5 Best Traditions For Filipino Office Parties

5 Best Traditions For Filipino Office Parties

When it comes to celebrating the holiday season, our Filipino friends know how to gather people together for an uplifting and delicious time. Forget boring Secret Santa gift exchanges or cookie-cutter party snacks (kutkutin in Tagalog slang)! We’re talking about Filipino office parties filled with succulent roasts, lively music, and enough good cheer to last you through New Year’s! Ready to learn more? Keep reading!

In the Philippines, no holiday celebration is complete without pagkain or food overflowing with comforting flavors, decades-old carols ringing through the room, and more than enough gift baskets and games to leave you grinning from ear to ear. Lucky for us, we can take a page from their playbook this Christmas! These five Filipino office party traditions promise to dial up the holiday joy and have you more excited to head to work than take a vacation day.

Let’s dig into the merriment, why don’t we? Just be warned—you might end up spending more time rehearsing your carol lyrics or taste-testing recipes than on actual work. But who really wants to work during the most wonderful time of the year anyway?

Traditions For Filipino Office Parties

Planning to join Filipino office parties? Given that the Philippines is celebrating the Christmas season the longest, you can expect that the locals also have thought really hard about the office Christmas programs. While some are new, we’ll be focusing on the most common elements that make up a Filipino office party. Let’s begin!

food for Filipino Office Parties

Feasting On Filipino Holiday Delicacies

You can’t celebrate Christmas in true Filipino style without stuffing yourself silly on delectable holiday eats! Just take your tastebuds on a whirlwind tour from aromatic roasted meat with crispy skin so delicious it’ll have you licking your fingers clean, to saucy Filipino spaghetti with bits of hotdog for a satisfying crunch in every bite. And what’s a Christmas feast without warming your soul with creamy bibingka rice cakes kissed by coconut and salted eggs?

For office parties, it’s usual to have departments celebrate on a potluck basis. Expect hearty classics like pancit palabok with its rich shrimp-infused sauce and crunchy noodles. Lumpia egg rolls bursting with ground pork and veggies also make frequent appearances. You can’t forget the star of the show: lechon. While roasting a whole pig is quite the endeavor, party planners opt for lechon kawali to satisfy those crisp pork belly cravings on a smaller scale.

Now no Filipino celebration is complete without a sweet finale! Ube halaya, with its vibrant purple color and nutty, sweet potato flavor, satisfies dessert dreams. And hosts eagerly await the ultimate compliment when Tupperware starts making the rounds post-party with guests packing up bibingka and leftover pancit.

Fun fact: In Filipino culture, this tradition of “sharon,” or taking home extra food after big celebrations, is not only practical for leftovers but also meaningful. Sharon actually refers to 1970s singer Sharon Cuneta and her iconic song “Bituing Walang Ningning,” whose lyrics croon “balutin mo ako ng hiwaga” meaning “wrap me up in mystery.” Partygoers channel this line when wrapping up plates of food like precious gifts to extend the joy.

Caroling for Filipino Office Parties

Caroling With Co-Workers

Few things embody the spirited holiday cheer better than a rousing round of Christmas carols. In the Philippines, caroling is not just singing catchy tunes but also a meaningful tradition that brings communities together. So why not bring some old-fashioned caroling into the office halls this Christmas?

Do note, though, that when we say caroling in the Philippines, it goes far beyond just singing a few tunes. For many offices, Christmas parties mean full-blown inter-department caroling competitions with cash prizes at stake!

Come late November, don’t be surprised if you stumble onto the sales team huddled on their lunch break, choreographing dance moves to an upbeat “All I Want For Christmas Is You” remix. The accounting department isn’t just number-crunching but also stitching together Three Kings costumes for their orchestra-backed “Sa Maybahay ang Aming Bati” performance. Some even go all out by preparing special fake snow to even strobe lights for their epic performances!

This year, as the holiday season rolled around, Filipino office culture aficionados went wild, creating and sharing memes about newbie woes. One viral meme showed a sweating employee with the caption, “POV: You’re the new employee that has no choice but to dance for the Christmas party.” Another popular post featured worried faces photoshopped onto the bodies of the Rockettes, proclaiming, “Me calculating the dance steps I need to learn before the office Christmas presentation.”

basket for Filipino Office Parties

Christmas Baskets From Companies

‘Tis the season for overflowing abundance when it comes to Christmas employee gifts in the Philippines! Expect more than just stale candy and logo-ed notebooks from Filipino companies. We’re talking elaborate Christmas food baskets heaped with holiday honey-glazed hams, fruitcakes frosted to perfection, and ingredients for spaghetti and fruit salad!

