Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Balikbayan Visits

Majority of my relatives, especially in my mother's side of the family, are based abroad. Unfortunately, they only get to come home once in a blue moon as their lives are already there.

Early this year, my twin sister visited us with her family. Last time she was here was 6 years ago for my wedding. This time around, she not only brought her husband but her two adorable children as well.

Due to my faulty memory (and not being able to blog about it), I could not recall much of what we did. However, I did recall meeting up with them at Fun Ranch in Pasig where our kids bonded. I was also able to take this rare photo where the three of us sisters are together.

I also took a couple of days off for her and we went off to Manila Ocean Park among other places. She and her family stayed for almost 3 weeks. Hopefully, I will get to see her next year when we visit her.

This December, my dad's sisters also came over for a visit. It was quite bittersweet as it was supposed to be a reunion of sorts for all of them. It will be the first Christmas that all of my dad's siblings will be together in more than 40+ years. Unfortunately, my uncle passed away this October before that dream can be realized. Nevertheless, it did not stop my aunts (both who are dear to me--one is my godmother during my christening while the other is my godmother during my wedding) and my dad and their two other siblings here to have fun. Here's our Christmas Even party. This was the first time in more than 6 years where we had a party with my Dad.

I couldn't enjoy the party that much as my son developed a fever on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. We brought him with us but he mostly stayed in one of the rooms to lie down. Thank God for his love for videoke but I suddenly came down when we started singing. He then belted out his Rey Valera tunes much to the delight of my relatives.

The holidays are not over yet as we still have the New Year. This time around, we'll be spending it with my side of the family as my aunts want me to be with them. It will not doubt be another fun affair. I just hope my son cooperates though. He still has not gotten over his fear of the sound of fireworks.

Friday, December 27, 2013

I'll Drink to That

I don't consider myself as a "drinker" (manginginom in our vernacular). The last time I seriously drank alcohol was way back after I finished College. I celebrated my new found independence by going out with my friends every Friday night to drink tequila and what have you. Also, whenever we would go to Puerto Galera, we would while away the time at the numerous bars that is all over the beach and finish off pitchers and pitchers of Mindoro Sling and Long Island Iced Tea.

When I got older (matured), especially after I met my husband (who is also not a drinker and we sometimes have to share a beer), I stopped drinking altogether. Whenever I would find myself in an event where one has to drink, I usually just smile and say that I'm driving. I would then nurse a glass of soda or water the whole time while I watch my friends and colleagues have fun.

Recently, (as in when I joined my new company where I'm heading a 50 people-strong department), I went back to drinking alcohol as it's apparently, a way to bond with my team. Tonight, I could say that I'm seriously back.

Our office party started at 3PM and I was handed a half glass of draft beer. I finished the glass and was requested to sing a song. After singing, I quickly downed another half glass to calm my nerves. When I went down to my department, they were already starting on finishing the Fundador that was bought for them by one of my TLs. I was handed a full glass with Coke. I nursed that glass while going around and greeting everybody. I quickly topped up when it was half gone.

I was dragged (not reluctantly) to another part of the floor where they were finishing off a bottle of Tequila. I was given a half a shot which I readily downed. I was invited to take one more shot but I refused. I quickly went back to my team and switched to non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice (Chamdor and Welch).

When another department started their own drinking session, I readily joined them and was given another glass of Fundador with Coke. When my boss sauntered over with a half bottle of Johnny Walker Double Black, we were asked to take a shot each. I quickly downed my own shot and asked for another one and mixed it with the Coke that I was drinking.

After finishing the glass, I switched back to drinking soda to hopefully dilute the alcohol. To make us sweat the alcohol out, I started a game of charades with them. That was fun but everyone had places to go to so we called it a night at around 7PM. Thankfully, I was still lucid and made it home safe and sound. I think the point that I could still type this blog three hours after my last shot is an achievement itself. I guess it means I still haven't reached my breaking point. I don't think I would want to find that out.

Here's to an awesome 2013 and an even greater 2014.

Drink Tally: 1 glass draft beer (Pale Pilsen) + 3 glasses Fundador with Coke + 1/2 shot Tequila + 1 shot Johnny Walker Double Black + 1 glass of Coke with a dash of Johnny Walker + 1 glass of Welch + 1 glass of Chamdor = still standing.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

It's the Same Old Feeling

2013 is drawing to a close and it's time for me to recap the year that was.

It's supposed to be a happy Christmas as my dear aunts are in town for a vacation but I can't seem to enjoy myself. There seems to be something missing--maybe because I crammed my Christmas gifts--which I haven't done for the longest time. Usually, I'm done wrapping by the first week of December. This year, I was still wrapping gifts on the 23rd of December! That is totally unacceptable in my OC world.

Or it could be because my son got sick during Christmas Eve and most of Christmas Day. I could not enjoy the happenings as I was worrying about him. Thankfully, he's better now.

We had our share of tragedies this year. I visited several wakes and one of them was an uncle. Cancer again took someone dear to us and it was quick this time around--less than a month after it's diagnosis. Maybe that's why the feeling of being unsettled is appeased when I see my Dad being happy with his siblings. After a tough year that they had, they deserve to have fun.

My dear sister also visited us this year--5 years since she was last here. This time around, she brought with her her husband and two kids. It was great seeing them and spending time with them. Hopefully, I would get to see her next year when we visit them for my husband's cousin's ordination.

I will write more (hopefully) in the next few days. Five day vacation coming up. Hopefully, I can use it to recharge and clean up our Christmas mess.