Sunday is my worship day, I go to Church for the 7:00PM Mass, but last Sunday (December 20, 2015) I was caught by the traffic and arrived at the Our Lady of the Rosary Church very late. The huge parking space were full, it took me several rounds before I can get one. I even thought of getting back home since I am very late for the Mass. But I decided that even the Mass is over I would come to the Church to Pray.
I noticed that even it is late many people are still arriving… A whole lot of them… I approached one Kabayan and ask if there is another Mass. He told me that there is a “Simbang Gabi” (Night Mass). Simbang Gabi is a devotional nine-day series of Masses practiced by Filipinos. It begins on December 16 and ends on December 24. It is believed that if a devotee completed all the nine days of the Simbang Gabi, a request made may be granted.
As I enter the Church I saw huge crowd inside the compound including food vendors. FOOD galore!!! Many Pinoy Christmas delicacies I crave for (except pork products) are on sale!!! Pansit, Barbeque, Ginataan, Sopas, Goto, Lugaw, Taho and many kinds of bibingka and puto especially the Puto bumbong is are available. I quickly bought and ate a couple Barbeque and a Taho before entering the Church.
The Church is full, as I enter I heard Christmas songs were sung by a Choir in front – It is called “carolling” Christmas songs in different Philippine dialects were presented and they were great to hear.
A Filipino visiting Priest from Lipa Batangas, officiated the Mass.
After the Mass I managed to grab a pack of Suman (rice cake wrapped in banana leaves) and a Biko (sweet glutinous rice cake) with leche flan topping.
I really enjoyed the experience – I am full both by body and Spirit. Thank you Lord. I would come back for more.
Have you been to the Simbang Gabi in Qatar? If you enjoyed it, I would recommend you experience “Simbang Gabi” in the Philippines!!!