If you ask people why they look forward to the month of September, the most common answers you’ll probably get are the start of football, the fall season, or when Starbucks brings back their very popular Pumpkin Spice flavored drinks. But if you’re in the Philippines, September means one thing and one thing only: the start of the holiday season.
Yes, that’s correct, the start of the holiday season. In the Philippines, if you go to the mall or a restaurant these days, it is a guarantee that you will hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” blaring on the speakers. Americans may find this to be very odd. But for Filipinos, it means the arrival of the “BER” months. As in, SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, and DecemBER and as mentioned, the beginning of the holiday season. Besides hearing Christmas music, you’ll also see the decorations start to go up. That’s right, imagine walking to your office and seeing this:
I moved from Houston to the Philippines in April of 2013 and in my 10 years of living in this beautiful country, I’m still not used to seeing images of Santa Claus, Christmas trees and decorations, and hearing “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Silent Night.” As in, it’s still weird to me. I’m sure I’ll get used to it eventually though. I think! LOL!! But for now, whenever I’m at the mall, restaurant, or pretty much any building here in the Philippines, I will always have this look of surprise when I see holiday stuff this time of the year.
Oh and before you ask, “What about Halloween and Thanksgiving?” Halloween isn’t really a big deal over here. Us Filipinos are more about “All Saints Day” on November 1. It’s the day when we visit and pay respect to our loved ones who have already passed in the cemetery. And for Thanksgiving, well let’s just say the Pilgrims didn’t quite make it this far east! :-)
So, if you are a fan of the holiday season, come to the Philippines and celebrate it with the locals from September to December (aka: the “BER” months).
A FEW DAYS LATER...
What do you think -- is September too soon to start celebrating the holiday season? Let us know what you think in the comments.