Club celebrates Christmas early with Filipino food, traditions

Grace Murphy
Staff Writer

Filipinos for Christ hosted an early Christmas celebration featuring Filipino food and a presentation on Filipino Christmas traditions Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Assisi Heights community center.

Senior Donovan Serrano, culinary consultant of Filipinos for Christ, led the opening prayer at the event and gave a brief speech.

Serrano said, “What we are going to be going over tonight is some of the Christmas traditions, holiday traditions in the Philippines and how the Filipinos celebrate Christmas.”

Before the presentation began, students enjoyed homemade Filipino food. Filipinos for Christ served “arroz caldo,” which is a chicken and rice dish seasoned with ginger and turmeric. They also made “chocolate champorado,” which is a chocolate and rice dessert mixed with sweet cream.

Junior Ricky Silva, content advisor for Filipinos for Christ, and sophomore Joshua Navos, secretary for Filipinos for Christ, co-led the presentation on Filipino Christmas traditions.

Silva talked about the Advent masses and the star lanterns traditions.

Silva said that the star lantern “originated to symbolize the star that the three wise men followed to go to Bethlehem and see Jesus.”

Navos talked about the food prepared at Christmas in the Philippines. He also talked about the “Panunuluyan,” which is a recreation of Mary and Joseph looking for shelter at the inn.

Navos said, “Usually how it goes is they take a boy, maybe like middle school age, and they take a girl and they dress them up as Joseph and Mary. Then they go around the village, going around to people’s homes, and they sing songs asking them if they will let Mary and Joseph stay in their homes.”

After the presentation, Serrano showed a Disney+ short entitled “From Our Family to Yours.” This short film was about a Filipino grandmother and granddaughter and how they celebrated Christmas throughout the years.

Junior Sara Marquardt said, “I really liked the video they showed at the end. It kind of really drove home the connectiveness to family and community and how important it is.”

The Christmas celebration was the last Filipinos for Christ meeting of the semester.