How Some OFWs Celebrate Christmas in Nigeria

                      By Vic Odarve

We know that celebrating Christmas many miles away from home is not as grand as it is in our own country, but Pinoy expats here in Nigeria are trying hard to keep traditions alive.

Father Edeh,founder of Madonna University, joined Pinoy Expats in Christmas celebration

Father Edeh, the founder  of Madonna University, joined Pinoy Expats during Christmas celebration

Like some of the Filipino Overseas Workers (OFWs) in other parts of the world, we are trying to make Christmas festivities look like home; by adding a Filipino touch to an otherwise Nigerian Christmas holiday season.

Back home, if we spend quality time with our families in malls and parties, here in Nigeria we do have our own Christmas party adorn with Christmas tree and lights. During the party, everyone is talking about the things they could be doing with their loved ones if they were in the Philippines, and as usually we have fun games and a sumptuous dinner for Christmas. This develops camaraderie and a feeling of extended family members in a small Filipino community of 19 expats.

Supper after the Christmas fun games

Supper after the Christmas fun games

If we celebrate Christmas season as early as the month of September at home, here in Nigeria begins only in December. We are preoccupied with our daily works and begin to feel the air of Christmas few weeks before December 25. Some Pinoys manage to attend the usual simbang gabi tradition, attend some office parties, and join invitations from religious gatherings and occasions.

Since time immemorial, Pinoy wherever they live, a Christmas time is not complete without a lechon. Here, lechon, a distinctive Pinoy delicacy, was served days before Christmas day…thanks from the December birthday celebrants. What we really miss are our families and friends; Christmas carolers at your homes, and the native suman, bibingka, and malls sensational Christmas decorations.

Fun games

   Fun games

Although we miss our families and friends, we still connect them with video calling on the eve of Christmas day through skype, viper or Facebook. The Christmas season is a time of peace and joy. And we must be all thankful that we are healthy; and the most important part is that we provide our family needs back home; for the betterment of our lives. There is always a time for everyone and that someday we have to celebrate Christmas with our families and loved ones together!

Merry Christmas! Greetings from Nigerians OFWs!

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