Christmas songs are beginning to fill the airwaves. At night, every home and street is set alight with brilliant color from hundreds of tiny Christmas lights and the ever-shining beacon of the season—the Parol. All these elements come together to signal that the Yuletide season is here.
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Learn more about the Noche Buena and celebrate the season with this long-standing tradition!
The Origin of Noche Buena
Though Christmas in the Philippines is generally a medley of several foreign influences, the traditional Christmas Eve feast we have come to celebrate is one with a Spanish origin, thus the term Noche Buena which translates literally to “night of goodness.”
During Spanish colonial times, religiously converted Filipinos were required to fast until Christmas morning, so they could only celebrate and feast after the 24th of December’s midnight mass.
But that’s no longer the case. Filipinos nowadays have their Noche Buena at any time on the 24th and after. The modern Christmas Eve dinner is a once-a-year festivity where every family comes together to celebrate, remember, and be grateful for all the good things that have transpired throughout the year.
How to Prepare for Your Family’s Noche Buena
Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year, yet it’s undeniable that it is also the busiest, especially when preparing for Noche Buena. Keep in mind that planning is the key to the success of any celebration.
Research the Noche Buena staples
You can start your preparation by researching the food usually served during Noche Buena. No Christmas Eve feast is complete without the famous Hamon and Queso de Bola. You could also add some Noche Buena mainstays such as Pinoy-style spaghetti and lumpia.
If you want something more lavish for dinner, transform your plain rice into Paella and your humble ham to Lechon. Your dessert staples can include the traditional Puto Bumbong and Bibingka, and even the all-time favorite fruit salad.
Instead of using the typical red or white wine, pair your food with the locally-made Vino Isla Tropikal Coconut Wine (₱839.75).
While the adults are sipping on coconut wine, the kids can enjoy a delectable hot chocolate drink after mealtime. To create a Filipino version of this sweet treat, use the Cocoa Monster Premium Tablea (₱109.00) or the Organic Tablea from Sikwate (₱199.75).
Don’t forget to prepare delicious snacks for everyone
The Noche Buena can take a whole day to prepare. To keep your family and their stomachs pre-occupied before the long-awaited Christmas eve dinner, you can have them munch on these tasty native delicacies: Just Fruit Mixed Chips (₱169.75), Vicky’s Pili Nuts with Himalayan Salt (₱399.75), Sabanana Banana Chips Smoky BBQ Flavor (₱59.75), and MEMZ Premium Pork Chicharon (₱329.00).
Set a Filipino-themed dinner table
For a truly traditional Noche Buena, try out the Acacia wood tablescape, a unique holiday table design detailed with Filipino touches, including capiz chargers. Adorn your dining table with Kultura’s unique collection of artisanal utensils, serving bowls, and platters—made from indigenous materials—including Tahanan’s Round Acacia Sleek Bowl (₱2,299.00) and Handcrafted Acacia Round Server (₱1,099.00).A great idea for table decor to match this rustic tablescape is the Set of 6 Red Binacol Placemats with Napkins & Coasters (₱1,599.75) and Criscelcor Table Runner with Bamboo Border (₱1,199.75).
Or try a tablescape that celebrates our heritage with our Set of 4 dinner and Salad plates (P3,499.75). Abaca placemats and bamboo cutlery beautifully highlight local materials, while our unique Ikat-print plates honor our textile traditions. Create beautiful table settings your family and guests will remember vividly for years to come!
Finish off everything with festive Christmas ornaments and decor such as the Multilayer Capiz Candle Holder (₱1,499.00) and the Multicolor Capiz Poinsettia Topper (₱799.00).
As your family celebrates Noche Buena this year, it is more than a special dinner meal to eat with loved ones. The “night of goodness” is a time to remember and count our blessings no matter how small or big they are.
Buy Pinoy products at Kultura Filipino today to make your festive celebrations this season truly Paskong Pinoy!