Back to December*


As soon as the month of December begun, the partying and merry making had also kicked off. I felt like the whole month was a celebration, or more like a very long weekend. I still had to go to office though and finish some stuff i.e. position papers and communications, but it's not much tedious. Or I guess, I'm just enjoying the work for now. Hahaha. Anyways, the festive mood this holiday season gives is very much alive with every circle of friends I'm with. Plus, the newsfeeds in popular social networking sites are already full of holiday greetings and wishlists, you can't help but go with the flow. Hahaha. And because this should be a blog about my experiences, I deem it proper to write about my whole December "affairs". Hahaha.

Makeover and Little Mermaid (December 3)
Ate Fina, Ate Anna and I decided on a last minute that we'll watch The Little Mermaid Musicale. Ok, actually, it was planned, but the date was a spot-on decision, mainly because we're totally excited to see Rachelle Ann Go and Erik Santos (si Ate Fina lang pala excited kay Erik) do their first musicale and secondly, because we're simply fans of people singing and acting on stage. So after we logged on to Ticket World, reserved the December 3, 8pm show and virtually swiped Ate Fina's credit card, we're off to Eastwood Mall by lunch to claim the much- coveted tickets. Haha. On the day itself, they also decided to help me reorganize (if that's the right term) my wardrobe. I went to Tony and Jackey's to get my first "Korean" haircut (well, that's because the hair cutter was a Korean named Eugene). Then, we went to Trinoma to scout for blouses and wedges. After that, we're off to Meralco Theater to watch the show. I was strutting along ADB Avenue with my black- felt wedges, which is kinda weird and fun at the same time. Hahaha. Feeling yuppie. Lol.

As soon as the show started, the giddy feelings started to subside. Onga pala, we're also with RJ/ JR, brother ni Ate Anna (Sidestory: We heard Ate Anna's big sister rants when she scolded her brother over the phone about not asking for directions and being late. It's just so funny, because we're all ates and we all have our own "bullying" tactics. Hahaha. At least I'm not the only one. I realized even the soft- spoken Ate Anna can also be a "monster" sometimes. Hahaha). Anyways, the whole show's a stunner. The props and set we're creatively done and ingenious. The singing parts were beautifully sung by the actors and actresses. Also, Rachelle Ann's a real gem-- she showed that she's not only a singer, she also has what it takes to be a stage actress. Oha. I'm a converted fan! On the other hand, Erik Santos wasn't able to ride the energy of his fellow stage actors/ actresses. Maybe he's tired or whatever, but what we thought was his problem was speaking his parts. No doubt he is a good singer, but we felt that he's having difficulties delivering his lines in English (that doesn't mean that he can't speak the language, maybe he's not just comfortable with it). The real showstopper was Jinky Llamanzares, the actress who played the role of Ursula. She really upped the ante for the whole show plus her costume's a winner we thought of renting it for our Office Christmas Party. Hahaha. Her minions, the two eels/ sea snakes, were also great, especially the one with a twisted voice. Haha. Ok so my favorite part of the show was Prince Erik's and Ariel's date- by- the- lake scene. You would really see the effort and hardwork made by the producers for the whole show-- the sea animals were soooo cute and they looked so real. And the kilig factor's there. Hahaha. Ako na jologs. Ayos lang. Hahaha.

After the show, we scoured Ortigas for something to eat. At one moment, we thought Shakey's would be our saving grace (the same with what happened to us ni Ate Fina, during the Convention), but it failed us. Sign lang pala, there was no resto-- it was like an oasis/ mirage. Hahaha. We settled for McDo beside Medical City and that's where the pictures began to pile up. The rest was history. Hahaha.

On- the- spot Pictorials (December 7)
Because Kuya Alvin recently acquired a cool point-and-shoot camera, we have to be his test subjects. That Thursday morning, everyone was in pictorial mood (When the cat's not around, the mice play around). Hahaha. We also talked about the specifics of our Christmas Party and everyone was excited for the costumes. By lunch time, Ate Vee, our unit head decided that we should have a unit meeting. Before that, I accompanied them at the Holy Family Parish Church to attend the mass celebrating the Virgin Mary's birthday I guess. Apparently, they forgot I wasn't Roman Catholic so they tagged me along. It was during the novena (I guess) when they saw that I wasn't reciting the Hail Mary's and Glory Be's and Ate Fina suddenly exclaimed "ay hindi ka nga pala Catholic!" Hahaha. Funny moment that was. I said yes and I said it's ok if I go to chapels, I'm not gonna be burned at the stake naman, I thought. Hahaha. Anyway, after the mass, we decided to eat at Bigoli's and do our unit meeting. The agenda is confidential. Hahaha. The food's great there, but the best was the gelato with toppings. I had pistachio- flavored gelato with hazelnuts and chocolate drippings, Ate Fina had a coffee- flavored one with crushed coffee beans naman while Ate Vee settled for a mango gelato. (Thanks Ate Vee for the treat!).

The next day, Team Programs had their RH Policy Conference which was really interesting. Ate Vee was asked to be the documenter while Ate Fina and I were assistants. Astig. We listened to the equally engaging presentations from known RH advocates, Rep. Edcel Lagman, former Health Sec Espie Cabral and Akbayan Rep Walden Bello. We also listened to reactions from a representative from the DOH, from the Academe and from the Local Government. The whole conference can be viewed here.

Workers' Christmas Party (December 10)
Me and my siblings weren't really joining the Christmas Party for Workers, but because Papu's going to speak in Bulacan (in another Christmas Party) and Mama's without company, we're requested to accompany her-- Me, Eph, Tel and Beth. Nik's still in Baguio that time. When we arrived in Paranaque, Ma was really excited to join the games and we're like *sigh*. Hahaha. So we played. Best game ever was the egg-catching. Ma and Tel were tandems against other Pastors and their sons. Despite her handicap, Ma's eagerness to play gave her leverage against other players. Tel and her were really doing great, we could have won should Tel's egg throw in the last round did not bounce that hard on Ma's hands. But oh well, that's okay, at least we made them see Ma can be superhuman most of the times. HAHAHA. The egg yolk's just got stuck on her hands. Ew. We just helped her clean up though. The other parts were also fun but the raffle's kinda "meh". It's ok, we had our groceries naman which is a good thing. Plus my brothers won the chocolate raffle, KISSES! In short, twas a blast.

