While Filipinos do not celebrate Western "Thanksgiving," our family has so much to be thankful for that we decided to have our own version of Thanksgiving.
Unlike America and Canada, the Philippines generally do not celebrate Thanksgiving during the month of November. However, we in our family have our own version of Thanksgiving. Ours dates back to 1994 and is celebrated every last Sunday of the September. For almost two decades, this annual family tradition has become more and more grand.
The story goes that in 1994, a lot from our family and close relatives were afflicted with diseases and were hospitalized. Thankfully, all of them recovered soon. As one of my aunts’ birthday drew to a close, the elders in our family decided to throw a small celebration as means of giving thanks for the blessing of health. From that year on, we have continued to celebrate it.
Every year, relatives and friends of our family gather for a mass in the morning. Afterwards, everyone is invited for lunch. Back then, it was used to be held in my grandparents’ house, but more recently, our family has decided to hold it in restaurants instead.
Also, we now make it a point that a short program is carried out. Family members and even guests contribute their talent to provide entertainment to other guests.
I am thankful to have a family that is truly close-knit. Celebrations such as this continues to foster this strong connection. It really makes me feel that there are a lot of things for me to be thankful for.