Araw ng Tatlong Hari
For Centuries, the magical bearers of gifts for Filipino children were the ThreeKings, not Santa Claus. Shoes were brightly polished and left on the window sillstoferther with the cleanest socks, fresh from the laundry. The children knewthat the Three Kings, on their way to Bethlehem, would pass by theri homes tofill their shoes and socks with gifts. Some would thoughtfully leave some strawor dry grass for the camels; if these were gone in the morning, surely the camesmust have been terribly hungry.The Feast of the Three Kings (Araw ng Tatlong Hari) is celebrated on the FirstSunday of January. It is also known as the Pasko ng Matatanda (Feast of theElderly), the day specially honors senior citizens. The feast is also called "TheEpiphany" which commemorates the manifestation of Jesus Christ to theGentiles as represented by the Magi.They were called Melchor, meaning "king of light", Gaspar, "the white one", andBalthazar, "the lord of treasure". In the Middle Ages, Gaspar was depicted young, Mechor as middle-aged, and Balhtazar as ancient. They came bearinggifts or gold, frankincense and myrrh.In the city of Manila, it has been a tradition for dacades for the prestigiousclub Casino Español to organiza\e a Three Kings' parade on January 6 or thefirst Sunday of January. Dressed in royal robes, the Three Kings ride on statelyhorses as there are no camels in the Philippines. They parade down the block,and end at the clubhouse where children of the Spanish community await themto receive more Christmas gifts. There are gifts prepared for the poor childrenand orphans, too.