“Ber” Months in the Philippines: What It Means and What to Expect
In some parts of the world, the first drop of snow signals the start of another season, typically associated with the approach of wintry Christmas holidays ahead. But perhaps what indicates the arrival of the jolly season for the tropical Philippines, void as the archipelago is with snow, is the very first day of September!
SNOW DAY IN TAKAYAMA CITY, JAPAN. Days like this usually signal the start of preparations for Christmas in other countries. It’s not the same in the Philippines, though./PRIMER FILE PHOTO
For the expats living in the Philippines, perhaps you have noticed how the country turns into a Christmas getaway, complete with carols blown alongside the gentle cold wind, usually coming from the nearest establishment. Like a light switch, the atmosphere shifts on the first day of September and lasts even beyond December. These “Ber” months, running from September to December, are when the fun starts and when the countdown to the long Christmas in the Philippines begins!
Join Philippine Primer as we also count down some of the things you can expect from the Philippines’ “Ber” months.
Longer Nights Ahead
Palawan sunset as seen atop Mount Tapyas/PRIMER FILE PHOTO
Expect your nights to feel unusually longer in the next coming months! This, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), usually occurs after yesterday’s (September 23) Autumnal Equinox in the Philippines. This is when the sun is situated above the equator, thus making the length of day and night equal to 12 hours each. As most revelries happen at night, surely we are on for a longer party time!
Holiday Cruise Promos
When it comes to partying the night away with friends and family, Genting Hong Kong’s Star Cruises, which ranks 18th among the largest cruise lines in the world, has the special formula just for you. With their recent press forum on SuperStar Virgo‘s return to the Philippines, the cruise line offers several promos such as the “Cruise One, Take One” promo and the “3rd or 4th Guest Free” for their Holiday Concept Cruises, available only until September 30!
Ayala Triangle’s Festival of Lights
Each year, the Ayala Triangle Gardens are filled with festive lights, complemented by the lights and sound show to boot./PRIMER FILE PHOTO
With the longer nights ahead come the festive, dancing lights, known to grace not only Makati’s very own Ayala Avenue and Ayala Triangle every November, but also every other street or village in the country! Take for example the Policarpio Street in Mandaluyong, which turns into a Christmas Village every mid-November.
What’s more is that as early as September, a wide array of decorative Christmas lights and the traditional “parol” pepper the streets of Calamba, Laguna for example, for every passerby to get drawn into.
Endless Jingle Bells and Carolings
A jest though it may be, the truth about this season is that Mariah Carey’s best-selling Christmas song, the upbeat “All I Want for Christmas is You (1994)”, and the Philippines’ very own Jose Mari Chan’s more mellow and inspiring “Christmas in Our Hearts (1990)”, dominates most of the establishments in the country, most especially some malls and restaurants even to this day. With the bells chiming in each song, this ultimately signals the holiday season ahead.
Plus, expect a lot more diverse Christmas jingles to assail your ears for the coming months as the traditional Filipino Caroling, of which children are at the forefront of every “Jingle Bells”, “Feliz Navidad”, and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” performance, is on its way.
Early Holiday Shopping and Christmas Bazaars
With the tradition of decorating your homes to fit the holidays, it isn’t a secret how Christmas shopping requires a lot of planning and time management. Whether you are planning on shopping for a new Christmas tree to replace the old and some Christmas lights and festive decors to complete the ensemble, whether you are plotting to surprise your friends with sweets and other gifts, surely your Christmas shopping list is getting longer by the minute.
Plus, with exchange gifts among Filipinos and expats around the corner, may it be with family or with your workmates, starting early may be your best course of action.
Holiday Nuptials on the Rise
IMAGE BG Bridal Gallery
Did you know that according to BG Bridal Gallery, the professional wedding emporium, December is actually the most popular wedding month of the year? BG Bridal Gallery, which has a broad service offering of all things nuptials since 1976, confirmed that December’s popularity is caused by the many holiday breaks where family reunions and gatherings take place, which makes December the most ideal month for weddings!
While the “Ber” Months in the Philippines have a lot on its sleeves for both the expats and its locals, one thing is for certain: Let the celebrations to the long holiday season in the country begin! Which of these are you looking forward to? Tell us in the comments section below. We would like to hear from you!