Random Taco Bell Kwentuhan (December 14)
My trip to Bacolod (San Carlos and Cadiz) was aborted because the money wasn't still wired by the Development Partner. I was kinda looking forward for some last minute road trip but twas still ok. I was able to finish the "urgent" job my boss asked me to do. On Wednesday, I sprinted to the House of Reps Archives to get some needed documents i.e. transcripts of floor and committee- level deliberations and members of a certain committee for our case. Then, at 3pm I still headed back at the office, I don't want to be reprimanded for not finishing my work time. Hehehe. While at the office, we laughed at CJ Corona's melodramatic speech and at PNoy's fumbles nanaman. Then, we fooled around by trying to practice Jingle Bell Rock Mean Girls version for our presentation (which didn't push thru by the way). After that, Ate Fina and I found ourselves looking for something to eat. Taco Bell Gateway was the answer! We literally ate a lot and forgot what time it was because we had tons of kwento. I realized when I was on my jeepney ride home (LRT's already closed) that she's like my bigger sister-- we had the same quirks and antics and sometimes experiences. Although she's more kikay than me, I still find us two peas in a pod. Cool. I found another Ate! Hahaha.

Aborted Messiah and Sudden Ghost Protocol (December 15)
We were scheduled to watch Handel's Messiah at UP College of Music because there was a free admission. Apparently, we weren't advised by my very able friend that there would be tickets to present. Pfft. So we cancelled last minute and thought of another thing to do. Ate Fina and I decided to watch MI4's latest installment, Ghost Protocol. We texted Ate Anna that we'll wait for her somewhere sa Gayway (Gateway) so we three can watch. She tagged along Kuya Fidel and it was like a girl's night out. Hahaha. Funny moment was when Kuya Fids punkd the woman selling movie tickets. The saleslady already punched 4 tickets for Ghost Protocol when Kuya Fids clarified that the movie's Breaking Dawn. The woman was like WTF- nooo- this- can't be- facepalm mode. The tickets cost 800 pesos and she's just about to pay that when Kuya Fids said he's just joking. The saleslady, able to breathe better, suddenly exclaimed, "Bakla ka talaga!" Hahaha. Buti nalang Kuya Fids wasn't able to hear it, kundi, may Vice Ganda reply yun. Hahaha. The movie's great especially the effects, cliffhanger! Review's in here.

The down part of that day was... never mind. I was able to go home safe and ok naman. Before the whole movie thing, the girls (Ate Vee, Ate Fina, Ate Anna and I) tried TGIF for lunch, courtesy of Ate Fina. Plus, pictorials nanaman around Eastwood Park. Fun day!

Rockband- for- a- Night Drama (December 16)
My college classmates decided to enjoy UST's Paskuhan and have a mini- reunion at the same time. Chika Minute friends were present that night: Jackie, Ten and Lei the law students and then me and Xave, the working class. Kat excused herself because she'll be attending their Church's Christmas Party, Razelle didn't reply and Jhessa promised to come, but well, backed off the last minute. Anyways, Wally, Jackie's sidekick and best friend was also with us that night. We had dinner at a steakhouse along P. Noval. Dinner was really fun and filling, aside from the sumptuous food, it was complemented by the funniest stories from the funniest people ever.  Jackie, Ten and Lei shared their daily quirks and first- time experiences as law students-- their reactions to recits and their impressions on their new classmates. Shempre, the usual asaran and barahan are part of the menu. Wala namang umangat samen e, lageng bagsak at barado! Hahaha. After that hearty dinner, the fun part came-- Rockband! We decided to ditch Paskuhan since it was totally jampacked and head over to Morayta to try out singing and rocking at the same time. 

The band's complete! Ten on drums, Xave on bass, Jackie on keyboards, me on guitar and Lei on vocals. Wally= audience. Hahaha. Galeng! We sang various rock and roll anthems and a few pop rock songs too. We failed on Lady Gaga's Bad Romance, averaged Bon Jovi's It's My Life and aced Three Doors Down's Here Without You. Hahaha. Then we also had our funky versions of Grenade (Bruno Mars), This Love (Maroon 5) and well, I forgot our last song. Hahaha. But it was one of the best bondings we had as friends! Hahaha. 

Exploring the "Armpits of NCR (Mora and Ortile, 2011)" (December 17)
Christmas shopping! Ate Fina accompanied me and Kuya Neil at Victory Mall somewhere in Monumento. It was my first time going shopping around Caloocan and I was like, whoa, dameng tao. We skipped Divisoria because we thought there would be a looooooooot of people jostling there. Victory Mall was more tolerable. The rain was just a challenge though. So while milling around, we were able to score nice and affordable gifts for friends and officemates. Kuya Neil, after his merienda treat, went off first. Ate Fina and I stayed sa Ever to look for the needed tumblers. And thank God, we're able to find them! Astig! It was really a find, I just won't say how much. Mabibisto nung mga pinagbigyan ko. But rest assured the personalized designs accompanying the gift tumblers made it look expensive. Hahaha.


