OFW Christmas in Oman

It has been 4 years now that I am spending Christmas away from home. I wonder how it is like to celebrate Christmas with the family, friends and relatives.  It is the season where friends meet, relatives organize parties, family cook and go to church together. Sometimes I feel so homesick and wish I could be home for Christmas. I missed the tradition -preparation and the rituals Filipino does back home. I miss all the parol, Christmas lights and decors, Christmas caroling, “Simbang Gabi” and Noche Buena. I must admit the actual presence to be in the Philippines is totally different if you are working overseas. So how do expat primarily the Filipinos celebrate Christmas in a Muslim country where Christmas day is just an ordinary day?

Oman is an Arab country but not totally a place where Christmas can’t be felt. Hotels, malls, hypermarket have Christmas designs, decors and music to feel the spirit of the Yuletide season. The Catholic / Christian churches which is in Muscat , the capital of Oman hold Christmas masses to celebrate. The church provides “Simbang Gabi” for Filipinos and there are times they provide Christmas show as well.

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Avenue Mall, Muscat
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Intercontinental Hotel, Muscat
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Muscat City Center
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Catholic Church in Ruwi, Muscat
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Filipinos waiting for the Tagalog Mass in Ruwi, Muscat

But sad to say, not everyone is able to celebrate on the eve of Christmas. Some has to go to   work and it is a struggle to ask for a day off. You’re lucky if you will be given an off or consideration on that day. Filipinos usually organize  Christmas Eve Party. We do it in a place that can accommodate a large number of persons. This year we had it in one of our colleague’s place. We usually contribute money for the tokens and we bring our own contribution of Filipino foods to the party. There are committees assigned to certain things like arranging the programme, foods, games and sound system. Usually we start it with a prayer, do a programme and have some parlor games so everyone can participate. There are some tokens given to make everyone happy and enjoy the night. Filipinos globally celebrate Christmas the way it is in the Philippines. It is one of the tradition that will be always be on the heart of every Filipino. It is during  Christmas time that I miss more my family. It is the time of the year I wish I could spend time to my love ones. After all, it is not about having a grandiose party and  receiving gifts, but it is  being with the family, relatives and close friends that matters most . But wherever we are, I believe the true meaning of Christmas shouldn’t be missed. Merry Christmas to my fellow Oversea Filipino Workers (OFW)! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!!

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Filipino foods for the Christmas Eve, 2015
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Christmas 2011
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Christmas 2012
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Christmas 2013
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Christmas 2014
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Christmas 2015

2 Comment

  1. Kelvin says: Reply

    It was nice to read the Filipino way of celebrating Xmas In Muscat. No matter how far you are from home, if you have friends and people of your own celebrating Xmas this way can compensate the feeling of missing your family to some extent. You can take joy in knowing that they are having Xmas back at home with you in their hearts. As time passes all this will be a trip to happy nostalgic place down your memory lane. I myself have spent 5 Xmas’s away from home so can relate to this on some level.
    Looking forward to read more of your future Xmas festivity experiences on this blog. Keep going 🙂

    1. JoannaV says: Reply

      Thanks Kelvin for dropping by. I gladly appreciate it!

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