famous crops here include the sweetest mangoes. If you visit the place, you will see a huge landmark says “the sweetest in the world.” They are exporting them to different foreign markets, especially in Australia and in the United States. The best time to visit in this place is during the month of May because they celebrate the Manggahan (Mango) Festival each year, which promotes the blooming fruit industry of the province.

Enjoy at the Guimaras Adventure Park
Guimaras offers another enticing tourist spot for countless of adventure lovers out there. When visiting Jordan, you get the chance to visit the beautiful Guimaras Adventure Park and it offers different enjoyable amenities for people who love war games, paintball, target shooting and horseback riding, among others. Majority of the visitors here are group of people who spend time for camping, company outing and team building.
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Surely, there are many tourist spots worldwide and the mentioned attractions are only few of them. If you have a plan to enjoy a perfect vacation with your loved ones, do not forget to visit Guimaras.

Some of the Best Diving Sites in the Philippines

Some of the Best Diving Sites in the Philippines

Without any doubt, many people consider the Philippines as one of the best countries in Asia with thousands of beautiful islands. On this, it has a huge body of water and untamed stunning beaches to discover almost anywhere in the country. As expected, many tourists who visit here are exploring it through the different diving spots.
1. Dive in Batangas

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Batangas is actually one of the popular diving destinations in the Philippines when vacationing in the Luzon. For those who come from Manila, this is the nearest diving spot to consider. Although the travel time from Manila to Batangas may take about 2 ½ hour driving, it offers the best beach resorts with remarkable diving hotspots for both new and experienced diving enthusiasts. Of course, there are available professional instructors on the resorts who are willing to guide those newbie divers.
2. Dive in Malapascua

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For tourists who want to visit a perfect diving area outside Luzon, then the beautiful island of Malapascua is one of the most popular spots in the Visayan region. Regardless if you travel by plane or huge vessel, it is very important to get the best tour package here with the best accommodation. This is necessary to reach the island conveniently and relax for the scheduled vacation. Besides diving, Malapascua is likewise popular when it comes to exploring the different stunning water creatures such as the different sharks.
3. Dive in La Union

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Going back to Luzon, one of the best destinations for a perfect diving experience is La Union. This place offers many beautiful diving spots and scuba divers have a lot of interesting things to do here. When talking about a historic diving place for worldwide tourists is the stunning Hashi Maru. According to history, this is an original Japanese freighter and sunk under the sea since 1940 in the Philippine shore. For people who want to discover this sunken ship, La Union is the right place to consider.
4. Puerto Galera

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Like the aforementioned diving spots, Puerto Galera is likewise a beautiful choice in the Philippines. This place offers numerous coves and beaches that can definitely capture the interest of many people who want to escape a busy life in a crowded city for a satisfying break or vacation. Puerto Galera is very accessible through ferry ride from the Batangas City port, Matabungkay, and the other coastal areas within Batangas. There are countless of foreign tourists who are visiting here each year because they love the place and its diving areas.

With these great places to visit while staying in the Philippine archipelago, a planned vacation is definitely satisfying. This is regardless of it involves the whole family or not, an experience to dive in the best tourist spot is a remarkable one.

Some of the Best Tourist Destinations in the Philippines

Some of the Best Tourist Destinations in the Philippines

If we talk about the best destinations in the Southeast Asian region, we cannot disregard the beautiful island of Philippines. This tropical country offers some of the stunning white-sand beaches in the world and a huge volume of holidaymakers from different countries are visiting the country for a perfect vacation, especially during summer months.
The following are few of the most visited tourist destinations:
BORACAY ISLAND

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The stunning BORACAY ISLAND offers the most beautiful white-sandy beach of the Philippines in the historic province of Aklan in Panay. When talking about its great recognition, this beautiful island is already a recipient of numerous distinctions and awards from different award-giving bodies worldwide. Its stunning white beaches with crystal clear and cool waters truly captivate the attention of both local and foreign tourists. One of the best attractions here includes the exciting nightlife because of having numerous bars and hotels in the beach front area.
EL NIDO

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When we talk about a stunning and tranquil island in Palawan, EL NIDO is the best place to visit and enjoy while staying in city of Puerto Princesa. This place boasts some of the most wonderful beaches in the world and also features impressive mountains, seascapes, marble cliffs, and various wildlife species. Majority of the tourists who stay here enjoy the different outdoor activities such as mountain climbing, trekking and biking, among others. For people who love scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and surfing, this is also a perfect destination to choose. Of course, tourists who visit Palawan likewise schedule a visit to the beautiful island of CORON. This area offers great attractions such as the Lake Barracuda and Lake Kayangan, aside from the relaxing beach resorts.
PANGLAO ISLAND