Sunday Party Blast (December 18)
Dec 18 was one jampacked Sunday. Morning we had our Sunday Worship Service, by lunch we're shuffling between entertaining our balikbayan cousin and the Sunday School Christmas Party downstairs and by evening til midnight, I was partying again with debate friends. Wow. Hahaha. But it was uber fun. It was very nice to see Kuya Bryan, Ate Cathy and Ate Al with their babies and Tiya Minay and Tiyo Joe with their usual bickering. Hahaha. We never get to see them often since their family resides in Sorsogon and Kuya Bryan's working in Abu Dhabi so our family really took time to entertain them and make them feel at home that Sunday despite all the boo-boos and kemelars. Kuya Bry, fresh from the sands of UAE, treated us to pizza and chocolates. Then, there were a lot of stories and experiences shared while munching food. By 4pm, they left and I was also done with wrapping my Christmas gifts for SOD Friends. By 5pm, I was rushing to meet Xave at Ever Recto all the while knowing it's the same with the Isetann Recto where we're really supposed to meet. Meh, fail. Twas okay, he just went back to Ever and met me there. Bait talaga! Hahaha. Anyway, after a few minutes, we're able to hail a cab all the way to Cubao. Funny when we both learned that we had the same gifts for our friends-- tumblers! Pfft, buti nalang personalized yung aken. Hahaha. Anyways, when we arrived at Cubao, we still had to do some last minute shopping because Ate Usme asked me to buy her gift for Ate Chael (exchange gift). Huhuhu, we had to scour for stores for a cute shirt. Fortunately, we're able to find one. Yey.

We were at PenPen's Resto- Cubao Expo at exactly 7pm. After a few minutes, Kuya Fids and Ginette arrived and we chatted for a while when Ate Chael arrived then Jam and RJ. Yan, Gem and Marco arrived altogether. A few more text messages sent and we learned that Ate Careen would not be able to make it, waaah. Si Ate Fina pa nabunot niya. We have to find a way to buy her a gift, it's her first time to attend the SOD Christms Party. I suddenly remembered that she's dead set to get Paulo Coelho's new book, Aleph and Marco and Yan were kind enough to rush to the nearest bookstore to buy it. Yey we did it (cue: Dora victory song). Hahaha. An hour passed and we're already singing and dancing and laughing. Ate Kate and Kuya Lawrence were present. So was Kuya Kajo and Ate Fins, so were Kat, Julan and Razelle. Fun fun fun. The food was also great-- we had Pasta Aligue, Crispy Liempo, Adobo and a whole lot more. Yum. During the exchange gift ceremony (hahaha), I think everyone got what they want so happy pictures were shot. Then, the best part was the videoke. Hahaha. Everyone sang their hearts out. Never mind the out of tunes and the out of beat, it was really great. Hahaha. There were also interpretative dances done while somebody's singing. The best dance goes to Kuya Fids' Breakaway. And the best in Videoke was Ate Chael, hands down. She sang almost all the songs played by the machine. Hahaha. We also discovered that Marco has a golden voice, the same with Yan and Gem and Jam's playlist is loner (case in point: songs he sang were Unwell, Bad Day and another one I can't remember. Same message, he's having a bad day, lol). Hahaha. RjNet Loveteam is once again back in the airwaves and Razelle and I would forever be Westlife fans. Hahaha. Ate Kate's Ate Kate, always "simple but elegant (citation withheld)." Hahaha. Kuya Lawrence's , well, let's just say we're happy to have him there. The same with Kuya Kajo and Ate Fina. Julan had a blast and Xave and I can sing Bon Jovi's It's My Life. Naks. Finally, Kat's really Tita Geleen. Period.

Resto Trip Galore (December 19, 20, 21)
On Monday night, Ate Anna treated us to Red Mango! Yey. Mochi balls are yum. Fun part again were the picture taking with concept. Oha oha. The best pictures were mine which was Emo at Red Mango, Ate Anna's "Genuine Laugh" and Ate Fina's own take on Asiong Salonga. Haha. We also took the time to wander around the Eastwood Plaza and look for the best places to have a nice FB profile pic. Hahaha. So much for social networking. Hahaha. Anyways, that night, I discovered that I'm not a good photographer or it could be that I was just not used with the camera. But whatever the reason, I resolved to be a better photog. Hahaha.


Tuesday was Sambokujin Day! Hurrah! Hahahaha. Sir Nishi treated me, Ate Fina and Ate Anna to lunch at the newly opened Korean resto. It was actually for Ate Fina lang, but because they're nice and they don't want to eat alone, Ate Anna and me were tagged along. Ate Vi passed. Food's great and cool yung pan sa gitna. Dunno what that's called. Anyway, enjoy. We also had a chance to see Alex Cabagnot, Joseph Yeo and Rob Gier eat. They we're there!!! I would want to have a picture taken with them but because I was shy, I just looked at them. Hahaha.

By Wednesday, the girls- that's me, Ate Vi, Ate Anna and Ate Fina, decided to eat at Pancake House. Since the Bigoli eat-out/ Unit Meeting was paid by Ate Vi and the Friday's food trip was a treat from Ate Fina, Pancake House would be on my chip. Their Salisbury Steak's nice but the other dishes served were just okay for me. Desserts also nice-- we tried three: their folded waffle with vanilla ice cream as filling, banana split and mangoes and cream crepe. The dessert- eating part killed our tastebuds. Hahaha. Sobrang tamis. Naumay kame. But it was stil a fun experience, daming pictures taken e. The photo embargo issued by Ate Anna against me for some funny comment I made on FB was not followed so I still had pictures taken. Hahaha. :P

Superheroes Converge At Eastwood (December 22)
Yehey! First Office Christmas Party for me. Hahaha. We had a costume party and I was Cardcaptor Sakura. Haha. The others were also some sort of superheroes whatever. Kuya Third was Green Lantern complete with the ring and the script. Ate Vi's Violet of the Incredibles while Ate Fina's Catwoman/ TomCat accdg to Kuya Fids. Ate Anna's Esmeralda, the gypsy friend of Quasimodo while Ate Fely's Tinkerbell. Kuya Paulie was well, no one really in particular. But because we support his Anime look/ Hentai girl drama, Kuya Fids and I decided that her character would be Maya Natsume of Tenjo Tenge. Hahaha. Kuya Third's first place, Ate Vi's second and Ate Fina clinched third place. Kuya Brody wasn't able to don his Tigger costume because it did not fit him. Epic Fail. Hahaha. Kuya Paulie and Ate Fely felt "bad and bitter" cause they did not win. Hahaha. Ate Anna and I were happy we just took pictures. Hahaha. Best picture was this one:
From left to right: Ate Vi is Violet from the Incredibles; Ate Anna does an Esmeralda; Ate Fely is Tinker Bell 1960's version (joooooooke lang); Kuya Paulie is Maya Natsume of Tenjo Tenge DAW; Ate Fina is Felix The Cat  Catwoman; I am Cardcaptor Sakura and Kuya Third's Green Lantern with gout. Hahaha

