The Misa de Gallo or Rooster’s Mass is also called Simbang Gabi. It is also known as the Misa de los Pastores or Shepherd’s Mass. This is a series of masses attended by Roman Catholics in preparation for Christmas. It is also in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The practice is similar to the nine-day dawn masses prior to Christmas practiced in Puerto Rico. It is a part of the spiritual preparation of the faithful for the birth of Jesus Christ. Every year, millions of Roman Catholic Filipinos wake up before the sun rises and troop to the different churches all over the archipelago. The Misa de Gallo masses start on December 16 with the last mass held on December 24. Its popularity has reached a point where some malls in the country also hold Misa de Gallo masses.
Roman Catholics in Cebu also wake up very early in the morning to attend the Misa de Gallo. Churches all around the island are filled to the seams with the faithful. This is especially true at the start of the nine-day novena masses. Since the churches tend to become full and seats will be hard to come by, some people would bring their own foldable chairs or stools so they have something to sit on during the mass.
The Misa de Gallo nine-day novena series of masses start on December 16 with the last mass celebrated on the morning of December 24. The following are the schedules of Misa de Gallo masses in Cebu City:
Basilica Minore del Santo Nino de Cebu – 4:30 AM
St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish – 4:30 AM
Carmelite Monastery – 4:30 AM
Asilo de la Milagrosa Church – 4:30 AM
Redemptorist Church – 5:00 AM