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In Tagalog: “Malapit na ang Pasko!”


Translation: Christmas is near.


“Pasko” is the Tagalog word for “Christmas”.




Word Guide:

Malapit – (adj./adv.) “near”

na – (adverb) a word that puts emphasis on the adverb or adjective that precedes it

ang – article that precedes a noun

Pasko – “Christmas”


Say it correctly:

malapit – (mah-lah-peet) with intonation on the second syllable

Pasko – (pas-koh) with intonation on the second syllable / sometimes there is no intonation for any syllables


Reminder: In Tagalog/Filipino language, vowels are always pronounced in their short form. For example, short “a” like in bat, cat, mat. Not long “a” like in Kate, rate, hate.


The Philippines is the part of the globe that celebrates the longest Christmas season. This is a reflection of the country’s predominant Catholic faith. The holiday cheer begins in early September and ends in the second week of January of the following year. Although it seems strange and impractical for some cultures, the centre of the holiday’s celebration is still on the eve of 24th of December. It’s more of just the attitude and the preparations that start on September, but most of the fun activities and Christmas festivals happen in November and early in December.

Catholics in this country also have a nine-day preparation before the 24th of December as a religious practice where pious believers go to church to attend a 4:00am mass for nine consecutive days. These masses are called “Misa de Gallo” in Spanish or “Simbang Gabi” in Tagalog. This is a form of novena that ends on the 24th of December. The practice of attending and completing the “Misa de Gallo” series is something that the Spanish colonisers had introduced and became the heart of Christmas in the Philippines.


When people say, “Malapit na ang Pasko,” it projects a contagious feeling of excitement for the most wonderful time of the year, even though it is several weeks away.





Photo source:
Red and gold Christmas decors –






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