During the party, we ate lechoooooon. As in overflow. Exchange gifts were done and Kuya Ariel was not there to get his gift from me, so I just asked Kuya Jun to give it to him. I won a sack of rice in the raffle which was really good because that's what I wanted. At least, we wouldn't worry for rice for at least a month or two. People from the office were generally happy with the personalized gift I gave them-- a cartoonized version of themselves. Hahahaha. I got a nice necklace from Kuya Paulie, which was like a group accessory for me, Ate Fina and Ate Anna. The precious stones came from Maranao River. Choz. Hahaha. After the office party, we proceeded to Pango's for more food and videoke. Booze were also served but I just chose to drink the iced tea in a jar. Yes in a jar. Garapon. Hahahaha. From there, we still went back to the office for lechon take home. Pictures, pictures, concepts, asaran, pictures ulet then we're all homebound. 

Giving Back Through A Shoebox (December 23)
After a tiring but happy night, I was up by 7:30am. Shoebox gift giving pala! Almost forgot. By the time I was preparing myself for the event, my churchmates were already downstairs putting the boxes in the van. Noooo. So I was like Wonderwoman dashing to get things done and get downstairs on time. Within 30 minutes, I was able to present myself decently. Hahaha. Then we're off to a church in Dasma Hills to give the shoeboxes to those kids waiting there. During the ride, we still packed some mini goodies for the kids and segregated the boxes for boys and girls. All in all we had 56 boxes more than enough for the 40 children we're expecting to meet. It was an hour and a half ride from Manila to Dasma so I dozed off. When I woke up, we're only a few blocks away from the place. The church was a welcome sight for all of us. It was situated on a hill and trees can be seen all over. The kids were already playing hide and seek when we arrived. Their parents and the pastor were already there. We could see the warm smiles painted on their faces. Excited!

After we've settled, Ate Sheila and I arranged the boxes inside the van so that no one would still see them. Earvin and the rest of the gang played with the kids and everyone was laughing and running. Best game was the Polvoron Relay. Children would eat the polvoron, whistle, kendeng and then run back to their team mates. The children were whistling with polvoron bits spewing from their mouths. Haha. Abby even had an instant face powder on her when the little girl whistled in front of her. Haha. The Boat is Sinking game was total chaos. Hahaha. They do not want to get out of the game. But well, in the end we're able to have 10 children remaining, we decided all of them are already winners. Hahaha. 

Earvin and Kuya Milky had short messages for the kids. Cool. I thought they're already qualified to be a Bible College student. Haha. Best part of the program was of course the gift giving. Ate Sheila, I and the others brough the gifts in front while they were praying. When they opened their eyes, we saw them glittering. Hahaha. During the distribution, the kids happily clutched the individual boxes filled with wonderful goodies. We asked them not to open it until everyone gets their own. All of the 56 boxes were distributed because apparently, the 40 children in our list increased during that day. When the opened the boxes, the only sounds we heard were "Wow" "Uy, astig!""Andameeeee". Haha. They were even showing off their new toys and things. Other boxes even had chocolates and candies inside. The boxes we filled at home had school supplies and fancy things inside. While distributing the sandwiches and juice for snacks, the kids were asking who were the names written on the boxes because they would want to thank them. Awwww. Sweet. We told them, they're all welcome. We even forgot that we did not have breakfast because of the happiness we've seen from these children. The parents who were with them, including their pastor were also thankful for the little gifts our Youth Group gathered in the past two months. We also gave Pastor Diego our little token for him. Then, pictures again! Wacky, serious, cool shots were taken. May jump shot pa nga e. Hahaha.

Lunch by the hill was one-of-a-kind. The sunlight was nice and the leafy bosoms of the mango trees serve as our shade. Adobo and chopseuy tandem was FTW. Galit galit muna lahat habang nakaen. When everyone had their fill, the funny stories started to flow. Hahaha. Finally, we had to go home. One last group picture and we're off again to the busy streets of Manila. At the very least, we were thankful to have that opportunity to be with nature and have fellowship with our fellow Christians. At most, we were really grateful that God opened our eyes and hearts to share the little we had with those who have less. 

We may not be as rich as Kris Aquino or Henry Sy or Lucio Tan; or as powerful as our politicians, but in our own little way, we're able to make these children happy on Christmas Day. The gifts we have gathered may have been second hand or bought from Divi or from wherever, but I think what matters most was the heart to give-- the willingness to part with our small fortunes and make others happy. In our little ways, we're able to make them see God within us; make them feel they are loved and understood. I hope that someday, I would be able to initiate a bigger movement for this. Giving is really a happy activity. It redistributes blessings, most of the time doubles them. This 2012, our youth group decided that we'll take a break from kids and give to the elderly. Sounds really interesting and exciting, I can't wait. We also decided to pitch in help for the Sendong victims through a bottled water drive. Kuya Jeff told us that the victims are in dire need of bottled waters so this would really be a good thing to give them. 

Christmas Jam (December 25, 26)
After all the family gift giving and merry making, me and my cousins decided to cap the night off through a jam session. Jerome has brought his guitar and Kuya Joshua's able to sneak in some Tanduay Ice for our little bonding that night. Haha. Ma allowed me, Eph and Tel to drink alcohol. Moderately. Hahaha. Eph and I had two bottles each, Tel had only one. Best part was the jam session. Jerome played some popular hits with his guitar and we're off to some fun times. A few more songs and booze and by 3pm we decided to doze off. 

