Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I say, Brrrrr....

Nope, there aren't any Clovers in the atmosphere. It's just plain cold.

February is the coldest month in HK, and this is the month when they bring out the heaters and electric blankets to try and battle the sudden drop in temperature. I remember when Joannah and Sridhar visited HK with Jo's parents last February. Her Dad and Mom opted to just stay in the hotel because it was too cold outside. That's how the weather is like now.

Frankly, I have nothing against cold weather. In fact, I like it a lot. When I was in Europe and Mexico, I'd relish the cold spells and would hang around by the park to enjoy it. But there's just something about the winter here in HK that ticks me off - big time. And I'm starting to get that feeling again.

First, the cold weather here is erratic. Sometimes, it's warm in the morning, then it'll be freezing at night. Or vice versa. Unlike in Europe, or even in Japan, the cold is consistent and my body eventually adjusts to it. Here, the see-sawing of temperatures makes it hard for my body to get accustomed to the cold. Irritating!

Second, houses here don't have central heating. Maybe it's because the cold only lasts for about 30 days out of 365, but flats here aren't fitted with heaters. When winter comes, we all have to buy those little electric fan-like contraptions that don't work as well as their big, gas-powered brothers. Winter in Amsterdam was bearable because all I needed to do was adjust the dial and the entire house would be toasty-warm. Here, the warmth isn't consistent. Irritating!

Third, the cold season here is gloomy. It's bad enough that the sky is gray, but the tall buildings block whatever blue sky is there. Ergo, there's this dark and drab feeling enveloping the entire place. When I stayed in Japan last February, it was bright and white despite it being cold. I guess the brightness creates the illusion of warmth. And there are no illusions here in HK. Dark and cold is never a good combination, and that's why the next few days won't be good. Irritating.

Yup, I'm officially irritated by the weather. Luckily, I've got videos like these to divert my attention.

I'm so glad that I'm flying back to Manila tomorrow. I need to get my fill of brightness and heat.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Living Large

While browsing through today, they had an article about the world's largest malls. There was a time when the biggest mall was in the U.S., and if I'm not mistaken, it was even in Georgia where my brother and parents live. After Mall of Georgia, they had Mall of America, and the race for the title "World's biggest mall" became as prestigious as "World's tallest building."

According to the article, more than half of the world's biggest malls are in Asia. The biggest mall is in Dongguan - an industrial city in between Shenzhen and Guangzhou. They recently opened the world's biggest mall, snatching the title from another Chinese mall, The Great Resources building.

Now, as a testament to the Philippines' mall culture, 3 of the world's biggest malls are in the Philippines. Yup, not just 1, not 2, but 3! And not surprisingly, they all belong to SM Prime Holdings. The 3 out of the 10 biggest malls in the world are:

1. SM Mall of Asia - the most obvious choice. Mark and I went here once, and it was definitely massive!

2. SM Megamall - heck, how can you go wrong with a name that has "Mega" on it.

3. SM North EDSA - One of the first major malls in the Philippines. I still remember the time when this was THE mall to go to. But now, I think TriNoMa is edging them out in this area.

This is quite an impressive feat by SM Prime Holdings. Add to that, they now have properties in China. Who knows? Maybe they'll open some properties in North America, and they might become one of the Philippines' global brands.

Monday, January 28, 2008

It's black, it's white

There's one person at work who's as intrigued by America's Next Top Model as I am. Georgia and I would sometimes spend a few minutes just talking about the program and laughing at the "lessons" that Tyra gives the girls. She's actually gotten the "Four beautiful girls stand before me, but I have only 3 pictures in my hand. And these pictures represent the 3 ladies who have the chance to become America's... Next... Top... Model..." schtick down pat.

We were both disappointed by the 9th cycle and we're hoping that the 10th one will have a bit more oomph and character. Today she sent me a link to the next season's model wannabes, and thankfully there are a number of girls who aren't too cookie cutter and might give this competition some needed excitement. (Just like Jael did in the 8th installment.)

Among the girls is a Somalian who was subjected to female circumcision and her two sisters were murdered. I can almost imagine her being told: "You've had a very tragic life. But that's not enough. You need to take that tragedy and bring it in front of the camera..."

Another thing we noticed is that in the past 10 cycles, there hasn't been an Asian in the top 13. The winners are either all-American white girls or the "fierce" black girl. I'm not counting Jaslene who was Latina because she was Latina in an all-American kind of way. Makes me wonder if the producers think that Asians aren't as marketable in the U.S. Maybe they think Asians aren't as Easy, Breezy and Beautiful to be a Cover Girl.