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When visiting the beautiful province of Bohol, one of the most favorite tourist spots is the PANGLAO ISLAND. They say that this is the “little paradise of pure hearts” and the place that features sun-kissed hills with natural tropical landscapes. For people who love to stay in a tranquil beach resort, this island is the perfect choice and also offers a variety of beautiful diving spots in the world. Likewise, visiting Bohol means a chance to discover the smallest primate in this planet known as the Tarsiers.
CAMIGUIN ISLAND

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Not many of us knew about the history of CAMIGUIN ISLAND. According to legends, this is a volcanic island found in the northern part of Mindanao. Because of its enticing weather climate and perfect geographical location, many tourists who visited here are comparing it to the beautiful island of Hawaii. They recognize it as a small and complete paradise with numerous mountains and beaches for various outdoor activities. Furthermore, the island boasts some of the best waterfalls and hot springs in the Philippines that truly captivate millions of tourists alike.

Best Attractions to Visit when in Batanes

Best Attractions to Visit when in Batanes

When talking about tranquil and stunning places in the Philippines, you cannot deny that the province of Batanes is one of the best. If you get the chance to stay in this place for a vacation, it lets you experience calmness, serenity, and total satisfaction.
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The location of Batanes is within the northernmost part of the country and it is the smallest province in the entire archipelago. Despite its minimal size, it boasts its remarkable natural resources, which include the industry of reeds, green fields and the beautiful stone houses that easily capture the attention of worldwide tourists like you.

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This stunning island in the northern Philippines is surrounded by beautiful bodies of water. If you come from Manila by plane, you will reach the place within an hour and 45 minutes. As soon as you went down the airport, you can already feel the fresh blowing wind and the cool breeze of the surrounding.

Here are some of the best attractions to consider:

• Visiting House of Dakay
When talking about one of the most visited and photographed attractions in Batanes, this is definitely the famous House of Dakay built in the 18th century. They recognized this ancient structure as a certified UNESCO World Heritage Building and located in San Jose de Ivana. Despite the different earthquakes that shocked this fabled house, it remains standing on its actual location.
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• A Glimpse of Mt. Iraya
The location of Mt. Iraya is in Batan Island and according to history, this actually a small active volcano and about 1,900 feet high above the sea level. For many adventurers and mountain climbers out there, this is a perfect spot to visit and discover the stunning floras that surround the Mt. Iraya. However, it is very important to become observant when climbing the mountain because of the different existing species of snakes.
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• Explore Sabtang Island
For many travelers or holidaymakers who love spending time in a nice white sandy beach in Batanes, the Sabtang Island is definitely the best choice. This place reveals the unspoiled white-sand beaches, beautiful canyons and steep mountains for a total satisfaction when exploring the place. From Radiwan Port in Ivana, tourists can ride a boat and travel about 20-30 minutes to reach this stunning island in the province of Batanes

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Visit the Historic Basco Cathedral
The Basco Cathedral is also known as the Church of Sto. Domingo de Basco and built way back in 1783. In the province of Batanes, this is actually the oldest church structures and its overall design can withstand strong quakes and bad weather conditions. The people who live here dedicated their church to the Immaculate Conception, which happens to be the patron saint of the municipality.

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Palawan : World’s Best Island

Palawan : World’s Best Island

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We cannot deny that Palawan is the last frontier of the Philippines and this is proven with its stunning natural beauty. Every year, this place continues to captivate the attention of millions of tourists worldwide because of its inviting views and attractions that surround the entire region.
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With the impressive and flourishing tourism industry within Palawan, there are now different types of resorts, accommodations and restaurants around the area. Of course, the Internet likewise offers trusted websites that provide tour packages in Palawan with great discounts.

In most cases, these available tour packages include the following enjoyable activities:

• Mountain/Cliff Climbing
• Scuba Diving
• Kayaking
• Trekking
• Island Hopping and a lot more to enjoy

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Besides these mentioned tour attractions, tourists who visit this wonderful place are spending time in exploring and witnessing the famous St. Paul Subterranean Underground River. It features the breathtaking views of the different stalactites and stalagmites formations that surround the cave. In addition, the island of Palawan boasts the most interesting ecological attractions with the countless of existing fauna and floras around the place.

For people who love to experience breathtaking wreck diving, the best place to visit in Palawan is Coron. According to the history of this wonderful place in the northern part of the island, a lot of Japanese shipwrecks sinked back in World War II sunk are found within the northern coast of Coron. Because of this, millions of tourists particularly those wreck divers are visiting Palawan to discover the shipwrecks with rich natural corals and reefs below the ocean.
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With the stunning and colorful marine life, it is definitely enjoyable to discover the underwater sights of Coron. Of course, thousands of photographers across the globe are likewise visiting here to take advantage of the impressive beauty of Mother Nature in Palawan Island.