"Best Holiday Ever! (Josh, 2011)"

*same with Taylor Swift's heartwarming song Back to December. I'd really go back to December because there are a lot to remember. Hahaha

Labels: , , ,

felix felicis: Back to December*

Monday, December 26, 2011

Back to December*


As soon as the month of December begun, the partying and merry making had also kicked off. I felt like the whole month was a celebration, or more like a very long weekend. I still had to go to office though and finish some stuff i.e. position papers and communications, but it's not much tedious. Or I guess, I'm just enjoying the work for now. Hahaha. Anyways, the festive mood this holiday season gives is very much alive with every circle of friends I'm with. Plus, the newsfeeds in popular social networking sites are already full of holiday greetings and wishlists, you can't help but go with the flow. Hahaha. And because this should be a blog about my experiences, I deem it proper to write about my whole December "affairs". Hahaha.

Makeover and Little Mermaid (December 3)
Ate Fina, Ate Anna and I decided on a last minute that we'll watch The Little Mermaid Musicale. Ok, actually, it was planned, but the date was a spot-on decision, mainly because we're totally excited to see Rachelle Ann Go and Erik Santos (si Ate Fina lang pala excited kay Erik) do their first musicale and secondly, because we're simply fans of people singing and acting on stage. So after we logged on to Ticket World, reserved the December 3, 8pm show and virtually swiped Ate Fina's credit card, we're off to Eastwood Mall by lunch to claim the much- coveted tickets. Haha. On the day itself, they also decided to help me reorganize (if that's the right term) my wardrobe. I went to Tony and Jackey's to get my first "Korean" haircut (well, that's because the hair cutter was a Korean named Eugene). Then, we went to Trinoma to scout for blouses and wedges. After that, we're off to Meralco Theater to watch the show. I was strutting along ADB Avenue with my black- felt wedges, which is kinda weird and fun at the same time. Hahaha. Feeling yuppie. Lol.

As soon as the show started, the giddy feelings started to subside. Onga pala, we're also with RJ/ JR, brother ni Ate Anna (Sidestory: We heard Ate Anna's big sister rants when she scolded her brother over the phone about not asking for directions and being late. It's just so funny, because we're all ates and we all have our own "bullying" tactics. Hahaha. At least I'm not the only one. I realized even the soft- spoken Ate Anna can also be a "monster" sometimes. Hahaha). Anyways, the whole show's a stunner. The props and set we're creatively done and ingenious. The singing parts were beautifully sung by the actors and actresses. Also, Rachelle Ann's a real gem-- she showed that she's not only a singer, she also has what it takes to be a stage actress. Oha. I'm a converted fan! On the other hand, Erik Santos wasn't able to ride the energy of his fellow stage actors/ actresses. Maybe he's tired or whatever, but what we thought was his problem was speaking his parts. No doubt he is a good singer, but we felt that he's having difficulties delivering his lines in English (that doesn't mean that he can't speak the language, maybe he's not just comfortable with it). The real showstopper was Jinky Llamanzares, the actress who played the role of Ursula. She really upped the ante for the whole show plus her costume's a winner we thought of renting it for our Office Christmas Party. Hahaha. Her minions, the two eels/ sea snakes, were also great, especially the one with a twisted voice. Haha. Ok so my favorite part of the show was Prince Erik's and Ariel's date- by- the- lake scene. You would really see the effort and hardwork made by the producers for the whole show-- the sea animals were soooo cute and they looked so real. And the kilig factor's there. Hahaha. Ako na jologs. Ayos lang. Hahaha.

After the show, we scoured Ortigas for something to eat. At one moment, we thought Shakey's would be our saving grace (the same with what happened to us ni Ate Fina, during the Convention), but it failed us. Sign lang pala, there was no resto-- it was like an oasis/ mirage. Hahaha. We settled for McDo beside Medical City and that's where the pictures began to pile up. The rest was history. Hahaha.

On- the- spot Pictorials (December 7)
Because Kuya Alvin recently acquired a cool point-and-shoot camera, we have to be his test subjects. That Thursday morning, everyone was in pictorial mood (When the cat's not around, the mice play around). Hahaha. We also talked about the specifics of our Christmas Party and everyone was excited for the costumes. By lunch time, Ate Vee, our unit head decided that we should have a unit meeting. Before that, I accompanied them at the Holy Family Parish Church to attend the mass celebrating the Virgin Mary's birthday I guess. Apparently, they forgot I wasn't Roman Catholic so they tagged me along. It was during the novena (I guess) when they saw that I wasn't reciting the Hail Mary's and Glory Be's and Ate Fina suddenly exclaimed "ay hindi ka nga pala Catholic!" Hahaha. Funny moment that was. I said yes and I said it's ok if I go to chapels, I'm not gonna be burned at the stake naman, I thought. Hahaha. Anyway, after the mass, we decided to eat at Bigoli's and do our unit meeting. The agenda is confidential. Hahaha. The food's great there, but the best was the gelato with toppings. I had pistachio- flavored gelato with hazelnuts and chocolate drippings, Ate Fina had a coffee- flavored one with crushed coffee beans naman while Ate Vee settled for a mango gelato. (Thanks Ate Vee for the treat!).

The next day, Team Programs had their RH Policy Conference which was really interesting. Ate Vee was asked to be the documenter while Ate Fina and I were assistants. Astig. We listened to the equally engaging presentations from known RH advocates, Rep. Edcel Lagman, former Health Sec Espie Cabral and Akbayan Rep Walden Bello. We also listened to reactions from a representative from the DOH, from the Academe and from the Local Government. The whole conference can be viewed here.

Workers' Christmas Party (December 10)
Me and my siblings weren't really joining the Christmas Party for Workers, but because Papu's going to speak in Bulacan (in another Christmas Party) and Mama's without company, we're requested to accompany her-- Me, Eph, Tel and Beth. Nik's still in Baguio that time. When we arrived in Paranaque, Ma was really excited to join the games and we're like *sigh*. Hahaha. So we played. Best game ever was the egg-catching. Ma and Tel were tandems against other Pastors and their sons. Despite her handicap, Ma's eagerness to play gave her leverage against other players. Tel and her were really doing great, we could have won should Tel's egg throw in the last round did not bounce that hard on Ma's hands. But oh well, that's okay, at least we made them see Ma can be superhuman most of the times. HAHAHA. The egg yolk's just got stuck on her hands. Ew. We just helped her clean up though. The other parts were also fun but the raffle's kinda "meh". It's ok, we had our groceries naman which is a good thing. Plus my brothers won the chocolate raffle, KISSES! In short, twas a blast.

