NINE DAYS

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Catholics flock to the Cultural Center of the Philippines for an open-air ‘Simbang Gabi,’ or novena Masses ahead of Christmas. The Simbang Gabi is also known as the ‘Misa de Aguinaldo,’ votive Masses celebrated in the early hours of the morning nine days before the Nativity. According to the late Dominican historian Fr. Fidel Villarroel, O.P., ‘there is no precise record of when the Aguinaldo Masses started in the Philippines. What is clear is that from Spain, through Mexico—where it was well established in the 16th century—the religious missionaries brought this practice to the Philippine islands.’ PHOTO BY DJ DIOSINA

Catholics flock to the Cultural Center of the Philippines for an open-air ‘Simbang Gabi,’ or novena Masses ahead of Christmas. The Simbang Gabi is also known as the ‘Misa de Aguinaldo,’ votive Masses celebrated in the early hours of the morning nine days before the Nativity. According to the late Dominican historian Fr. Fidel Villarroel, O.P., ‘there is no precise record of when the Aguinaldo Masses started in the Philippines. What is clear is that from Spain, through Mexico—where it was well established in the 16th century—the religious missionaries brought this practice to the Philippine islands.’ PHOTO BY DJ DIOSINA

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