What to Do During Karoling Season

Sa maybahay ang aming bati, “merry Krismas na malwalhati.”
Ang pag-ibig ang siyang naghari, sana araw-araw ay magiging Pasko lagi.
Ang sanhi po ng pagparito, hihingi po ng aginaldo.
Kung sakaling kami’y perwisyo, pasensya na kayo kami'y namamasko.

I bet that many of you (if you are in the Philippines) already heard that popular Christmas song this time of the year. Well, it is Christmas Season, which is the perfect time for enterprising kids to brandish their tambourines made of tansan (bottle caps). It is also the perfect time for them to visit your house to croak their angelic voices for some coins.
Improvised tambourine for karoling.
Improvised tambourine. (Source: Think!)

Karoling is Christmas tradition in the Philippines. Karoling is the Filipinized rendition of the word caroling. Karoling is not just being done by the children as there are adult carolers who use real musical instruments like guitar, tambourines, etc. Children carolers are much simpler because their musical instruments are tambourines made from bottle caps and tin cans that serve as drums.
Children karoling.
(Source: Life's Memoirs Online)

People have many reactions when it comes to karoling. Majority of these reactions, I believe, is that of annoyance. This kind of reaction is understandable because these kids has the habit of returning to your house night after night until Christmas Eve if they discovered that you are generous in handing out coins.

So, how should you deal with these children? Here are the things that you can do when they are karoling at your house:

1. Hide and Ignore – This is highly recommended for ninongs and ninangs who have the habit of hiding from their inaanaks (godchildren) every Christmas. You should always keep in mind that carolers are attracted to Christmas lights like the way moths are attracted to the flame. Don’t decorate your house with Christmas lights to avoid being noticed by these kids.  If you’re uncharitable enough to not want carolers to visit your house, I suggest that you turn off all the lights inside and outside of your house and pretend that you are asleep.

2. Give them Coins or Scold them – Another way to deal with carolers is to follow a sort of “merit system.” You give the carolers a reward (a.k.a. coins) if they sang their Christmas carol well. Avoid giving them any coin if they continue croaking like frogs instead of singing. This is a good way motivating carolers to improve their karoling. Bad-singing carolers will avoid your house because they think that you demand so much just for a few coins.

3. Give them treats – Give the carolers candies or food if you don't want to give them money. This alternative is similar to the Halloween “trick or treat.” If you don't like their karoling then you trick 'em but I guess that is not in accord with the Christmas spirit.

4. Let the dogs out – Do this if you idolize old Scrooge but be prepared to be hacked with jungle bolo of the children's angry fathers.

There was a time when karoling is taken seriously. That was the time when kids put an effort to sing well. Nowadays, the children carolers don't care if their singing is out of tune or no one understands what they are saying. This is the reason why many people think that karoling is annoying.
Children karoling on the streets.
(Photo by Rowell Ang)

I also noticed that these children took karoling to the streets. They climb jeepneys and buses to ask for coins after they sang their Christmas carol. What they are doing is very dangerous. I will not be surprised if there will be a road accident that involves them.

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  1. let the dogs out!! hahahaha
    sadly,.....namiss ko lang ung mga araw na nangangaroling kami ..haha

  2. They really shouldn't be doing that on the streets. Its really not safe.

    Btw, I revised the post about the giveaway, in case you're still interested in joining. =)

  3. Sendo

    Pwede ka pa rin namang mangaroling. He he. Kaso hindi na bagay sa iyo na bigyan ng barya.


    It is not really safe. That is why some drivers don't these kids to board their jeep. They will be in a bind if something happens to them.

    Oy! Will look at your contest. ^_^

  4. in malaysia, we usually give out sweets for those who did carolings :)


  5. Fish

    That is good. Handing out sweets is better than handing out coins.

  6. We do something very similar in Mexico. In Veracruz I used to go out and sing, also we made our bottle cap and wire percussion. Not impressed but glad to hear kids in other side of the world create the same instrument!

  7. Hello Cesar. Thank you very much for dropping by.

    I am glad to know that there is also the tradition of karoling in Mexico. It made me wonder if this tradition was handed down to us by Spaniards. Mexico and Philippines were Spain's former colonies.


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