(November 26, 2000 to January 06, 2001)

Christmas in Ilocos Norte.

Christmas in Ilocos Norte is aglow — not with tinsel, brightly colored lights and glittery ornaments, but with the spirit of fun, laughter and sharing.

Because Ilocanos are clannish in nature, they always return to their ancestral home during the Christmas holidays. Whether the home be of bamboo, wood or brick, it serves as a treasure chest of heirlooms and memories. It is here where family reunions are held and tales of the previous years are shared.

Traditionally popular around Christmas is tupig — a pastry from a soft and oily variety of rice used for native sweets (diket) cooked in coconut milk, molasses and sesame seeds.Tupig comes in various forms. While some towns prefer to cook their tupig in bamboo tubes, coconut leaves and coconut shells, the ones most commonly served are cooked in banana leaves.

Tupig is a treat that is served to friends, relatives and Christmas carolers – as a sign of gratitude for their holiday greetings and to wish them well in the coming New Year.

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