Another enjoyable outdoor adventure is the available snorkeling activities. For the past years, thousands of tourists who visited here do not forge to experience island hopping and snorkeling. Usually, they visit the Barracuda Island for a thrilling experience in discovering the almost 40 feet long barracuda sight. Of course, there are different existing reef and corals on the sunken ship in this area, which easily capture the attention of worldwide tourists.

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Without any doubt, an opportunity to visit and explore Palawan reveals the beauty of the Island with its numerous ecological sites. Aside from the usual trekking sites, cliffs and mountainous peaks, this place gives you a stunning view of the remarkable white-sandy beaches around the island. They also consider this as an interesting sanctuary in the Philippines because if offer different endangered species such as the Palawan Peacock, Palawan Mouse Deer and Cockatoos.

Corregidor: A Historical Island

Corregidor: A Historical Island

Many tourists who visited the Philippines will surely agree that this country has many stunning beaches and attractions. Like what they always say, this archipelago has about 7,107 islands and is one of the most visited places in Southeast Asia.
When talking about the best and historic places in the country, this definitely includes the historical island of Corregidor. Commonly known as “The Rock,” Corregidor is one of the most important landmarks in the history of World War II. Some of the interesting attractions inside the island include the old cannons, which played tremendous role in helping the courage of Filipino and American soldiers who died fighting for dignity and honor.
Here are some of the most notable attractions to visit and explore:
• The Malinta Tunnel

The Malinta Tunnel
The Malinta Tunnel

This is actually one of the major attractions inside Corregidor. According to history, the United States Army Corps of Engineers built the Malinta Tunnel and measures about 253 meters in length, 7.3 meters wide, and 5.5 meters in height. This played an important role during the Battle of Corregidor because American General Douglas MacArthur and the USAFFE utilized the tunnel as their headquarters. When visiting the island, tourists can take picture of this historic tunnel as part of the tour package.
• The Pacific War Memorial

The Pacific War Memorial
The Pacific War Memorial

They completed the construction of the Pacific War Memorial back in 1968. They actually built this structure to give tribute to the great soldiers from the Philippines and United States who fought courageously during the World War II. They use it as the memorial hosts where they displayed the pictures and artifacts about the Pacific War. When visiting Corregidor, they offer documentary films for the public to understand more about the wartime.
• The Battery Way

The Battery Way
The Battery Way

Another interesting tourist attraction inside the island is the Battery Way. When you visit here, it lets you discover the historical 4 pieces of 12-inch mortars that has the capacity to fire in any targeted direction. They constructed the battery in 1904 and completed in 1914. However, they only decided to use it before the end of the siege in the island when they attacked the Japanese soldiers to leave Corregidor.
• The Spanish Lighthouse

The Spanish Lighthouse
The Spanish Lighthouse

Visiting the Spanish Lighthouse is another great trip in remembering the memory of the historical island in the province of Cavite. When viewing the Spanish lighthouse, they constructed it at the highest point of Corregidor and stand almost 628 feet above the sea level. This definitely makes it a very interesting attraction that reveals the beauty of South China Sea, Manila Bay and even the province of Bataan when standing on top.
These mentioned attractions are only a few of the other tourist spots when visiting Corregidor. Besides learning about the historical World War II, this beautiful island also reveals the courage of the Filipinos who died for freedom.

Philippines Famous Festivals

Philippines Famous Festivals

IMG_5593The Philippines is an archipelago of thousand islands and each islands has its unique and distinct festivals that is so different from the others and if there’s one thing that is similar- Smile- that is truly Filipino. A smile that is warm and very welcoming to the visitors may it be locales or foreigners.

Like I said, the Philippines has a year round of festivals. I will take you to some of the Famous festivals that are known not only here but internationally because of its colorful outfits and grand floats.

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IMG_5581First stop is the Sinulog Festival which is celebrated on the third Sunday of January at the Queen City of the South Cebu City. It is a celebration in honour of Baby Jesus or the Santo Nino. This is considered to be the most popular among the religious celebrations in the country. This festival alone attracts millions of visitors in Cebu City. The main highlights of the festival is the grand street parade where the participants wear a bright multi colored outfits / costumes dancing for hours never minding the heat of the sun and even the spectators or guests can dance along with them in the beat of the drums and gongs. A festival like no other so come and witness how Filipinos accepts Christianity wholeheartedly.

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Photos credit to the owner
Photos credit to the owner

Next is the Panagbenga Festival also known as Flower Festival that took place in the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City. It is a celebration during the month of February actually a month long flower festival celebration. It is a way for Baguio City to rise up after a devastating earthquake that hits the city in the 90’s and to pay tribute to the city’s flower that is blossoming during this month. During this festival the streets of Baguio is busy with flower- inspired floats that are beautifully design and street dancers clad with flower inspired costumes dancing in an Ibaloi inspired dance celebration called Bendian that originally came from the Cordillera Region. The festival also attracts millions of tourists and yearly the numbers of tourist increases.