Random Taco Bell Kwentuhan (December 14)
My trip to Bacolod (San Carlos and Cadiz) was aborted because the money wasn't still wired by the Development Partner. I was kinda looking forward for some last minute road trip but twas still ok. I was able to finish the "urgent" job my boss asked me to do. On Wednesday, I sprinted to the House of Reps Archives to get some needed documents i.e. transcripts of floor and committee- level deliberations and members of a certain committee for our case. Then, at 3pm I still headed back at the office, I don't want to be reprimanded for not finishing my work time. Hehehe. While at the office, we laughed at CJ Corona's melodramatic speech and at PNoy's fumbles nanaman. Then, we fooled around by trying to practice Jingle Bell Rock Mean Girls version for our presentation (which didn't push thru by the way). After that, Ate Fina and I found ourselves looking for something to eat. Taco Bell Gateway was the answer! We literally ate a lot and forgot what time it was because we had tons of kwento. I realized when I was on my jeepney ride home (LRT's already closed) that she's like my bigger sister-- we had the same quirks and antics and sometimes experiences. Although she's more kikay than me, I still find us two peas in a pod. Cool. I found another Ate! Hahaha.

Aborted Messiah and Sudden Ghost Protocol (December 15)
We were scheduled to watch Handel's Messiah at UP College of Music because there was a free admission. Apparently, we weren't advised by my very able friend that there would be tickets to present. Pfft. So we cancelled last minute and thought of another thing to do. Ate Fina and I decided to watch MI4's latest installment, Ghost Protocol. We texted Ate Anna that we'll wait for her somewhere sa Gayway (Gateway) so we three can watch. She tagged along Kuya Fidel and it was like a girl's night out. Hahaha. Funny moment was when Kuya Fids punkd the woman selling movie tickets. The saleslady already punched 4 tickets for Ghost Protocol when Kuya Fids clarified that the movie's Breaking Dawn. The woman was like WTF- nooo- this- can't be- facepalm mode. The tickets cost 800 pesos and she's just about to pay that when Kuya Fids said he's just joking. The saleslady, able to breathe better, suddenly exclaimed, "Bakla ka talaga!" Hahaha. Buti nalang Kuya Fids wasn't able to hear it, kundi, may Vice Ganda reply yun. Hahaha. The movie's great especially the effects, cliffhanger! Review's in here.

The down part of that day was... never mind. I was able to go home safe and ok naman. Before the whole movie thing, the girls (Ate Vee, Ate Fina, Ate Anna and I) tried TGIF for lunch, courtesy of Ate Fina. Plus, pictorials nanaman around Eastwood Park. Fun day!

Rockband- for- a- Night Drama (December 16)
My college classmates decided to enjoy UST's Paskuhan and have a mini- reunion at the same time. Chika Minute friends were present that night: Jackie, Ten and Lei the law students and then me and Xave, the working class. Kat excused herself because she'll be attending their Church's Christmas Party, Razelle didn't reply and Jhessa promised to come, but well, backed off the last minute. Anyways, Wally, Jackie's sidekick and best friend was also with us that night. We had dinner at a steakhouse along P. Noval. Dinner was really fun and filling, aside from the sumptuous food, it was complemented by the funniest stories from the funniest people ever.  Jackie, Ten and Lei shared their daily quirks and first- time experiences as law students-- their reactions to recits and their impressions on their new classmates. Shempre, the usual asaran and barahan are part of the menu. Wala namang umangat samen e, lageng bagsak at barado! Hahaha. After that hearty dinner, the fun part came-- Rockband! We decided to ditch Paskuhan since it was totally jampacked and head over to Morayta to try out singing and rocking at the same time. 

The band's complete! Ten on drums, Xave on bass, Jackie on keyboards, me on guitar and Lei on vocals. Wally= audience. Hahaha. Galeng! We sang various rock and roll anthems and a few pop rock songs too. We failed on Lady Gaga's Bad Romance, averaged Bon Jovi's It's My Life and aced Three Doors Down's Here Without You. Hahaha. Then we also had our funky versions of Grenade (Bruno Mars), This Love (Maroon 5) and well, I forgot our last song. Hahaha. But it was one of the best bondings we had as friends! Hahaha. 

Exploring the "Armpits of NCR (Mora and Ortile, 2011)" (December 17)
Christmas shopping! Ate Fina accompanied me and Kuya Neil at Victory Mall somewhere in Monumento. It was my first time going shopping around Caloocan and I was like, whoa, dameng tao. We skipped Divisoria because we thought there would be a looooooooot of people jostling there. Victory Mall was more tolerable. The rain was just a challenge though. So while milling around, we were able to score nice and affordable gifts for friends and officemates. Kuya Neil, after his merienda treat, went off first. Ate Fina and I stayed sa Ever to look for the needed tumblers. And thank God, we're able to find them! Astig! It was really a find, I just won't say how much. Mabibisto nung mga pinagbigyan ko. But rest assured the personalized designs accompanying the gift tumblers made it look expensive. Hahaha.


