Filipinos have a gift. They have a gift of adapting to new places that they have been planted into whether by choice or by force. There are millions of Filipinos who are scattered all over the world, many of them, away from their families in order to earn a decent living and provide a great future for their families.
You will find Filipinos in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, or America. We look for places around the globe other than our own country for a better future. It’s quite unfortunate but that’s how it has been for a very long time. Even to this day, many Filipinos dream of leaving the Philippines and living their dream somewhere else.
Many of us are more than glad to be working in a foreign country, earning more than what we can earn locally, thus providing our families back home a better life and a better future. But we can admit that the holidays are the hardest for OFWs to endure. Christmas, most specially, is totally a different experience in the Philippines than in any other part of the world. But we have learned to adapt. During the Christmas season, Filipinos bond with other Filipinos and comfort each other. We try to make the our holidays feel the same way we experienced it while growing up. We may be able to replicate it but not close enough to have the same experience as we did. Noche Buena is never the same but we try.
Many of us rely on Filipino friends when we can’t be with family. Our Filipino friends gives us the comfort we need to feel as close to home as possible
My friend Joey made a feast for us for Christmas eve. It was a small gathering of friends who don’t have family close by. Intimate and fun. The meal was amazing. We had roasted leg of lamb, ham, stuffed chicken, brussels sprouts, white beans, green beans, tumbet, and scalloped potatoes. Of course, we only had the best. We even had La Colombe coffee and cherries jubilee for dessert. Not your typical Filipino Noche Buena but we aimed to celebrate and feel the same spirit of Christmas. It was close, but not quite.
Let me share some photos with you. After all, it’s about friendships and family during the holidays. With Pinoys who don’t have family around, friends become their family during the holidays. I was glad to have spent it with these group of people.