Misa de Aguinaldo* is popularly known as Simbang Gabi in the Philippines. The old Bulusanon term for this Christmas dawn masses is ‘suhot-suhot’. For several centuries in Bulusan it was referred to as such but now most Bulusanons call it as Simbang Gabi. This is a recent development brought about by the strong influence of Metro Manila’s trend among the younger generations. The tradition in fact dates back from the Spanish colonial period and remains to be extremely popular with the locals both young and old.
Suhot-suhot it seems is a word destined for antiquity and extinction. Nonetheless the tradition lives on.
The above photos are all recent photos taken before dawn of December 17 to 19, 2013 in Bulusan. Since the ‘suhot-suhot’ runs until the Christmas Eve, the photos will keep on coming.
Photos: Alma P. Gamil
Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines