“Ber” Months in the Philippines: What It Means and What to Expect
September 1, 2020
In some parts of the world, the first drop of snow signals the start of another season, typically associated with the approach of wintry Christmas holidays ahead. But perhaps what indicates the arrival of the jolly season for the tropical Philippines, void as the archipelago is with snow, is the very first day of September!
For the expats living in the Philippines, perhaps you have noticed how the country turns into a Christmas getaway, complete with carols blown alongside the gentle cold wind, usually coming from the nearest establishment. Like a light switch, the atmosphere shifts on the first day of September and lasts even beyond December. These “Ber” months, running from September to December, are when the fun starts and when the countdown to the long Christmas in the Philippines begins!
A jest though it may be, the truth about this season is that Mariah Carey’s best-selling Christmas song, the upbeat “All I Want for Christmas is You (1994)”, and the Philippines’ very own Jose Mari Chan’s more mellow and inspiring “Christmas in Our Hearts (1990)”, dominates most of the establishments in the country, most especially some malls and restaurants even to this day. With the bells chiming in each song, this ultimately signals the holiday season ahead.
Plus, expect a lot more diverse Christmas jingles to assail your ears for the coming months as the traditional Filipino Caroling, of which children are at the forefront of every “Jingle Bells”, “Feliz Navidad”, and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” performance, is on its way.
With the tradition of decorating your homes to fit the holidays, it isn’t a secret how Christmas shopping requires a lot of planning and time management. Whether you are planning on shopping for a new Christmas tree to replace the old and some Christmas lights and festive decors to complete the ensemble, whether you are plotting to surprise your friends with sweets and other gifts, surely your Christmas shopping list is getting longer by the minute.
Plus, with exchange gifts among Filipinos and expats around the corner, may it be wi