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Hi peepz,

You know who you are. I know I haven’t been keeping in touch with you lately and it’s been some time since I last posted anything. Sorry about that. Let’s just say I’m having my period of introspection… hahaha! Salve and Sherma, if you were here you just might get the dreaded text message or maybe not. Maybe I’ll just hunt you guys down since I just need someone to cheer me up. Or maybe I just miss hugging you guys. Sigh! Luvy and Mae, can you believe me existing without hugging anyone? (point of clarification: I only hug girls my really close girl friends).  Or Missy Ai, I just might drag you to yet another session of i-max screening with food tripping interspersed (I just hope we don’t get jinxed yet again!).

Point of the matter is… it’s December. This will be my second Christmas here and I’m not there. I just feel so alone and so out of touch. I can hardly feel that it’s the holiday season which in hindsight is a good thing since I just might burst into tears during class… I can just imagine… (so not cool!)

So I figured since I’m so down and all why not make a list that will make me even more melancholic. I guess it’s one way of confronting a problem right? maybe if I have a really good cry I can get it out of my system… so here it is – the things I will miss this holiday season:

  • I will miss the Christmas decorations one sees on the streets, in the mall and in every house from the most humble to the richest. Especially the parol (a Filipino Christmas lantern shaped like a star which is constructed using bamboo sticks and colorful paper).

  • I will miss the blaring Christmas songs over the radio in the jeepneys, tricycles, buses, malls and from the house of my not quite so deaf but might as well be deaf neighbor (in my case the neighbor is actually a relative).

  • I will miss the puto bungbong (a purple colored grounded and glutinous rice cooked in bamboo tubes and placed in a special steamer. Once cooked the resulting sticky rice cake is often topped with butter, sugar and grated coconut.) that one can buy after simbang gabi (shameful admission this might be, that was one of the reason why I attend simbang gabi not to mention the wish you can make when you complete it).

  • I will miss karoling– kids going house to house to sing Christmas carols for some coin.

  • I will miss the cacophony of sounds produced by their improvised musical instruments usually made of bottled soda caps, pebbles and tin cans (which may not be harmonious but nevertheless charming).

  • I will miss the kids singing their thanks after you gave them their coin – “thank you, thank you, and babait ninyo, thank you!”

  • I will miss writing down “The List” – names of people that  I will be giving gifts to.

  • I will miss trying to remember the name of my latest inaanak then failing that writing the description of their progeny instead i.e. daughter of Ate Baneng’s sister, son or daughter of some aunt or other, etc.

  • I will miss the buying frenzy in the mall for Christmas gifts but most especially the trips to Divisoria where I usually end up lugging a sackful of goodies.

  • I will miss scouring the malls and every nook and cranny of Divisoria for that perfect gift for one of the people in my list.

  • I will miss the gift-wrapping mania that takes over me after I bought all the gifts and making some sort of system to monitor whose gift is which.

  • I will miss the manito-manita. The series of gifts one gives and receives before the big day according to theme –  circular objects, long object, soft objects, etc..

  • I will miss the office Christmas parties which is most often than not a costume party so everyone ends up wearing the weirdest of ensembles and everyone will think it’s cool.

  • I will miss receiving the Christmas bonus and the various freebies the company gifts to its employees.

  • I will miss giving the gifts I selected for each of my friends and of course receiving gifts from them as well. Hehehe…

  • I will miss the feeling of buying a round-trip ticket home for only 2,000 pesos mainly because I bought it weeks before I go home.

  • I will miss the feeling of packing all the gifts to take it home for the holidays.

  • I will miss the feeling of anticipation one gets when you know that in just an hour or so you will be home with your family to celebrate the holidays.

  • I will miss the feeling one gets when you see your family outside the airport.

  • I will miss the hugs and kisses, the laughter and the bickering – just the feeling of togetherness with my family.

  • I will miss grocery shopping for noche buena.

  • I will miss preparing the one and only dish I know how to prepare which unfortunately my younger brother can’t eat –  chicken macaroni salad. He is forever asking me to learn a new dish to prepare one he can actually eat, hmmm… maybe next Christmas 🙂

  • I will miss my mom’s barbecue, gelatin, special meatballs… my younger brother’s spaghetti. Sigh…

  • I will miss the noche buena with my family.

  • I will miss seeing first hand the expressions in my family’s faces when they opened their gifts.

  • I will miss sending text messages to friends on Christmas and new year’s eve. Actually, trying and persevering are the operative words, since everyone has the same idea as you so the lines are naturally busy but by persevering and patiently pressing the resend button one eventually gets through.

  • I will miss  receiving consecutive text messages from those same friends some unexpected all returning your greetings.

  • I will miss my niece’s shriek of laughter and kakulitan, my mom’s kalambingan, my dad’s excitement for his garden, my younger brother’s kakulitan and his updates about the latest anime, video games and such, my kuya’s stories and my sister-in-law’s bungisngis.

  • One thing I will NOT miss though – my flight back to work, back to the grind and to the smog, pollution and traffic of the metropolis.

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Yesterday I invited some of my friends out so I can treat them for my belated birthday celebration – Kaishi-san, Ako-san and Akiko-san. Imagine my consternation, when they all insisted that they pay for the food which obviously I did not let them do. It was afterall my treat. Apparently, here in Japan the birthday celebrant are the one who gets treated on their birthday by their friends not the other way around. hmmm… maybe next time 😉

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These are the dances performed by the Filipino Students Society of Nagoya (FSSN) for the 2007 Philippine Festival held at Nagoya International Center on May 26, 2007.

  • The first presentation is a modern interpretation of a Muslim traditional dance to the tune of Joey Ayala’s “Magkaugnay.”

  • The second one is La Jota Moncadeña. According to the information I got, the dance is an interpretation of the Spanish La Jota dances during the Spanish Period by the people of  Moncada, Tarlac. Thus, it’s a combination of Spanish and Ilocano dance steps and music and was named after the place where it came from. The performers of this dance adds liveliness and excitement by using bamboo castanets.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6hQW0ctvbI

NOTE: The male dancer in the middle is one of our foreign friends. We assured him no one would question his presence in the dance since there are a lot of mestizos in the Philippines. If all else fails will claim him as insulares or peninsulares – whichever will do the trick. 😉

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I woke up late today!

ah shimatta! it’s 10 o’clock already! I immediately jumped out of my bed and made a beeline to the bathroom. Showered and dressed in record time and I’m off to Sakae. Today, is after all July 21! What’s with the date? duh! Today just happened to be the worldwide release of our fave intrepid boy wizard’s final story… Will he live or die? I wonder, as I was waiting for the train… or maybe the question should be who are the two major characters that J.K. Rowling will kill off… ah, finally the train comes… just one norikae and I’m there.

A few more minutes and I was running in the streets of Sakae straight to Maruzen. A “Potter-fan-free” Maruzen.

(The window display at Maruzen today… A confirmation that in this bookstore I will be able to buy my own dose of Potter-mania. hehehe…) The people on the street was looking at me when I took this picture. Most of them, I guess wondering what the heck I was doing. 🙂

Finally, my own copy. Notice the special packaging it came with, it’s orange! hehehe… just in time too!

Hmmm… I don’t know when I’ll have the time to read it though, what with cleaning (yes girls, cleaning… medyo nahihiya na ko sa sarili ko so I decided to clean na… and no nasty stool incident too. That I promise!) and studying. hahaha… but for sure I will find the time. So Salve and for any of my friends, If you’re able to read the book ahead of me promise not to open a discussion until I read it. I aim to be spoiler free so I can enjoy the story on my own and cry to my heart’s content. >:-)

(more…)

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