pamasko aguinaldo

Do Filipino Kids Truly Believe in Santa Claus Bringing Them Gifts?

pinoys santa claus belief

This question has been bugging me, do Filipino kids truly believe in Santa Claus the way their western counterparts believe in the guy in the red suit bearing gifts?

The belief in the west is that from the North Pole on Christmas Eve, December 24, Santa Claus will travel the world over and will descend on houses of good boys and good girls to give gifts. 

Santa will cruise on his sleigh being pulled by his 8 reindeers, namely rudolph, comet, prancer, dasher, blitzen, cupid, dancer, vixen, donner. He will come carrying a big, huge bag with all the gifts created and made by the elves. 

If a child is good, Santa will go down the chimney and then leave a gift for the child under the Christmas tree. Santa will also eat the cookies and drink the milk left by the kid under the tree the night before. After which, Santa Claus is now off to the next house on his list. 

Santa will do this for all the countries with good boys and good girls and he must complete the dropping and leaving of all gifts on Christmas Eve, December 24. 

On Christmas morning, December 25, good kids will find a gift waiting for them from the man from the north pole. This gift is different from the gift that mommy and daddy will give. 

That’s the belief that some kids from the other side of the world hold dear to their hearts growing up. Is this also applicable here in the Philippines, among Pinoy kids?

Santa Claus in the Philippines

Hi, this Paskong Pinoy’s admin CJ sharing these thoughts today. I may be wrong or you may have a different take on this topic, do let us know your opinion by dropping a comment so there are more perspectives available. Thank you!

There was one Christmas when a cousin based in the USA came home for the holidays together with her 8-years-old kid and husband. She took me aside and cautioned me “CJ, Ney believes in Santa Claus. Please don’t say anything that will confuse her.” So, of course I didn’t mention anything about Santa’s possibility of being not real during their whole stay in the country. 

My cousin’s kid, who is half Filipino half American, is now 17 years old. I wonder at what age did she learned that the gifts under the tree each Christmas Day came from her mom and dad and not from Santa Claus? I haven’t ask my cousin about this. Maybe in the future when they are back again in the Philippines during a holiday, I’ll ask her about it.

Here in the Philippines, do we believe in Santa Claus? 

Every December big malls nationwide have a “meet and greet Santa” day. Kids along with their parents or guardians will line-up for a picture with Santa Claus. When the pace is not hurried, Santa has the time to ask the child about her request for gifts, listen to the answer, and at the end of the char, will give a candy or two. Then the kid will bid Santa goodbye.  

Filipino kids are familiar with Santa Claus. At a young age, we have memorized the song ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’, we know the idea that if we want gifts we have to be good boys and good girls. Bad boys and girls will not get any.

We are also bombarded with strings of tv shows and movies that features Santa. We see Santas roaming around in malls, we see Santa Claus pictures every where during this season. But does the Filipino kids’ psyche truly believe that this person exist and that he is the one to give us Christmas gifts?

I say no. If you think otherwise, please leave a comment, it’s good to have a discussion about this, and to hear the perspective of different individuals. Share your thoughts please. Salamat!

Here’s what I think why majority of Pinoy kids doesn’t believe in Santa Claus the same way that most kids from the west believes in him with all their heart. 

Most Pinoy kids probably believe a little bit that there is a Santa Claus but they don’t believe that he will come to give them gifts. 

I think most Filipino kids know that is is their mom, it is their dad, their lolo and lola, their adult siblings, their ninangs and ninongs, their titos and titas, their aunties and uncles, who give them Christmas gifts. They do not believe that a guy in red suit with reindeers in tow will magically arrived in their house and leave gifts on the eve of Christmas. 

One contention says homes in the Philippines does not have a chimney for Santa to climb down into hahha. Plus, we also don’t have snow in the country; we see snow almost always present on Santa Claus movies.

Maybe, just maybe, affluent, rich Filipino families bring up their children to believe in Santa Claus so they hang Christmas stockings and all that, but for the middle class and the poor, my guess is not.

To have more gifts, some parents will bring their kids to visit the kids’ godparent’s house for “pamasko” or “aguinaldo” from ninong and ninang. 

Lots of Filipino kids from the mid and lower income groups will get their gifts, their aguinaldos, before Christmas day. Why? Because there is a high chance that this gift is a new dress, a new jeans, a new t-shirt, a new piece of clothing, a new shoes. 

pamasko aguinaldo

Christmas is the one time in a year that these kids have high hopes of getting new clothes and/or new shoes, and actually get them. For most Pinoy parents, usually there is no more budget to buy additional gifts, extra budget will go to the Noche Buena feast that will be shared by the family. If there is an additional gift that will be given on Christmas Day, it’s already a bonus. 

This gift of new clothes and shoes will be worn by the kids when they go to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. “Isisimba ang bagong damit”. This is an important tradition followed by many Filipinos – that if you have new clothes or footwear, which happens rarely, you use it first to hear mass to thank Jesus for the new blessing. 

The question “What did you get from Santa Claus?” is not a popular one in the country, precisely because most Filipino kids know very well who gave them Christmas presents and it is not Santa Claus. 

Growing up, did you believe that Santa Claus is real and that he will bring your gift?

There is nothing wrong in believing in Santa Claus especially if it helps kids to be good and kind all throughout the year. 

If Santa Claus is real, what gift would you ask him to bring you?