My mother and I wake up early to attend the first day of 9 mornings, and so we arrived in the church and was amazed by the decorations of the church, the colorful lights and beautiful christmas lanterns, you can really feel the spirit of Christmas, especially the crowds, theres a lot of people. Its always like this on the first day of 9 mornings, a huge crowd, but you will feel safe because theres a lot of policeman wandering around to secure the church goers safety. A lot of people is really looking forward to attend the first misa de gallo (9 mornings) hoping they can complete the whole series of nine dawn mass, we believe overhere once you completed it your wish will be granted. Even in the homily, the Archbishop who leads the mass said, that we should ask God to guide us so that we can presevere and continue to attend the dawn masses, so our wish will be granted.
Because its so crowded, we end up standing until the end of the mass, But thats find with me, maybe tomorrow we can get up early and we can finally sit and be comfortable through out the whole mass.
Shortly after the mass, you will see a lot of vendors waiting for the church goers, selling different kinds of native delicacies (kakanin) like bibingka (custrad cake), puto (rice cake), suman (sticky rice), they also served hot tsokolate (hot chocolate drink), tea or coffee.
Simbang Gabi or dawn masses is our tradition every christmas, for me its more like preparing for the coming our Lord Jesus Christ not only physically but spiritualy.