My first experince with Simbang Gabi started like this: Mama tomato and Daddy tomato are walking along the road (presumably to shop for a new topsy-turvy for their growing family), when they notice that Baby tomato is quite far behind (probably from admiring the cute cherry tomatoes they passed.) Daddy tomato yells to Baby tomato, “Ketchup!!”
Get it? Like Catch Up — ketchup?!
I didn’t get it at first because I am kind of slow (like Baby tomato). Once my husband explained it to me though, I thought it was funny. Of course, I added the part about the topsy-turvy and the cherry tomatoes to spice it up a little bit – salsa anyone?
The priest used the tomato joke to explain a tradition in the Filipino community that includes a Novena to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in anticipation of Christmas, called Simbang Gabi. It is nine days of going to mass and then celebrating after with food, traditional dance, and songs. The last day of the Novena falls on Christmas Eve. Read more