Church

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Every January 9, the streets of Old Manila get flooded by ecstatic crowds trying to touch - or at least catch a glance at - the revered religious statue of the Black Nazarene. It is a spectacle worth experiencing, but it can be pretty stressful if you are not used to these kinds of events.

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The holidays in the Philippines is a time for family, reflection, and contemplation. Food, presents, and lots of laughter are equally important every holiday season, too. So what's it like between December 24 and December 26 in Megacity Manila?

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Noche Buena is celebrated on Christmas Eve, or midnight of the 24th of December. It is the most anticipated part of the holidays for many Filipinos because it is that time of the year when Christmas delicacies are served. Among these delicacies are a number of Filipino favorites. Find out what is served in most Filipino homes for Noche Buena. 

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During the nine days before Christmas, Catholics in the Philippines attend Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo, a series of masses that take place late in the evening or before sunrise, between 3 and 5 am. 

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SM Aura Premier in Fort Bonifacio is the first SM Mall in Taguig City, the 13th in Metro Manila and the 47th in the Philippines. The architecture of this mall is a major highlight.

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Funeral traditions among the Catholic majority in the Philippines are similar to other Catholic countries in the world. However, there are certain customs that are particularly Filipino.

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The old center of Metro Manila breathes history: churches and old universities built during the Spanish era, neoclassical government buildings and wide boulevards from the American Commonwealth period, and monuments for the national heroes of a finally independent Philippines.

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San Agustin Museum in the walled city of Manila sits right beside San Agustin Church --a popular venue for church weddings in the country. Exploring the museum for a small fee can be a delightful way to look back in time and learn more about Philippine heritage, history, and art.

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The fortified city of Intramuros was built during Spanish colonial times to protect the seat of government. Located along Manila Bay near the southern bend of the Pasig River, Intramuros’ location was very strategic for trade and for defense. Today, museums and old buildings bring centuries of Philippine history back to live, making Intramuros one of the top tourist spots.

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In January 2015, the leader of the Catholic church visited Manila as well as areas in the Visayas that had been devasted by Typhoon Yolanda.

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Attend the Holy Mass on Christmas day at Newport Performing Arts Theater. There will be also a Special Mass at 4pm that will be held at The Plaza, Newport Mall.

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