First Christmas in our home

This Christmas is probably the most memorable (so far) in my existence, except maybe 2009 when Mischa was already with us. It really feels so good to be in your own house, never mind the cooking and the cleaning afterwards, to which I am thankful I have mama around hehe. No thanks to our developer, I am grateful nonetheless to be in our own abode on the day Jesus was born. I cannot even put into words how special everything is. Basta! My heart is overflowing with happiness! Too bad the husband hasn’t been feeling well for the last two weeks.

Our tree–the first tree we ever had as a couple back in 2008 (maybe next year I can convince the dad to buy a fuller and taller tree after our house-related expenses have died down):

xmas tree

Christmas dinner–Spaghetti with meatball sauce (from scratch), mashed potatoes and Excellente ham.

xmas dinner

The husband made his special mango graham cake, which I didn’t get to take a photo of. However, here is the little helper, who of course, is more a handful than an assistant.

santas helper

My family with Mischa the grouch (lol). How to teach kids to smile and love the camera?

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During the gift opening. The kid still hasn’t fully woken from her interrupted sleep. She looks like a dalagita here (who are you and what did you do to my baby??).

gift opening

Mico was not able to be with us since he also just transferred homes, and of course wanted to spend Christmas Eve in his own home. He visited the next day and had to run right away for work. We were about to have lunch here: steamed lapu-lapu, buttered shrimps with garlic, and leftover ham and pasta. Christmas makes you always happily fat.

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Thank you Lord for the gift of family and a good home. Please bless all people here on Earth. Please live in our hearts the whole year round.

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Zumba-ing

I am busy doing nothing and everything. I really don’t know why, but I haven’t really gotten much work done around here (work). I’ve been going through the motions but it seems I am only able to do the routine without producing much substance lately. Maybe it’s the excitement of the new house. And the holidays. Whatever. I just couldn’t muster enough enthusiasm for work. I promise I will get out of this rut soon.

Even my blog is suffering a bit. Posting a lot, but not writing much.

So…this is a late post. But I’m doing it nonetheless. This is the second year running we are doing the Zumba as part of the activities of the Month of Overseas Filipinos. Apart from the Presidential Awards, this is the most I get excited about for. I only wished we didn’t have to get up at a God-forsaken hour to do it every time (why we do we have to do it at 5 a.m.???). And I hope I break more sweat next time. I badly need the exercise.

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Another flower girl duty

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The little girl was not in her element when she walked down the aisle of her Tita Jovie’s wedding (hubby’s cousin). As usual, I am so nanghihinayang because her prettiness was lost on the scowl she was wearing. I just have to be thankful that she walked and agreed to the entourage parade, but we were not lucky in the after-service photo taking. Pag sinumpong talaga tsk tsk. Kanino ba nagmana itong batang ito? She definitely didn’t get this from me as I’m the queen of pretense. Even if I don’t like where I am, it’s easy for me to put up with almost anything, if I have to. I’m patient that way.

On a side note, we forgot our SLR! So I had to take shots from my phone only. The Paco Church inside Paco Park was very pretty and enchanting pa naman that night, what with being lit up with twinkling lights as part of the Christmas season. Oh well, we couldn’t have taken much photos anyway. We were ALMOST late, we got there in the nick of time. And I said, my little star was not in a very good mood.

A belly-aching reunion

We must have all gone home with bellies full of delicious food, and more importantly, laughter. I love my staff now, don’t get me wrong, but really, nothing compares to the old samahan of the original members of our division. I don’t know if it’s me, but my new anaks who comprise our present-day division are not as close or as fun-loving as we were before. Maybe I don’t get them, or vice versa. hehe. Anyway, it’s a different ball game with different players.

So the old PMO folks got together last Friday. As I said, it was another hilarious reunion. Good thing we decided to book a function room at Casa Roces because I think we almost tore the place down. What a ruckus! We really should do this more often. Sometimes, when we are together, I forget that time does pass by, because it always seem like we just saw each other yesterday. There are no dull or awkward moments! Nothing changes much, except maybe our ages.

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Spot the difference

This is a nostalgic post. I just put together photos of moi, and two of my better friends Cheng and Rino, and I feel a little wistful about how we spend so little time together now when we used to go out almost every night. We know each other’s quirks, and almost all of our dirty little secrets. lol. As the old adage says, we’ve been through thick and thin. We were together in the happiest and darkest hours of our lives. I could say that we each had anchored one another, and kept each other sane when the going got rough. And despite the separate lives we live now, I know deep in my soul that we will the best of friends forever.

Anyway, this little moment of sadness was brought on, as I said, by photos taken during the Presidential Awards. Wittingly, or unwittingly, we always seem to have this pose after the formal ceremonies have taken place. We missed out on the 2008 awards since Rino was in Netherlands taking up his masteral degree that time.

Have we changed much over the years?

2008

2006


2010

2010


2012

2012

Our new habitat

If you’ve been reading my blog, you might have been getting sick of reading my excitement-slash-rants about moving into our new home. Aaaannddddd…finally, we are able to do it! Marami pa ring palpak, jusko Lord!! Iniisip ko na lang dapat maoverride ng kasiyahan ko at ang blessings ni Lord yung kaimbyernahan ko. Thank you!

Mama consulted the elders from the province about the best time to move in, while I sought a Chinese calendar of a friend (although between the husband and I, I don’t think we much Chinese blood 🙂 ) We found a middle ground on the 10th.

We spent most of Sunday cleaning up (we were able to escape from Mischa) and moving things around with the help of a trusted yaya. Figured out where to get gas tank, water, etc. and had them delivered. There is still a lot more work to be done but I thank the heavens that we can call it home, and it is now very livable.

My in-laws came that night from the province, and I couldn’t be more grateful for their support. We did the rituals that both of our families know of–bringing in the light (we had an old-fashioned gas lamp), water in another old-fashioned tapayan, salt, and coins inside a bottle filled with more water. My mother-in-law slaughtered native chicken in our backyard.

And after much delayed gratification, I am plain happy that we are where we are supposed to be in the world. Here is a sneak peek of the place we now call ours 🙂

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Presidential awards 2012

We held the biennial Presidential awards for Filipinos overseas a couple of days ago. I have been to six of these (I am that old at work), and this year proved to be the shortest, with the President hurrying off to meetings since we also recently had another disaster in the southern part of the Philippines. Also, Malacanang only served cocktails this year instead of the usual sit down dinner or lunch.

This year also had a slew of ‘entertainment celebrities’ as I mentioned in this last post. Too bad the other two couldn’t make it, it would have been so cool to meet them! And and this year, the program was also a mile away from its usual traditional, stuffy format. Apl.de.ap sang and danced to the beat of ‘Bebot”, one of his better songs.

Frankly, for me at least, this event is one of the more hassle-free ones from those I personally handled years ago. Malacanang people did a lot more, and became more involved. Plus, I liked our uniform this time compared to the past two awards. I know it’s very shallow, but wearing something you like makes you more confident and sure of yourself as face and receive guests. Someday I wish we would go back to just wearing whatever we like.

Pnoy and this year's Presidential awardees

Pnoy and this year’s Presidential awardees


Apl.de.ap receiving his award

Apl.de.ap receiving his award


The secretariat

The secretariat


Me and my staff

Me and my staff


Me and the big boss

Me and the big boss


With my better friends again

With my better friends again

And then we started hamming it up for the camera when we got back to the office.

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