Sunday Party Blast (December 18)
Dec 18 was one jampacked Sunday. Morning we had our Sunday Worship Service, by lunch we're shuffling between entertaining our balikbayan cousin and the Sunday School Christmas Party downstairs and by evening til midnight, I was partying again with debate friends. Wow. Hahaha. But it was uber fun. It was very nice to see Kuya Bryan, Ate Cathy and Ate Al with their babies and Tiya Minay and Tiyo Joe with their usual bickering. Hahaha. We never get to see them often since their family resides in Sorsogon and Kuya Bryan's working in Abu Dhabi so our family really took time to entertain them and make them feel at home that Sunday despite all the boo-boos and kemelars. Kuya Bry, fresh from the sands of UAE, treated us to pizza and chocolates. Then, there were a lot of stories and experiences shared while munching food. By 4pm, they left and I was also done with wrapping my Christmas gifts for SOD Friends. By 5pm, I was rushing to meet Xave at Ever Recto all the while knowing it's the same with the Isetann Recto where we're really supposed to meet. Meh, fail. Twas okay, he just went back to Ever and met me there. Bait talaga! Hahaha. Anyway, after a few minutes, we're able to hail a cab all the way to Cubao. Funny when we both learned that we had the same gifts for our friends-- tumblers! Pfft, buti nalang personalized yung aken. Hahaha. Anyways, when we arrived at Cubao, we still had to do some last minute shopping because Ate Usme asked me to buy her gift for Ate Chael (exchange gift). Huhuhu, we had to scour for stores for a cute shirt. Fortunately, we're able to find one. Yey.

We were at PenPen's Resto- Cubao Expo at exactly 7pm. After a few minutes, Kuya Fids and Ginette arrived and we chatted for a while when Ate Chael arrived then Jam and RJ. Yan, Gem and Marco arrived altogether. A few more text messages sent and we learned that Ate Careen would not be able to make it, waaah. Si Ate Fina pa nabunot niya. We have to find a way to buy her a gift, it's her first time to attend the SOD Christms Party. I suddenly remembered that she's dead set to get Paulo Coelho's new book, Aleph and Marco and Yan were kind enough to rush to the nearest bookstore to buy it. Yey we did it (cue: Dora victory song). Hahaha. An hour passed and we're already singing and dancing and laughing. Ate Kate and Kuya Lawrence were present. So was Kuya Kajo and Ate Fins, so were Kat, Julan and Razelle. Fun fun fun. The food was also great-- we had Pasta Aligue, Crispy Liempo, Adobo and a whole lot more. Yum. During the exchange gift ceremony (hahaha), I think everyone got what they want so happy pictures were shot. Then, the best part was the videoke. Hahaha. Everyone sang their hearts out. Never mind the out of tunes and the out of beat, it was really great. Hahaha. There were also interpretative dances done while somebody's singing. The best dance goes to Kuya Fids' Breakaway. And the best in Videoke was Ate Chael, hands down. She sang almost all the songs played by the machine. Hahaha. We also discovered that Marco has a golden voice, the same with Yan and Gem and Jam's playlist is loner (case in point: songs he sang were Unwell, Bad Day and another one I can't remember. Same message, he's having a bad day, lol). Hahaha. RjNet Loveteam is once again back in the airwaves and Razelle and I would forever be Westlife fans. Hahaha. Ate Kate's Ate Kate, always "simple but elegant (citation withheld)." Hahaha. Kuya Lawrence's , well, let's just say we're happy to have him there. The same with Kuya Kajo and Ate Fina. Julan had a blast and Xave and I can sing Bon Jovi's It's My Life. Naks. Finally, Kat's really Tita Geleen. Period.

Resto Trip Galore (December 19, 20, 21)
On Monday night, Ate Anna treated us to Red Mango! Yey. Mochi balls are yum. Fun part again were the picture taking with concept. Oha oha. The best pictures were mine which was Emo at Red Mango, Ate Anna's "Genuine Laugh" and Ate Fina's own take on Asiong Salonga. Haha. We also took the time to wander around the Eastwood Plaza and look for the best places to have a nice FB profile pic. Hahaha. So much for social networking. Hahaha. Anyways, that night, I discovered that I'm not a good photographer or it could be that I was just not used with the camera. But whatever the reason, I resolved to be a better photog. Hahaha.


Tuesday was Sambokujin Day! Hurrah! Hahahaha. Sir Nishi treated me, Ate Fina and Ate Anna to lunch at the newly opened Korean resto. It was actually for Ate Fina lang, but because they're nice and they don't want to eat alone, Ate Anna and me were tagged along. Ate Vi passed. Food's great and cool yung pan sa gitna. Dunno what that's called. Anyway, enjoy. We also had a chance to see Alex Cabagnot, Joseph Yeo and Rob Gier eat. They we're there!!! I would want to have a picture taken with them but because I was shy, I just looked at them. Hahaha.

By Wednesday, the girls- that's me, Ate Vi, Ate Anna and Ate Fina, decided to eat at Pancake House. Since the Bigoli eat-out/ Unit Meeting was paid by Ate Vi and the Friday's food trip was a treat from Ate Fina, Pancake House would be on my chip. Their Salisbury Steak's nice but the other dishes served were just okay for me. Desserts also nice-- we tried three: their folded waffle with vanilla ice cream as filling, banana split and mangoes and cream crepe. The dessert- eating part killed our tastebuds. Hahaha. Sobrang tamis. Naumay kame. But it was stil a fun experience, daming pictures taken e. The photo embargo issued by Ate Anna against me for some funny comment I made on FB was not followed so I still had pictures taken. Hahaha. :P

Superheroes Converge At Eastwood (December 22)
Yehey! First Office Christmas Party for me. Hahaha. We had a costume party and I was Cardcaptor Sakura. Haha. The others were also some sort of superheroes whatever. Kuya Third was Green Lantern complete with the ring and the script. Ate Vi's Violet of the Incredibles while Ate Fina's Catwoman/ TomCat accdg to Kuya Fids. Ate Anna's Esmeralda, the gypsy friend of Quasimodo while Ate Fely's Tinkerbell. Kuya Paulie was well, no one really in particular. But because we support his Anime look/ Hentai girl drama, Kuya Fids and I decided that her character would be Maya Natsume of Tenjo Tenge. Hahaha. Kuya Third's first place, Ate Vi's second and Ate Fina clinched third place. Kuya Brody wasn't able to don his Tigger costume because it did not fit him. Epic Fail. Hahaha. Kuya Paulie and Ate Fely felt "bad and bitter" cause they did not win. Hahaha. Ate Anna and I were happy we just took pictures. Hahaha. Best picture was this one:
From left to right: Ate Vi is Violet from the Incredibles; Ate Anna does an Esmeralda; Ate Fely is Tinker Bell 1960's version (joooooooke lang); Kuya Paulie is Maya Natsume of Tenjo Tenge DAW; Ate Fina is Felix The Cat  Catwoman; I am Cardcaptor Sakura and Kuya Third's Green Lantern with gout. Hahaha

