Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving in the Philippines, By Noemi Rabina

While our Thanksgiving holiday is now past, it is never too late to give thanks. This story from Noemi is a reminder that thankfulness is an encouraging  practice for people all over the world.


           Thanksgiving in November is not a public holiday. Only the Americans give their employees a day off. The main point is to thank the Lord for everything that He has done. People go to church with their gifts and prayers and have fellowship with friends.

           People celebrate Thanksgiving any time of the year when there is something special that happened in the family. It could be that somebody graduated from college. Passing the Board Exam. or Bar, is something to be thankful for. Success at work, safe travel of family member coming home from abroad calls for a thanksgiving celebration. To have a new house is also a good reason to celebrate with thanksgiving. A minister may bless the home to fill it with Christian love among the family members and friends. To have a new car is most exciting especially to the middle class. Having a car is not common among the Filipinos for there are lots of public transportations and people can go where ever they want. To have a car is only for the rich and the famous.

           It is good to be thankful always for whatever happens. When trouble comes, be thankful for God's precious presence is always available and sufficient to heal and to comfort.

           Over the years, as Filipinos came to the United States, they joined the Americans in celebrating Thanksgiving Day on the 4th Thursday in November. It is a big affair, and it should really be, considering all the blessings that most of the people enjoy. Families get together, feasting over the traditional roast turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potato, and pumpkin pie. To add the Filipino touch, we have our favorite dishes of pancit, egg rolls, and much more. But what is important is keeping the perpetual attitude of loving fellowship of kindred minds and hearts on Thanksgiving Day, not only among ourselves but also with others of different nationalities. We are all one big family under One God.

           What else is popular? It is the "After Thanksgiving Sale."  People lined up in the stores very early in the morning to avail themselves of the door busting sales, hoping to get the biggest discounts for their Christmas Holiday gift shopping. We stretch our hard earned dollar for more presents to put inside the "balikbayan" boxes to be sent to our loved ones in the Philippines for Christmas. "Freely we receive, freely we also shall give!"

           And to all people around the world, may your Thanksgiving last for more than a day, or week, or month, for the grace of God has no end!



  1. Your blessings are many. We are very lucky people. Thank you for sharing your story. Gail

  2. I loved hearing you read this in class and reading it here helps me to savor it a little more. Thanksgiving in the Philippines seems to be even more appreciated, than in the States. I hope we can stretch it into year long thanksgiving.

  3. I'm so grateful to hear your stories that always enlighten me about your lovely culture.

  4. Noemi, I love the tradition of giving thanks all through the year. Thank you for sharing so much about your culture.