Frohe Weihnachten

I’m playing Coldplay’s Christmas Light while typing this entry and I feel all loved up inside since Christmas is my favorite celebration.

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For me, Christmas means home. I always look forward to this day because when I was still in the Philippines, I always come and visit my family, if I have a visa. Now that I’m finally settled here in Hamburg, I don’t have to go through the stress of visa application and working my ass off just to buy plane tickets. I don’t have to worry at all because I am home and boy, did I have a wonderful celebration.

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The setup

I took care of our Christmas table this year and printed Christmas menu for everyone’s entertainment.

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Private jokes here and there

Filipino celebration means having food that will last for weeks. This year’s a little different since we didn’t do the traditional Filipino feast and went the other Asian route: Hotpot!

That was a new, fun experience. Our pot wasn’t boiling at first and it was a test of patience. Small arguments happened because hello, hangry people. We almost gave up and took the big pot in the kitchen so that we can do the normal boiling. Only to find out that we’re just doing it wrong. Haha! We brought the pot back to the table and finished all the food we shoved in our pot. Everyone needed tea afterward.

After dinner came the main source of entertainment: Karaoke. Filipino Christmas parties would be incomplete without it. We sang our voices away until the clock strikes 12. I was mostly looking forward to it because….

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Overflowing gifts!! I was fixing our tree hours before our dinner and got super duper excited arranging all the gifts. I am proud to share that I controlled myself and didn’t shake the boxes which belonged to me.

We did our yearly exchange gift and unwrapped our other gifts afterward. My best gift this year was something from my mom’s, particularly because of its backstory.

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Me wondering what could that gift be

My family imposed that we should all have our Christmas wish list so everyone would get what they wanted. They said that’s generally how Germans are and it would be nice (and actually more practical) to adapt it. I made my own list and asked my mom to buy me an ink for my printer. Three days before Christmas, I saw that my mom gave my brother a new, huge comforter. On top of it, my brother forgot to do his wishlist so this was a surprise. Because I was P-E-T-T-Y, I told my mom that I don’t want an ink anymore. I want to be surprised! That’s it. That’s my wish. I wanted to be like…

It could be anything though and that was the beauty of it. Fast forward to Christmas night, I got my gift last and saw this huge box. I opened it and then..

It was a printer. Haha. But wait there’s more…. I can not only print, but also scan and copy! A student’s dream. Hahaha

IMG_0693.JPGThe best part is.. I was totally surprised! It never crossed my mind that she will buy me such a gift. For this reason alone, this printer is the best material gift I got this Christmas.

Family, however, still remains my most favorite present every year. Aside from our annual family photo, these photos below mean a lot to me since my younger brother joined our celebration for the first time ever and didn’t lock himself up in his room. His presence was felt and he even made something for dinner. I am glad that his annoying teenage phase is over and I am praying that it’ll be the end of it.

And since here in Germany, we celebrate Christmas officially for two days (the 26th is the 2nd Christmas Day), my greeting would still be on time. And not to use the cliché caption, I’ll just use another language….

Von unserer Familie zu euch wünsche ich euch eine frohe Weihnachten! Lass uns alle an den echten Sinn des Weihnachtfestes errinnern, die Geburt Jesus. Thank you Jesus for the gift of family ❤

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Halfway there

The first half of the year flew quickly and since I’ve been off the WordPress-radar for months now, how about I start again by sharing what’s keeping me busy this whole time. Here we go.

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Continue reading Halfway there

The year that was

2016 was probably the most gratifying year I’ve ever experienced due to the main fact that my patience reaped a big reward : finally realizing a childhood dream of coming home to a complete family. It wasn’t an easy journey but as cliché as it may sounds, the long road was worth it. My 2016 was equally spent in half : the first half in the Philippines and the rest in Hamburg. I’m glad I pushed myself in the very beginning to document each moment, random and big, that’s why I was able to come up with this year-end video I’m about to introduce.

My goal was to create something similar to those videos I see online, in the hopes of achieving a kick-ass, share-worthy video. With this goal in mind, I planned to show only the good stuff—travel videos, food, artistic shots, and all those beautiful aesthetics. It was very shallow, also impossible because first, I didn’t even plan on travelling and most importantly : it just wasn’t me. So I just stuck to what I do best : just showing who I really am. Unfiltered, random, happy, natural, lazy, bare.

Taking videos everyday was harder than I expected especially during the busy occasions of my year. It went from one-seconders a day to a few videos a week and then the big moments of the month. The editing was even harder since some of my videos weren’t properly shot and most of them were corrupted. But so as they say, the finished product makes every struggle useless and invisible. I’m glad I pushed myself to take as many videos as I could ’cause now, I have the great opportunity to look back and cherish every single moment as much as I want to. Now, I will always have a proof of those short moments in time that passed me by; even some that I insensitively forgot to cherish. I never knew a simple year-end video would bring a huge impact as I welcome a new year. This is a perfect reminder to appreciate every single thing in the present— the good, the bad, the normal, the nonsense.

To cut the long introduction, here’s my own reflection in video format.