Christmas in the Philippines: Christmas Carols
Many Filipinos enjoy singing Christmas carols. Caroling often begins in earnest on December 16. Bands of young people and adults take to the streets, singing Filipino carols as well as a smattering of English carols they have come to know. Filipino custom encourages people to reward carolers with money or sweets. Some people carol as a way of raising money for civic organizations. Youngsters often want to keep the coins and treats for themselves, however. Others carol simply for the fun of it.
In some parts of the Philippines groups of folk performers, called Pastores, offer free entertainment on the nights before Christmas. Pastores means “shepherds” in Spanish. This Filipino custom comes from an old Spanish custom of the same name. Dressed in folk costumes, the performers sing Christmas carols and other traditional Filipino songs. Sometimes they act out scenes from the Nativity story as well.