this is our 8th year celebrating Christmas away from Manila. but i am far from getting used to it.
this year, not feeling quite at home in our rented flat, you wouldn’t know it’s almost Christmas. not a single tinsel in sight.
someday, Christmas will be a big celebration, like it used to be. both our families will come around, enjoying the food we’ve been slaving for all day. i’d notice my nephew grow taller each time i see him. wives and girlfriends and boyfriends in tow. gifts and carols. even the rowdy neighbourhood kids clanging their cans and singing off-key. misa de gallo, would you believe i’ve only experienced once? somehow, bibingka and puto bumbong never quite tasted as good as when you eat it for breakfast after the early morning mass. chocolates and chestnuts. mom’s chiffon cakes. the kids queuing for their crisp dollars and hundred peso bills (except that i’m not the one queuing this time).
maybe it will never be as great as i think of in my head. but Christmas is never the same when you have no place that you had to be that day. no holidays with friends can ever fill that gap.