Well, I heard that a Korean won Ford's top contact this year. That might prove to them that Asians can also be "fierce" and can "work it."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Meet me in Macau

Despite the ho-hum and cold weather, we finally decided to go to Macau yesterday since my 4 companions haven't been there before. Since two of them are casino aficionados, they wanted to see Asia's answer to Las Vegas. So we skeedaddled to Shun Tak Center in the morning, and found ourselves in Macau before lunch.

Macau has got to be my 2nd most visited country. Thanks to the fact that it's just an hour away by ferry from HK, and that the atmosphere and vibe is so much different, it's my getaway of choice when things start getting too crazy here. That makes me the tour guide of choice whenever visitors want to go there.

Two things made this particular visit memorable. First, I bumped into my colleague, the fabulous Ms. Chang who was off to watch the MiuMiu fashion show. It feels strange when I run into them in a social setting - and I have no idea why. It just feels - hmmm - strange. But it's a good kind of strange because we forget about work and start talking about all these mundane things that we never do at the office.

Second, I was able to go back to the Venetian now that it's fully operational.

What a difference 6 months makes! While I was disappointed during my first visit, this second visit made up for it. Now that everything's operational and the kinks have been ironed out, The Venetian is now on top of my "must visit when you're in Macau" list. With the Grand Canal Shoppes open, it feels like you're in a mall within a casino within a hotel within a city. You can stay in this hotel for 3 days and not even consider going out. It's a community in itself. (Ok, now I'm sounding like a brochure.)

Plus, I got to see a long, long, long lost friend. The last time Sheila and I saw each other was about 20 years ago, and as luck would have it, she works at The Venetian. It was so good to finally see her again. We had a great time catching up and just reminiscing about "The Good 'Ole Days" just like old folks. Har. And she gave me the strangest complement to date.

On our way back to HK, I felt so lucky during this trip to Asia's gambling center. And I didn't even spend a single cent.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Unbearable Cute-ness of being...


Ah yes, nothing like kids to make the holidays full of ruckus and laughter. One of the reasons why Christmas 2007 was noisier and rowdier for the Morales household is the fact that all our nephews and nieces were in Manila. Yup, including these two kids who we usually see once every two years.

Noah was just a baby when he left Manila. Now he's growing up to be a very precocious little boy. (He doesn't want to be called "Baby" - that's so typical of American youngsters.) Since he's been raised in the U.S., he doesn't speak Tagalog but he can understand the vernacular quite well. To his credit, though, he has all his respectful suffixes intact. Like most Pinoy kids, he says "po" with every sentence. Sometimes, he adds them too much, though.

When I treated them to dinner at McDonald's, Noah told me: "Tito po, thank you po for buying us dinner po."

Kai-kai, on the other hand, is definitely in the tween stage. She's still a kid in many respects: she asks Biboy to carry her when she's tired, she likes snuggling up to her parents, and she enjoys collecting Hello Kitty stuff. But her fashion sense is now crossing the teen stage. In fact, when she'd go shopping with my Ates (who are in their 30s), she'd look for the exact clothes my Ates would be wearing. Ergo, no more pink and frou-frou dresses for her. In fact, the dress she's wearing in this photo is one I bought at YRYS!

Like any Tito, I can't help but be amazed at how fast these kids are growing. Heck, our first batch nephews and nieces (Jul, Carl, Kevin and Princess) are practically adults! The boys and I now wear the same size of clothes, which explains why some of my shirts and jackets have found themselves in Georgia!

Speaking of cute-ness, I found another cute sibling shot while cleaning up my files. There's a certain symmetry to this shot and it looks like a pyramid and a circle at the same time. Gosh, in a few years time, Noah and Kai will probably be as big as us and they'll have a sibling picture like this as well.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Seeing double

The Oscar nominations are in, and Cate the Great isn't just in the running this year, she's in the running twice! I'm not sure if this an Oscar first, but it's definitely the first time I've heard about it. Cate Blanchett is nominated for Best Actress in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" and Best Supporting Actress in "I'm not there."

They say she's a shoo-in for Best Supporting Actress, especially after she took home the Golden Globes this year. But of course, I'd prefer that she'd win for "Elizabeth" because she definitely, DEFINITELY deserved that award in 1998. Then again, who know? Maybe she can pull a double win and take home both trophies. I think that's going to be a first in the history of the Academy Awards.