These “bossing” (a playful term derived from the English word “boss”) packages stuffed with edible extras embody the spirit of celebration and gratitude. No Scrooge-like minimalism here! Bosses dish out whole hams along with baskets brimming with butter balls, aged cheeses, Christmas cookies, and fruit wines. You might even spot the occasional roasted calf making a cameo for the very top VIP clients.

Why such a wealthy display of foodstuffs come Christmas? Gift-giving steeps in centuries of meaning here. Back in the days of Spaniard colonizers, agricultural tenants demonstrated grace by presenting farm animals like chickens and pigs to landowners each December. Today, the tradition lives on. Only now, everyone gets in on the gift basket action regardless of status or salary.

calamansi for Filipino Office Parties

Playing Holiday Games

After filling up on festive feasts, bring some lively levity into the office party mix with classic Filipino holiday games! Think Cookie Swap gift exchanges are hot? Well, you haven’t experienced cutthroat competition until coworkers battle in rowdy rounds of calamansi relays and Pinoy Henyo.

This zingy Christmas game necessitates clutching a spoon strictly with one’s teeth. No hands allowed! Teams line up for a test of dexterity and patience as they bounce squealing over makeshift obstacle courses – we’re talking shimmying under chair railings, wobbling over wedges – all while balancing a calamansi lime atop their dental grip through the mayhem.

Pinoy Henyo is a fun guessing game that will have your office party cracking up. One player wears a headband with a holiday word they must guess based only on “Yes,” “No,” or “Maybe” clues given by their teammate – along with creative charades – all while racing against the timer. Laugh at the madness that ensues as the clue giver tries getting their partner to guess everything from ” Santa’s elves” to “bibingka,” with 5-second penalties added every time they slip up by saying anything other than the permitted one-word answers.

monito monita for Filipino Office Parties

Christmas Party Monito-Monita

What’s better than free presents during the holidays? Free presents whose gifters remain mysteriously anonymous until a big moment of revelation! The Monito Monita gift exchange game will have everyone playing office detective eager to solve whodunnit treating throughout the most wonderful weeks of the year.

Here’s how it works: Names get picked out of a bucket, so each person secretly becomes another colleague’s holiday “gift angel” throughout December. Creative and clue-savvy sponsors disguise their identity to surprise recipients with small weekly exchange gifts on their desks like holiday biscotti, tropical fruit baskets, or handmade Christmas cards. Sometimes, the offerings are based on themes like the following:

  • Something long
  • Something cute
  • Something hard
  • Something fun

The office transforms into exciting investigation territory as employees scour for clues trying to deduce their gift giver before the Christmas finale. Maybe an inside joke referring to a project will reveal all? Or handwriting analysis may unravel so-called strangers?

Joining Filipino Office Christmas Parties Soon?

Ready to immerse yourself in the festivities of a warm Filipino holiday gathering but feeling stumped on ways to break the cultural ice? Ensure hearty merrymaking by arming your party icebreaker arsenal with key Christmas-y Tagalog phrases. Consider this your mini intro to celebratory expressions guaranteed to ring in tight bonds with coworkers before tinsel comes down.

Let’s eat!Kain na!
Time for gifts!Oras na para sa mga regalo!
Let’s dance!Sayaw na tayo!
Who wants more food?Sino pa ang gustong kumain?
Time for games!Laro na!
Let’s sing Christmas songs!Kantahin natin ang mga awiting Pamasko!
Let’s take a group photo!Mag-group picture tayo!
Merry Christmas, everyone!Maligayang Pasko, sa inyong lahat!

Celebrate Christmas Like A Pinoy!

Filipino office parties let everyone bask in the holiday spirit to the fullest! Far from cookie-cutter celebrations, expect gatherings bursting with delectable flavors, lively parlor games, and meaningful traditions specially crafted to unite colleagues in joyful camaraderie all season long.

Want to learn more about the Philippines and the Tagalog language? Try Ling today to start mastering the Pinoy language the right way. Download it for FREE from the App Store or Play Store now!

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