During the party, we ate lechoooooon. As in overflow. Exchange gifts were done and Kuya Ariel was not there to get his gift from me, so I just asked Kuya Jun to give it to him. I won a sack of rice in the raffle which was really good because that's what I wanted. At least, we wouldn't worry for rice for at least a month or two. People from the office were generally happy with the personalized gift I gave them-- a cartoonized version of themselves. Hahahaha. I got a nice necklace from Kuya Paulie, which was like a group accessory for me, Ate Fina and Ate Anna. The precious stones came from Maranao River. Choz. Hahaha. After the office party, we proceeded to Pango's for more food and videoke. Booze were also served but I just chose to drink the iced tea in a jar. Yes in a jar. Garapon. Hahahaha. From there, we still went back to the office for lechon take home. Pictures, pictures, concepts, asaran, pictures ulet then we're all homebound. 

Giving Back Through A Shoebox (December 23)
After a tiring but happy night, I was up by 7:30am. Shoebox gift giving pala! Almost forgot. By the time I was preparing myself for the event, my churchmates were already downstairs putting the boxes in the van. Noooo. So I was like Wonderwoman dashing to get things done and get downstairs on time. Within 30 minutes, I was able to present myself decently. Hahaha. Then we're off to a church in Dasma Hills to give the shoeboxes to those kids waiting there. During the ride, we still packed some mini goodies for the kids and segregated the boxes for boys and girls. All in all we had 56 boxes more than enough for the 40 children we're expecting to meet. It was an hour and a half ride from Manila to Dasma so I dozed off. When I woke up, we're only a few blocks away from the place. The church was a welcome sight for all of us. It was situated on a hill and trees can be seen all over. The kids were already playing hide and seek when we arrived. Their parents and the pastor were already there. We could see the warm smiles painted on their faces. Excited!

After we've settled, Ate Sheila and I arranged the boxes inside the van so that no one would still see them. Earvin and the rest of the gang played with the kids and everyone was laughing and running. Best game was the Polvoron Relay. Children would eat the polvoron, whistle, kendeng and then run back to their team mates. The children were whistling with polvoron bits spewing from their mouths. Haha. Abby even had an instant face powder on her when the little girl whistled in front of her. Haha. The Boat is Sinking game was total chaos. Hahaha. They do not want to get out of the game. But well, in the end we're able to have 10 children remaining, we decided all of them are already winners. Hahaha. 

Earvin and Kuya Milky had short messages for the kids. Cool. I thought they're already qualified to be a Bible College student. Haha. Best part of the program was of course the gift giving. Ate Sheila, I and the others brough the gifts in front while they were praying. When they opened their eyes, we saw them glittering. Hahaha. During the distribution, the kids happily clutched the individual boxes filled with wonderful goodies. We asked them not to open it until everyone gets their own. All of the 56 boxes were distributed because apparently, the 40 children in our list increased during that day. When the opened the boxes, the only sounds we heard were "Wow" "Uy, astig!""Andameeeee". Haha. They were even showing off their new toys and things. Other boxes even had chocolates and candies inside. The boxes we filled at home had school supplies and fancy things inside. While distributing the sandwiches and juice for snacks, the kids were asking who were the names written on the boxes because they would want to thank them. Awwww. Sweet. We told them, they're all welcome. We even forgot that we did not have breakfast because of the happiness we've seen from these children. The parents who were with them, including their pastor were also thankful for the little gifts our Youth Group gathered in the past two months. We also gave Pastor Diego our little token for him. Then, pictures again! Wacky, serious, cool shots were taken. May jump shot pa nga e. Hahaha.

Lunch by the hill was one-of-a-kind. The sunlight was nice and the leafy bosoms of the mango trees serve as our shade. Adobo and chopseuy tandem was FTW. Galit galit muna lahat habang nakaen. When everyone had their fill, the funny stories started to flow. Hahaha. Finally, we had to go home. One last group picture and we're off again to the busy streets of Manila. At the very least, we were thankful to have that opportunity to be with nature and have fellowship with our fellow Christians. At most, we were really grateful that God opened our eyes and hearts to share the little we had with those who have less. 

We may not be as rich as Kris Aquino or Henry Sy or Lucio Tan; or as powerful as our politicians, but in our own little way, we're able to make these children happy on Christmas Day. The gifts we have gathered may have been second hand or bought from Divi or from wherever, but I think what matters most was the heart to give-- the willingness to part with our small fortunes and make others happy. In our little ways, we're able to make them see God within us; make them feel they are loved and understood. I hope that someday, I would be able to initiate a bigger movement for this. Giving is really a happy activity. It redistributes blessings, most of the time doubles them. This 2012, our youth group decided that we'll take a break from kids and give to the elderly. Sounds really interesting and exciting, I can't wait. We also decided to pitch in help for the Sendong victims through a bottled water drive. Kuya Jeff told us that the victims are in dire need of bottled waters so this would really be a good thing to give them. 

Christmas Jam (December 25, 26)
After all the family gift giving and merry making, me and my cousins decided to cap the night off through a jam session. Jerome has brought his guitar and Kuya Joshua's able to sneak in some Tanduay Ice for our little bonding that night. Haha. Ma allowed me, Eph and Tel to drink alcohol. Moderately. Hahaha. Eph and I had two bottles each, Tel had only one. Best part was the jam session. Jerome played some popular hits with his guitar and we're off to some fun times. A few more songs and booze and by 3pm we decided to doze off. 

"Best Holiday Ever! (Josh, 2011)"

*same with Taylor Swift's heartwarming song Back to December. I'd really go back to December because there are a lot to remember. Hahaha

Labels: , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home