Now, that would be a source Double Happiness!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wedding Hangover

It must be because I organized two weddings that were less than a month apart. Or maybe it was because of "27 Dresses." Then again, it might be because there were so many couples having their wedding photos taken by the Star Ferry Pier yesterday. (Let me just say that, for fashionable people, Hong Kongers have such questionable taste in wedding wear.) But whatever it is, I've still got a bad case of wedding hangover.

While at H&M yesterday, I flipped through the latest issue of InStyle Weddings and they've got loads of interesting materials for invitations. Then at the bookstore this lunchtime, there was a magazine that was solely about wedding flowers, and their article "Flowers go couture" was a good read. Heck, I should buy this magazine and give it to Gemma so she'll have some new ideas for her shop.

Now I'm trying to figure out who among my friends is getting married next. That way, I can put all these new ideas into practice. This sounds strange, but I'm organizing 4 of my friends' weddings in my head right now. Even stranger is the fact that among the 4, only 2 are in a relationship. Maybe I should convince them to really get married this year - and I'll use the "triple 8 card" as the reason why. (August 8, 2008 is an auspicious date to marry according to the Chinese. Eight is a lucky number, so 8-8-8 is three times the luck.)

Somebody get married. Quick!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dangerous times

January is one of the more dangerous months here in HK. As the season is about to transition from Winter to Spring, shops are more than eager to get last season's stocks off the shelf. And in this consumer haven of a country, the best way to do that is to put up the "SALE" sign.

Now everywhere I look, there's a sale sign. Not only that, there's usually a prefix (like "Final Sale") or a suffix (Sale 70%) which adds to the urgency. So, even if I have no plans of buying anything, these signs are like powerful vortexes that draw me in to see if anything is worth buying. And most often, there are A LOT of things that are covet worthy.

Zara has had 3 price slashes the past two weeks. Heck, they had a blouse with grosgrain details that went from $499 to $79! Plus they're in Mom's size! Who in his or her right mind would let that pass? The same goes with H&M's children's department where a $200 pair of shoes is now sold at $45. Ack!

Not to be outdone, Mango is also on slasher mode. (Well, they were already on-sale in Manila when I left so I'm not surprised.) But what they have here that's special is the Penelope and Monica Cruz collection, also at 70% off. The last time I checked out Mango at Robinson's Place, they didn't have the Cruz collection on sale yet.

I've been back here for just two weeks and I must say that my luggage is already in danger of being filled with all these sale items. Maybe I should steer clear of malls until this entire fracas is over.

Or maybe not.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Surprise

It started as an ordinary Saturday. My list of things to do today included looking for a ticket to Manila since Xtine is finally coming to visit. That was ticked off after I found one at the travel agent near Shangrila. Then I did a bit of grocery shopping for the house and proceeded back to the flat.

When I got there, a guy from HK Post was outside my door with a familiar package under his arm. He gave me a paper to sign, and handed me this wonderful surprise from Japan.

This unexpected treat is a product of Mark's day of shopping with the other Pinoys in IUJ. They probably went to Muikamachi or Koide, or maybe even Nagaoka. But wherever he got them doesn't matter. What's important is the thought that went to getting these really neat and cool gifts.

There were three gift wrapped packs: two from Mark and one from Hazel. The cap and green shirt was from Hazel, while the black and yellow shirts and boxers are from Mark. I love the black shirt with the cartoon frog print - it just screams "Kawaii!" The Japanese really has a different aesthetic sense - simple yet quirky. And the shirt captures it perfectly.

Getting surprises is always fun and this particular one brightened this overcast Saturday. It couldn't come at a more opportune time since the weather is starting to get colder and the boxers, shirts and cap will definitely help keep me warm.

And the thought that Mark and Hazel took time out to get these gifts and surprise me with it, now that warms the heart.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


The past few days have been bringing in all sorts of news, from close friends, former colleagues, current clients and former agency work mates. The bits of news are unrelated and each one exists in its own universe. But after putting all the little, unrelated bits down and pulling back to look at the big picture, it turns out that they are aligned in one way or another. And in so aligning, I realized that it's sort of a road map that points me to the next big adventure.

I've always been an adventurer. Once, I backpacked across Thailand with only a book and map on hand - getting lost twice but relished the feeling of not knowing what's next. During a trip to Europe, my friend and I boarded a car and drove to 4 countries we both haven't been to, with only some computer print outs to guide us. We got lost a couple of times, and while he was shouting in frustration, I was relishing the feeling of finding out where to go next.

