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Eighteen Days Before Christmas

             In the early days of the Philippines, Christmas Eve was the most special occasion for the Filipinos. There were many traditions that made Christmas very special.
             Filipinos usually prepare for christmas in a very religious way. They used to go to church straight for eighteen days before Christmas. They should complete these days by attending everyday. This kind of tradition was called, "simbang gabi." The mass was about the story of the crucifixion based on the rosary. People used to be serious about this. Some used to cry every time they sing the sad songs for jesus, which was part of the fellowship. After the mass, everyone wouldgot to the small stores which was located all over the sidewalks of the church. They were selling different kinds of rice cakes and the famous "puto bumbong." It was made up of sticky rice with a coconut dip. These kinds of food were not really served in the usual days, only in the holiday season. That is why Filipinos always look forward to Christmas because in that simple way, they could feel the spirit of the holiday season.
             As years went by, this tradition had faded away. People got tired of going to church in the morning. The eighteen days before Christmas has been forgotten. Some people went to church just to sleep and some teenagers went to church but never listened to the sermon. They just stayed outside and hang around with their friends and never really tried to feel the spirit and importance of being in church.
             It was not the tradition that faded away,it was the people who used to respect and enjoy this tradition. some thought that nowadays, "sombang gabi" was not important anymore. There were many crimes and evil things that was happening in the world. That is why Filipinos forgot everything about living in a godly way. They thought that it was okay not to be involved in this kind of tradition because people changed. Modern world and modern lifestyle had taken place over these people's minds.

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