Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, a fan of the holidays, recalls her memory of Christmas as a kid—“Nung bata ako, lagi kaming may ham. Kahit mahirap lang, kasi mahirap lang kami no’n, e.
“But my Mom would always have ham. Parang hindi Pasko pag walang ham!”
Aside from ham, their Noche Buena feast included fried chicken, pansit, and for some reason, apples, says the Songbird.
She happily muses, “I don’t know why, but we would always have apples. And ano yung kulay green?
“Dalandan! Those three things. Yun ang parang natatandaan ko!”
Now that she as a family of her own with OPM singer/songwriter Ogie Alcasid and their two-year-old son, Nathaniel, Regine is bent on coming up with traditional meals of her own like every other Filipino family.
Food preparation along with gift-giving, decorating homes, and being with family are among the traditions observed by most Filipinos whenever Christmas comes around.
In its one-hour Yuletide special titled Awit ng Pasko, GMA News TV delves into the Filipinos’s idiosyncratic ways of celebrating the holidays. The one-hour “musical-documentary” focuses on the traditions and practices that make Christmas in the Philippines unique in the world.
JM Cobarrubias, Awit ng Pasko program manager, says that the TV special will try to answer just how “special, colorful, and festive” Christmas is celebrated in the Philippines.
He says that Awit ng Pasko poses the questions: “Bakit ganun ang attitude natin sa Pasko? Bakit ang mga Pilipino, uutang basta may ihanda? Bakit September pa lang simula na ang Pasko?”
FOOD, GIFTS, DECORS, FAMILY. Peppered with interviews from pop culture experts and sociologists, Awit ng Pasko focuses on four facets of Christmas that Filipinos are particular about: food, gift-giving, home-decorating, and family. These themes will be tackled in four separate segments.
The four segments will be tied, respectively, to the popular Filipino Christmas carols “Noche Buena” (food), “Pasko Na Naman” (gift-giving), “Kumukutikutitap” (decorating) and “Pasko Ko Na Sinta Ko” (family).
Regine Velasquez-Alcasid participates in Awit ng Pasko by singing and performing these songs ala musical style. The Songbird’s performances are meant to introduce each segment of the documentary.
TEASER. Different kinds of recipes made of staple Christmas food such as keso de bola and ham will be featured in the food segment. Traditional holiday desserts such as puto bumbong will also be given a twist.
“The food segment will present a hybrid of these staple food. Parang taking Noche Buena to the next level,” explains Cobarrubias.
Celebrity chef Boy Logro will also take part in Awit ng Pasko. The Kusina Master host will be preparing a special noche buena meal that families on a budget can enjoy.
The family segment will feature an old couple who will be reunited with their children and grandchildren.
For its Christmas-decorating segment, Awit ng Pasko will feature the making of Pampanga's lanterns to highlight the efforts that Pinoys put in adorning the surroundings during the holidays.
Awit ng Pasko, airs on December 14, Saturday, 8 PM, on GMA News TV.