Christmas Without Nengkoy

Last Christmas, like any other Christmases in the past, I woke up late.  I have always considered Christmas Day as my laziest day of the year.  If there would be a day that I would give myself as a gift, it would obviously be the Christmas Day.  It is the day when I would spend inside my bedroom all day – relaxing, slackening and lazy-ing (if the latter is a word).

Part of my respite was to just watch YouTube videos all day and peek at what my social media friends have been posting.  Surprisingly, the first YouTube video that I watched last Christmas made me sob and whimper.

2021 is the first Christmas without Nengkoy, my mom.  That is why my family’s Christmas Eve dinner was totally different for the first time.  Absent was the star of our traditional Noche Buena.  Though the Christmas food was really good, the Nengkoy-flavor was not there which I guess I would have to get used to in the next Christmases to come.

me & nengkoy (my forever star of Noche Buena), christmas 2019

The song is so moving, it made me miss my mother this Christmas.  And though my mom will never be forgotten – she’s part and will always be part of my daily prayer – I guess I need to simply just get used to this kind of a Christmas set-up.

A Businesswoman, a Banker, a College Professor & an IT Manager

This is what happens when a businesswoman, a banker, an IT Manager and a college professor who’s a candidate for PhD do a Christmas dance number.

They call their group, The Wrong Direction (gleaned & predicated from the British group One Direction). And every year, when they are about to end their wacky performance they would shout and ask us, the spectators, “Mabuhay Manila, do you want more!?”.  And every year all of us, their dazed & confused audience, in unison would scream the biggest “NOooo!!”.

Gabby, the IT Manager! He was judged the best performer this year.  Haha!

Holding a talent contest and performing in front of my family during Christmas Eve has been a tradition.   They won the Grand Prize this year amounting to 60 USD.  So, can you just imagine how bad the other groups (my other family members) performed? 

They claim that they won because they were so in unison and perfectly danced like the Korean pop group BTS.  Why did they win?  It was because I was the judge.  Haha!  These businesswoman, banker, college professor and IT manager are my crazy niece & nephews by the way.  One good thing though, they are not working for one company.  After their crazy performance, I had a headache.

Touched by Disney UK!

Disney UK got a cool and heartwarming Christmas advert!  I am particularly touched and moved by this video ad simply because it features bits of the Filipino qualities and culture. 

Mano:  the gentle placing of the back of the hands of your elders to your forehead is a unique Filipino gesture to show sign of respect to elders

Parol & Parol-Making:  a lantern which is made of bamboo sticks and colored paper is a major Christmas symbol of every household in the Philippines.  And it is a common practice that grade school students would create one as a school project during Christmas season so as to have it hanged in their respective houses.  I made a horrible-looking one myself during my young school days!

Simbang Gabi: a Filipino-Catholic tradition of attending midnight Mass at a nearby Catholic church for 9 consecutive nights prior to Christmas Eve.  And since I am wicked, this is one Filipino tradition that I never get to complete!

Recycling of an old cookie tin can:  Lola-s (translation: grandmothers) around the nation would never throw away metal cookie cans.  These would instead be re-used either as a jewelry box, a sewing kit container, an old photos or greeting cards chest or other similar charms, trinkets and mementos that a usual Filipino lola wants to keep.

Thanks Disney UK!  You moved me.

Christmas Socks From Miggy & Gabby

I love receiving gifts and I had loads of it this Christmas!  This blog post would become too long if I am to actually list each awesome gift one by one.  Let me nevertheless show my heartfelt appreciation by extending my sincere thanks and gratitude to all of you amazing people.  You know who you are.

But have you ever contemplated on which gift you receive this Christmas as the weirdest and most eccentric?  The gift that is so bizarre it makes you laugh and chuckle because it is so you?  I got one this year!

got my face printed on those socks! who on earth would think of doing that?!

hahaha! perfect fit!

My nephews Miguel and Gabriel gave me the weirdest looking pair of socks this year.  Both of them I guess knows that I have the strange tendency for an excessive egotism and high-level of self-adulation! And as soon as I opened their gift and saw what it was, I was laughing so hard!  These pair of socks is so me literally and figuratively!

Thank you Miggy and Gabby.  I looove it!

Christmas 2018 at Nengkoy’s

photo taken by rachelle (nengkoy’s executive housekeeper)

Like any other Christian family, my family every year is at the heart of Christmas.  2018 Christmas celebration is no different from the yearly revelry that occurs at Nengkoy’s abode.  This year though is a little different because there is a little additional member of the family, my 8-month old grandnephew Arziolo.

And as usual, I am the designated person to take photos of the party.  There were so much photos I took last Christmas Eve that I was able to create a short video out from it.  Enjoy watching… 

From Nengkoy and my whole family, let me again greet everybody a very Merry Christmas!  And since this post covers a YouTube video, let me express how vloggers would invite viewers by saying: “Hi guys!!! Don’t forget to press the like button and subscribe in this channel!”  Hahaha!

Mag bayral sana…

First Filipino Christmas of Arziolo

It’s September and Finding Tom basically said everything I want to say about Christmas here in the Philippines.  Watch this…. 

To add to what Tom Finding said in his video, I would like to say that Christmas in the Philippines is also for the children.  Though it is also for the children, I however, could no longer recall when was the last time I bought a Christmas present intended for a child. 

In fact, my youngest twin nephews are in their freshman year in college while my youngest niece is in her senior high.  Though it has always been a blast, there has been no baby around Nengkoy’s house for the past eons of years during Christmas.

But Christmas this year would be a little more special because of this kid…

cuteness overload of Arziolo

Looking forward to seeing the first Christmas celebration of my first grandnephew, Arziolo.

Mas mukhang  eksayted ako kesa sa batang yan!

The Gift of Laughter Every Christmas at Nengkoy’s

One of the greatest gifts that a person can receive this Christmas (and for every Christmas for that matter) is the gift of laughter.  And each year, this is one precious gift that I receive from my family.

Every year at Christmas Eve since their childhood days, my nieces and nephews would group up and do a presentation at Nengkoy’s house.  Each group would got to compete for a prize money.  I am always one of the judges along with Nengkoy and my elder sister.  And since my nieces and nephews got their funny bones from their grandmother Nengkoy, all their presentations always turns out to be something so hilarious!

These year though majority of my nephews and nieces are now professionals and some has even gone married, each one of them still never failed to give the family some very good laugh.  All these glee and hilarity really adds up to the joyful and happy spirit of Christmas every single year at Nengkoy’s house.

happy!

they’re all grown up!

Merry Christmas!

Sakit sa panga!

Christmas 2016 at Nengkoy’s

Pure fun and hilarious riot.  That is how I would describe my annual Christmas Eve moment year after year.  Every time my family gathers during this beautiful time and especially when all my nieces and nephews would show up at Nengkoy’s house on Christmas Eve, sheer joy and laughter would ensue.

dsc00516

 

team langit #livelovesparkle

team langit #livelovesparkle

2016 Christmas at Nengkoy’s was metric tons of happiness.  Everyone lived, loved and sparkled that night!

Sakit sa panga! Grabe!