Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Nick's Treat at Shang Circles

I guess Nick really misses his batchmates. He was not able to attend our last silver jubilee celebration for he never knew about it. He missed it by only a day!

He called me after Gerry's dinner treat at Crustacea and wanted to treat just a small group at the elegant Circles Cafe of Makati Shangrila. He said a big group tends to have pockets of conversation so a smaller more intimate one is preferred.

Gerry can only make it on the 21st so I had to move my dinner with Andy another time. NIck invited Andy too but he got sick that day. Ed Wenceslao just arrived from Singapore so he was able to be with us this time as well as Ronnie who had a company party the last time. Rene arrived just as we were taking our dessert.

Maritess was supposed to join us but she had a marriage encounter xmas party at the same time. Lella was with us and brought home by Nick's driver. Mandy was still at the boondocks on quezon so was also absent.

Nick proudly played the valuable shots he took - when Boy Abunda visited him at 1am and stayed on till 4am and our the other one was during last reunion at Rockwell.

Christmas day (night?)

We woke up very late on christmas day since we we were up till almost morning. Good thing I was able to order the spray of flowers and the loose ones for the vases the night before. I asked bert to get it first thing in the morning for the flower shop was opened only till noon just to serve the orders.

Off to Heritage we went late afternoon. Aling Miguela was asking if I was able to get a priest to say mass. I really planned that for that was dad's custom in the past. I just had so much difficulty getting one during the last holiday (All Saints Day) so I just thought we will just pray for both of them then have masses said later.

We stayed on for an hour or so since it got very dark. The lamps on the middle walk were not lighted at all and I didnt bring a lamp like the last time.

Had I woken up early I was thinking of going to La Loma to visit my grandparents grave but Beverly forgot the spare keys at home. We proceeded to Makati since I thought Rustan would be open but it was closed so off we went home. Rowena said they will take dinner at bf so asked Stella to prepare food. Rowena with her children stayed on till around midnight.

i was very much awake till around 3am or so but when I was in the early stages of dreamland, my phone rings and it was Susan! We talked lenghthily about our business plans so after the call I was not able to sleep for hours once more and just watched tv, scanned photos to update my travel blog and had some 'after midnight' snack :)

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas - 2005

I dreaded this day. Yes dread as others eagerly await this celebration. It will be the first christmas I will be alone. My first one as an orphan. I wanted to get away from home. The only two people who mattered to me in this world is gone so no use to celebrate.

I seriously thought of flying out of the country. I considered Honkong. I emailed Bebette and texted her but never got a reply. Very unusual for she usually replies fast. I then thought of going to Singapore or even Thailand. I didnt want to go far. First because of the cost, second, I just had a couple of trips and the air turbulence made me sick. So no long trips in the meantime.

I surfed through some travel cruise but they were too costly.

I also thought of just going out of metro manila maybe cebu? Ira is very sick and mitos kept calling. If i was paid by a friend who owed me maybe i would have flown to cebu.

I prayed and kept praying for guidance.

I was promised payment thursday so when mitos called I asked her to check if there was room at Marriot. Unfortunately no payment arrived. All of sudden I received an email from Bebette asking how i was. I was suprised for I thought she was out of the country. I told her about my emails and text which apparently she never received.

I think dad didnt want me to leave manila. Had bebette replied earlier, I would have flown to honkong to spend christmas. Had I been paid, I would have immediately bought a ticket for cebu.

Last month, I asked my cousin on my dad's side, Marilou if she and her son would like to spend christmas here. She was not sure because she had church duties. I felt sad since she didnt have family here either except her son. Most are in Canada. I then remembered last friday to text beverly and ask if she and her mother would like to sleep over saturday night so we can spend christmas together. i was surprised when she replied positively a couple of hours later. Maybe she had to ask her mom first. Usually she has her own life and activities.

She suggested hearing the midngith mass at Don Bosco. I didnt have that in mind for I was planing to hear mass at our parish in BF Homes. I said maybe a good idea to hear the 1130pm mass for that is the time I recalled the priest announced the last time I was at Don Bosco.

When I was on the way to makati early evening yesterday I called Don Bosco to ask the sked of masses. The one who answered mentioned 8pm, 10pm and 1130pm. The first mass is out for I still need to buy some stuff and deliver gifts. Besides I find 8pm too early for a so called 'midnight mass".

After I bought a gift at Rustan dept store I thought of calling the church again just to verify the time of the mass. Maybe 10pm would be better I thought for I am sure it will be more than an hour and by the time we reach home it will be midnight therefore just in time for christmas. I asked who will be saying mass and they mentioned Fr Bernie! Bulls eye I said to myself, my favorite priest!

Beverly and Aling Miguela met me at the church. I guess all fell into place just as dad wanted it. He wanted me to spend christmas at home and with the only 'family' I have got. Aling miguela was our helper back at Philam homes when I was in early elemntary. When we moved to pque beverly was already working at marikina so had difficulty commuting and had to move out.

I knew I will be sharing christmas thoughts and experiences in my blog so thought of taking photos of the midnight mass that we attended - a first for me after a few long years. I cant remember the last time I attneded one. The past years dad preferred us attending the day or evening mass of the 25th. He couldnt endure the long nights anylonger.

It was a concelebrated mass with Fr. Bernie, the parish priest as the main celebrant. Photo below shows Fr. Bernie giving one of his very insightful and touching homilies.

Right after the mass, Fr. Bernie holds the baby Jesus so his flock could give a kiss and greet him a merry christmas - and happy birthday :)

The family of estela my current helper all arrived early saturday so we were we all enjoyed the noche buena together. In a few hours after I wake up, maybe noon time of sunday, we will all go to heritage to visit mom and dad's grave.

By the way, Fr Bernie is also one of Dad's favorites. Dad preferred Don Bosco over our parish in pque. Dad's favorite church 'manangs' all served during the mass so I was able to give them some gifts (which I suddently remembered to bring as I was leaving the house - hmm uncanny indeed) as well as one of the homeless girls sheltered in the church who usually hleps dad walking when he doesnt have a companion while at the church. I suddenly saw her when I entered the blessed sacrament. I was really hoping to see her that night.

I guess those were Gods answers to my prayers - on where and how I should spend His special day.

Merry Christmas everyone!