IMG_5583Another festival is the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon. The festival took place every 15th of May by the people of Lucban in honor of San Isidro Labrador. This is the way for its people to thanked the Saint for the bountiful harvest every year with each houses are decorated beautifully with rice flowers, vegetables and some handicrafts. The best part of the festival is the procession in the streets of the town with the image of San Isidro Labrador. Another thing that is unique in this festival is that during the procession there are two giant paper mache figures of a farmer and his wife then followed by the Patron Saint. To culminate the festival the people here are generously shares food to every one and the children to show how bountiful this year to them.

Photos credit to the owner
Photos credit to the owner

IMG_5591Kadayawan Festival is another festival that is equally grand with those mentioned above. This fest is celebrated during the month of August particularly third week in Davao City. Madayaw where it’s name derived which means good and beautiful from Dabawenyo word ” dayaw”. It is also a thanksgiving celebration for a bountiful harvest, serenity of living and the gifts of nature in short a celebration of life. A street parade is also one of the best parts of the festival where dancers dressed in colorful and unique costumes and props danced to the beat of an ethnic inspired music.

These are just few of the best and famous festivals in the country. Come and visit our beautiful country the Philippines and experience a celebration of Life the Filipino way. It’s really more fun in the Philippines.

How the Japanese Celebrates Christmas

How the Japanese Celebrates Christmas

IMG_5508 Meri Kurisumasu!!

Filled with decors and lights in every corner, Japan is also one of the best places to celebrate Christmas.

Different from other Western countries, Christmas in Japan is not a national holiday. In fact, it is more of a commercial event. Expect a bit of diversity when it comes to the celebration itself. Since the number of Christians in the country is relatively, low, they do not consider the event as the birth of Jesus (unlike in other western countries). There is only a little difference though. The customs and traditions taking place in the country are also similar to the celebrations of the Christian countries.

Christmas is romantic in Japan. More than the lights and decorations all through the streets, couples get into romantic mood during this day. Like Valentine’s Day, it is an occasion where men express their love for women. It is a quality time to spend with special someone. Teddy bears, flowers, rings and other jewelry items are some of the most common gifts women receive during this occasion. The Christmas celebration in Japan concentrates mainly on young people and not in family. People say that Christmas is very crucial for single women since they need to have someone to spend the Christmas Eve with. The whole night must be very special and romantic for them.

IMG_5507Unlike in the Philippines, celebrations in Japan take place on Christmas Eve and not on the actual Christmas day, which is December 25. Preparations begin several weeks before December 24 where shopping season begins from the beginning of December. Numbers of people spend their money on Christmas trees, Santa Claus item, seasonal items and other decorations. Just like in other western country, Japanese people also love to decorate their homes with evergreens and Christmas lights.

Though the celebration is mostly for couple, gift giving can still be observed during the occasion. Handling over presents to friends and family members is also quite popular in this country. Parents give presents to their children. However, unlike in other countries, children in Japan do not give presents to their parents. The reason behind this tradition is the main fact that Santa is the one who brings presents to children. Once you grow up and no longer believe in Santa, presents are no longer given. Japanese children also receive small envelopes that contain money, which they call O-toshidama. Only good children receive these envelopes though.

IMG_5509If there is turkey dinner across the North Atlantic, over 3.6 million Japanese celebrate Christmas with a Kentucky fried chicken. This tradition started back in 1970 and now, KFC Japan creates a special Christmas party in every household. The shop actually sells up to 1.5 million during the festive season. Most Japanese spend Christmas Eve queuing at KFC branches across the city.

Christmas cake is also a traditional Japanese Christmas food. However, different from UK or American fruitcake, Japanese style Christmas cake is often a white cream and not filled with fruits. It is more of a sponge cake frosted with whipped cream topped with strawberries and a chocolate plate, which says Merry Christmas.

IMG_5510Another festive food in Japan is osechi-ryori. It is a dish packed in layers of lacquer boxes, called jubako. It includes:

▪ Kobumaki – Salmon cooked in kelp served in rolls
▪ Kuromame – Simmered sweet black beans
▪ Datemaki – Sweet egg roll
▪ Kurikinton – Mashed Sweet Potato with Sweet Chestnuts
▪ Kinpira Gobo – Root vegetables that are stir-fried and glazed with soy sauce, sake, and sugar
▪ Tazukuri – Dried Sardines in a teriyaki sauce
▪ Namasu – Thinly sliced uncooked pickled vegetables and seafood – marinated in rice vinegar
Though there are differences in their celebration, the important thing is that love is everywhere during Christmas Season.

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