I started the first weekend of the month by coming back to Manila just two weeks after my November trip to see my college orgmates, Con and Christer get married. Funny story about this couple. I had recently joined the org and was telling Con that I thought Christer was a cutie (no intentions of acting on anything but just was musing) and she breaks down and tells me that she's had a thing for him forever and this bonded me and Con (because I was also telling her about the boy I had liked) and so then I get to telling Christer that I think Con would be awesome for him and apparently he was already feeling this so though I technically didn't bring them together together, I'd like to think I was part of it. And so it was crazy for me to miss their wedding and I'm glad that after 9 years together, they finally sealed the deal. Cute couple, awesome wedding. Nothing but happiness for them.
What's great was it was also my high school reunion that evening and so after the wedding, I head home to change into what I thought would be an appropriate high school reunion outfit and I get to the venue and everyone is so casual because it's a bar (one I've never been to) but I swallow it and hang with my high school friends. And the thing is, I was never a popular kid in high school. I was quite the nerd and so add that to my insecurities and my formerly bulled self (in grade school), this high school reunion wasn't necessarily something I was looking forward to but something i didn't want to miss either. I ended up having an pretty ok time -- I was with my good friends but yeah, there is a reason why I went the opposite direction in college (school-wise), I don't think I ever felt truly myself in high school? I don't know. It's not all bad, promise. Just not my best years. TL;DR, I know. Still, it was a good night. Lot of laughs and seeing people I haven't seen in 10 years!
Our faces got cut off and I'm too lazy to re-upload but our friend from Manila Kiel came over so jamypye and I took him out to dinner (Well technically coffee) but it was nice to see folks from home and get to eat OMakase burger and pretend to plan our 2016 trips. Kiel was responsible for our Batanes trip in 2014 so we trust him to plan the 2016 one. Could it be Spain? I hope so!
My social director, Sayaka also celebrated her birthday this month and other than having dinner with her on the even of her birthday (I was in Manila for the actual birthday), she also introduced me to a bunch of her friends who just arrived in Singapore and so it's been meeting new people and having drinks with them and spending birthdays with them all month. We had burgers to meet them, margaritas for their birthdays and more amazing margaritas and pizza for their housewarming. And we dress alike, too!
I've also written about the day we all had to come to work on a Saturday but it wasn't actually that terrible. We also had a nice team day away the day after the last day of 12.12 and it was fun to do the Secret Santa with everyone. My boss was my Secret Santa and I got chocolates! And we played Mafia and did a barbecue and played bowling (which I truly suck at). Not a bad way to end the year-ish.
And after much cramming of work and turning over whatever I could, the holidays did finally roll around. The funny thing is, I thought my ticket was for 1am on the 24th but apparently it was for 10am which meant I would get to Manila at 2pm plus. And with traffic, it would take another 2 hours or so. This year, with all my brothers being elsewhere for Christmas, it as an all-girls affair with my dad. And for the first time in my 28 years, we spend the eve of Christmas with my dad's side of the family (my dad's brother who's always been abroad is finally in Manila) and so we spent it at his place. I thought it would be weird but it was actually nice to shake things up.
We spent the 25th with my mom's side of the family including my grandma and my uncle and my cousins (only 2 of them out of the usual 5 of them) so it was definitely a smaller gathering but still great nonetheless. I've been eating way too much and I'm feeling it. I definitely need to start another running program soon or get back to yoga. But it was great because Alexa, my little cousin is getting bigger and she immediately asked to put on the tattoos I gave her for Christmas. She's a cutie.
What's even weirder and fun this year was that the day after Christmas, my dad brought my sister, mom and i along to Cebu (it was my first time!) to visit his friend for his 60th birthday. I won't say no to a free trip and to Cebu at that so it was nice that we got to hang out with my dad's friend's family and my dad's aunt (we stayed with her) who were the most hospitable and generous folks ever. I never ever thought of living in Cebu before but now it's definitely a nice little retirement plan.
We ate way too much, went to the beach, had lots more food and way too little naps. So it was tiring but so beautiful and just nice to get away from Manila for a little bit. Definitely a different way of doing the holidays this year. I'm not complaining except that I definitely wish all the US-based siblings were back home, too.
I'll still have New Years Eve to look forward to and my brother coming back from Boracay with his girlfriend (i'm picking them up at the airport tonight!) so that would definitely be a highlight to December. Plus, I have my yearly 2015 recap to get to work on that I have clearly not done yet. I can't post that late this year. Let's cross my fingers I get to it in time.