I'm ready for the next big adventure. I think I've put my life on hold for a good amount of time and the signs are asking me to move forward. I might not know what's ahead, but if the signs that recently aligned are any indication, it's definitely a more worthwhile and more enriching place.

Yesterday, I was going through my friend's blog and she wrote about her recent move back to Manila. It was interesting to read her thoughts and little frustrations because they were the exact same things running in my mind last weekend. I'm amazed at the fact that we're world's apart, but also similar in some ways. This star is probably the star that's supposed to guide me to where I should be headed.

Gosh, all these thoughts about stars and alignment reminds me of this 5th Dimension song that we used to sing in our High School choir. Good thing they have it on youtube. This is a joy to watch - like going on an acid trip without the acid.

Maybe the moon is in the 7th house, and Jupiter has aligned with Mars. That means peace will guide our planets, and love will steer the stars.

It's the dawning of the age of Aquarius! Harharhar.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dress you up

With Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan moving on to more mature roles, the title of "RomCom Sweetheart" (or Romantic Comedy Sweetheart") is still wide open. Though there were several contenders to the throne, like Reese Witherspoon (in "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Feels like Heaven"), Jennifer Garner (in "13 going on 30"), and Jennifer Lopez in "Maid in Manhattan" and "The Wedding Planner", it seems like Hollywood hasn't found a replacement for Julia or Meg just yet.

Katherine Heigl is the newest girl to try and get the title. Just caught her new movie, 27 Dresses, and it has RomCom written all over it. The love-struck girl who's always the bridesmaid pines for her boss who doesn't even know she exists. Enter the obnoxious cynic and they log heads first, then they find out that they're attracted to each other. Given that plot, it definitely has RomCom written all over it. Heck, it even has the staple cast like Judy Greer and Edward Burns. (Let me just say that I LOVE Judy Greer! I did since "Jawbreaker" where she played Fern/Violet.)

As romantic comedies go, this movie is very safe. In fact, it's almost cliched. It's almost like "The Best of Romantic Comedies vol. 1.

Wedding plot like "My Best Friend's Wedding" and "Wedding Planner" - check
Love/Hate relationship between protagonists like "How to lose a guy in 10 days." - check
Secret love plot like "Catch and Release" and "Secret Admirer." - check

The script in the ending was also pure, pure Rom/Com cheese:

He: So, is this how you imagined it to be?
She: No...
He: *looks perplexed*
She: It's so much more.


So, is the plot stale? Yes. It's the movie predictable? Yes. Is it a total let down?

Actually, No.

Given all it's flaws, it's still an easy movie to watch. It's with it's requisite "aw shucks" and "swoon" moments. Heck, I broke into a smile several times in the movie. Which means Katherine Heigl and James Mardsen did a great job playing their roles and suspending reality for around 90 minutes. If a mindless, feel-good movie is what you're in the market for, 27 Dresses will definitely be a perfect, perfect fit.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A celebration of love

When we celebrated Ate Lissa's 40th birthday with a surprise party about 2 weeks ago, everyone wore red for a couple of reasons. First, the 40th year is the ruby year, and red is the color of rubies. Second, red is the official "birthday color." Third, red is the color of love. And there was definitely a lot of love from the inception to the conclusion of the party.

From that precise moment when the idea began, to the few minutes before Ate's arrival, everyone put their heart - and a lot of love - to make sure that there will be a lot more "happy" in her "happy birthday." From Mom calling us and checking if everything is on-schedule, if the flowers were given, and if we've invited Kitty, to Ate Bullet who liaised with the caterer and called up our family and friends to make sure they'll attend. From Biboy who scheduled their trip so that they can be in Manila before the 21st, to Raymond who worked hard on the cake and slideshow at the same time.

Ate Lissa's arrival reminded me of the opening and closing scenes of "Love Actually." There was a lot of hugging and kissing going around the room and - as Hugh Grant so accurately said in the film - love was definitely all around. The positive energy was simply contagious, and everyone had a big smile on his or her face. And it was easy to pinpoint the reason why everyone was happy and giddy. Love, in all its forms and incarnations, freely circulated that night.

There was love that knew no boundaries or distance. Even if they were in Atlanta (and later on in California), our parents made sure that this party would be a successful one. Even if we were apart physically, they made sure that Ate Lissa, and everyone in the family, felt their love. One of the things that Biboy hand carried from the US was our parents' birthday message to her, proving that true love really defies time and space.

