Dividing My Christmas Time

Why the heck was I in front of the computer reading blogs on Christmas day? Well, it's because I decided to come back here in my house a day earlier than planned. I actually spent more than four hours of yesterday being online (catching up on news & my emails, mostly, and receiving a very good news that I'm so so excited to share with everyone but that I'm gonna reserve for a later entry) and watching episodes of The Amazing Race 4, which finished downloading while I was in San Pablo.

Another four hours I spent on the road: in a tricycle from our house in San Pablo to the highway where I waited for the bus going to Cubao; the journey in the bus was one of the fastest and most convenient I had in recent memory that I was able to read and almost finish Erik Fosnes Hansen's Tales of Protection; I then had to ride a jeep in Kamias up to Anonas where I got another jeepney going to Ampid. I arrived home before seven in the evening.

My Christmas day actually began with me dreaming in a deep sleep. We did not have a noche buena this year, unlike two years ago when Tita Ayen forced me to wake up in the middle of the night and eat some of what we had on the table, especially her pride, the macaroni salad. I woke up at about 7:30 AM, and began to wait for my inaanaks. Most of the day I was waiting for them. Paula (she's now turning seven) was the first to arrive, as always. Troy (now in Grade 3) was next. Finally Kate (I believe she's about 8 years old now) followed but not until past lunchtime. I had two more godchildren, Christian and Gabriel, but I was not expecting the latter, the son of my friend in high school, because they live in a barrio far from ours although also in San Pablo. I tried to wait for Christian (he's now about four or five, I think) but gave up at about 3:00 PM when I decided that I'd rather travel back to Manila so that I'd avoid the rush today. I just left my gift for him with Tita Ayen.

Besides my inaanaks, I also gave a small amount of papasko to all of my first cousins (besides Kate, there are seven others) and some of my second cousins (all of them Lola Belen's grandchildren). A day earlier I also gave Mama Josie a small amount when I visited for the first time the house that they moved in to more than a year ago.

Generally, it was nothing like the Christmas I remembered when I was one of the young ones asking my titos and titas for gifts, in cash, of course. Nonetheless, I still think that the children enjoyed it as much as I did back then. For me, one of the best things in going home is always the recognition of how my Tagalog in the province is very different (in terms of sound and vocabulary) from how I speak it here in Manila--and I was unconsiously using it in both cases. Does anyone from Manila know what barek is? Or, um, mirise?

One Response to Dividing My Christmas Time

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