Christmas in the Philippines

Christmas is all around in the Philippines

It’s December and it’s not just the cold temperature and shorter days, but almost everywhere in the Philippines, you will almost, always stumble upon something that will remind you of the festive season: Christmas carols on radio, decors in many buildings, malls and houses, vendors selling lanterns and Christmas stuff and all these mall sales, gift packs and Christmas party reminders. Yes, Filipinos are serious about Christmas, and it’s a fact that once the ‘ber months come in, starting September, be sure to expect that preparations are a swing.

These post are all about images that I’ve taken while traveling around the country during the Christmas season. From shooting a star lantern at the belfry of Nagcarlan Church in Laguna, to vendors in the cities of Makati and Cebu, to the plaza setups in Laoag City to firecracker stalls, its here, culled from my photo archive spanning 11 years! Not exhaustive as I want it to be but 10 photos to set you in the mood.

A roll of Judas’s Belt, which consists a thousand pieces of firecrackers that is used to greet Christmas and New Year in the Philippines. Taken at a firecracker stall in Lapulapu City, Cebu.

An enterprising man selling ‘parols’ Filipino Christmas lantern in the shape of a star, Cebu City

Onlookers at the Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando Pampanga

Santas invade Mulanay in Quezon province

Reinders made from native materials seem to jump over the Laoag Cathedral belfry

The House of Santa is one of the popular houses that are lighted in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila

Christmas tree at a park in Glorietta, Makati City

A boy looks inside a Christmas lantern made from capiz shells

A common sight in cities in major urban areas in the Philippines, lighter lanterns along a roadside

A Christmas lantern overlooking the town of Nagcarlan and Mt. Banahaw at the belfry of Nagcarlan Church in Laguna

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

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