There was love that never changes. Among the people we invited was Kitty, Ate's best friend since college. Their friendship has spanned more than 20 years, and they've seen each other in both good and bad times. Seeing them together that night, it's hard to believe that they haven't seen each other in a year. Seeing them all giggly and gregarious, it's easy to imagine that they were like this since college. Proving that some of the most important things in life don't change.

There was love that's strengthened by time. One of the night's bigger surprises was when Tomas shed tears after the slideshow. It was probably triggered by an old photo where he was with the 5 of us when we were kids. Tomas is, and has always been like our uncle, sibling and friend. And while some relationships with relatives tend to drift away as time goes by, it's comforting to know that some relationships are further strengthened.

There was love in and of the family. If there's one thing I'm truly thankful for, it's the family that I have. Whenever we get together - be it a special occasion or a random Saturday afternoon - we share love and strengthen our love in different ways. It can come in the form of a box of pastries, a favor, or something as simple as catching up on each other's life. Love for the family and the love in the family is something we grew up with. And seeing how our second generation are naturally close and loving, it's also something we're passing on to the next generation.

A few days after the celebration, I had dinner at Italianni's again with John. One of the managers recognized me, went up to our table and told me a very nice story. She said that after the surprise party, the staff were talking about how wonderful it was seeing how close our family was and "feel na feel namin na mahal na mahal niyo talaga ang isa't-isa. Nakakatuwa nga kayong panoorin."

I guess that's what happens when love is freely shared by people in the room. Love from family and friends. Love from people near and far. Love that's both new and old. Love that constantly develops yet remains unchanged.

At the end of the day, we were celebrating more than just a birthday.

We were celebrating love.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Brooch the idea

One thing I re-learned during Bonique's wedding was the fact that a brooch can transform the look and feel of an outfit. Since her entourage would all be wearing short, champagne dresses, I thought of buying silver and crystal brooches as accent. After fastening the first brooch on Alfie during her fitting session, Aling Bright agreed that it added a notch of glamour to the dress.

Even on the day itself, I had some extra brooches in my pocket just in case someone needed it. Good thing I did because Bonique's Mom was looking for a way to add accent to her outfit - and that's when the pearl and crystal flower brooch came in. And when Bonique arrived at the reception and removed her veil and train, I added a pearl and crystal cluster brooch on her sash for added "Monique-ness."

While traversing Li Yuen Street this morning, I came across a hole-in-the-wall shop which was very nondescript. But my "shopping instincts" asked me to stop and come in. So I did. And I found these:

This is probably the reason why my instincts were drawn into the shop. It had a section of classic, crazy and cheap brooches. It was like the brooch god rained brooches in Central and this shop brought out all their basins and caught everything. Really! There were more than a hundred brooches on display and my hand suddenly had a life of its own - grabbing one after the other.

There were brooches with crystals, some had faux pearls, and there was the ubiquitous cameo - albeit with a twist. But among the lot, my favorite would be this art deco set of brooches. Set in silver and accented by colored enamel and stones, they're guaranteed to add a hint of 40s glamor to even the plainest of black dresses.

I wonder who's going to get married next. Maybe I should broach for a "The Great Gatsby" themed wedding and put these brooches to good use.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not quite Mexican but just as memorable.

A few years back, in one of the usual D' Frendz gatherings, we started talking about weddings and what our ideal ones would be. Grace wanted something frou-frou and Victorian (not surprisingly), Rona wanted something in yellow (also not a surprise) and Bonique wanted something Mexican.

Mexican. That's definitely something new. When I started probing her about it, she said that she wanted a wedding that was very relaxed and casual, where guests can easily mingle and circulate, where people could have fun, and she wanted it be an occasion that people will fondly remember. At that moment, tequila shots and Pinata centerpieces were running in my head. Not to mention frijoles and gorditas on the menu.

When she announced her engagement about a year ago, I was just about ready to email my friends in Mexico and order Guayaveras for the guys and Ponchos for the girls. (SO Ugly Betty!) But before I could say "Guadalajara", the theme of the wedding changed. Not considerably, though. She still wanted it to be very relaxed and casual, very bright and airy, chic and elegant, and still an occasion that people will fondly remember.

And on the 5th of January, I was witness to and part of just that. At around 10am, a very relaxed and casual Bonique walked down the aisle of St. Michael the Archangel Chapel on her wedding day.

Bonique was a picture of happiness and radiance as she glided down while "Love Affair" was playing in the background. Having been part of the preparations since day 1, I know the stress and "tacky" moments that led to the wedding. But none of those were noticeable or visible during that moment. All I saw was one of my best friends, taking one step to forever. People applauded her entrance twice, and that almost brought me to tears.

I'm not a big fan of morning weddings, although I've organized my fair share of them. But this one was definitely different. Bonique and Vince's characters are such a perfect match for a day wedding. Their personalities are bright, happy and beaming - almost like the sun. And what better way to celebrate their first day as a couple than having the sun bathe light and warmth to the occasion.

The reception was a picture of casual elegance. Blue Leaf was a perfect venue because it was surrounded by glass that lit up the place beautifully. The natural light brought out the best in everyone, and everything. It also gave the reception a feeling of openness and people could easily walk around and circulate. The feeling was actually that of an elegant greenhouse.

The best wedding is one that's very personal. And Bonique's wedding was full of personal touches. A lot of it is probably because it was organized by people who are really close to her and have been with her since college. (That's us, of course.) No strange coordinators imposing what they want to the couple. No unknown supplier springing surprises on the day itself. We all chose suppliers and partners who we knew and were comfortable with, and this made organizing it much easier. Even if I was in HK during most of the preparation stage, everything still went smoothly on the day itself.

Everyone in D' Frendz was hands-on during the wedding. From Mona - the host with the most who easily handled each technical difficulty with ease, to Wena - our musical director who gave the priest a piece of her mind. (You go, Girl!) From Rona who serenaded the couple, to Lezyl and Grace who manned the reception table with me so ably. From Maricar - our resident make-up maven who kept everyone glowing throughout the day, to Alfie who played her maid-of-honor role to the hilt. (Despite the 3 inch heels.)

I wasn't able to stick around during the program proper since I had a meeting to attend. GRRR! Work never fails to get in the way of fun. But from what D' Frendz told me, it was a very personal and heart warming program. Rona and Ricky (aka Dedek) sang beautifully, Eunice recounted the couple's love story (having witnessed it from Day 1), plus there was a surprise number from Vince and Canoy. The speeches - I've been told - were words that came from the heart. Mona said that there were no dry eyes during the speeches of Vince's dad and Vince.

Even though the wedding wasn't Mexican in theme, I think it still captured what Bonique wanted her wedding to be. A wedding that was very relaxed and casual, where guests could easily mingle and circulate, where people could have fun, and it was definitely an occasion that people will fondly remember. I'm so tempted to say that I miss the Pinata centerpiece, but on hindsight, that would've been "tacky."

Post-wedding, Bonique told me that people kept on coming up to her saying that the wedding was so beautiful and so attuned to the personalities of both Bonique and Vince. And several times, she thanked me for helping bring her wedding to life and making sure everything proceeded without a hitch.

I should also thank Bonique. Being part of a day so heartfelt and so beautiful, being part of the culmination of a love that we've seen start and grow, being part of her wedding, is definitely something to be thankful for.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Break it to me

After a two week break (well, technically it was less than 2 weeks because I had to work in between), I'm back in HKG and still reeling from all the wonderful activities that I was part of. This included a surprise party for my sister, a Christmas reunion with my brother from the US, family dinners, a Christmas party with the SSC gang, a best friend's wedding, and a much-delayed sibling pictorial.

As much as I wanted to write about all these things as they were happening, everything happened too fast and before I knew it, I was on the CX flight back to Chek Lap Kok. It's true what they say: Time flies when you're having fun. (Or as Mark says, Time flies. I can't. They're too fast.) In this case, I was having so much fun that time flew right by so fast.

I'll probably be spending the next few weeks documenting these events so I can easily look back at all the fun that we had. And if I could encapsulate the fun in a visual, it would definitely be this snap of me and my siblings.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

There were definitely a lot of reasons to jump for joy this coming new year. For one, my siblings and I were complete this year after Biboy and his family decided to come home for the holidays. Second, our nephews and nieces were complete since Jul and Carl were here as well. So it felt like the "good 'ole days", but of course, we still missed Mom and Dad who were holiday-ing in California.

Year after year, I realize that the family is indeed the best gift a person can have during Christmas, New Year, and every day of the year. Nothing compares to hearing stories, advice, mundane banter and laughter from your family members. Another thing I realized is that I miss this so much. Eventhough I'm in Manila every month and get to see my siblings on a monthly basis, it's just never, never enough.

I'm excited about the new year because it's my intention to really make this a NEW, new year. After hitting the pause button on my life for more than 2 years, it's time to shift gears, make a change and really do something new. As Prichy once said in our yearbook: "It's time to transition."

Happy New Year and here's to all the new things that will come our way this 2008.