Tuesday, December 13, 2011

As kids, our parents would take us to Ayala Ave. during holiday season to show us all the Christmas lights in the big city. This was our early version of NYC. I remember all four of us trailing behind our parents in the crowded malls in Makati for Christmas shopping, then walking along Ayala Ave in the December breeze. Imagine that this was before we had a car, and my parents had to take all four of us all the way from Binan to Makati.

Yesterday, as if to mark the last holiday we will be spending here in the Philippines, my parents decided to take us there again. My dad, brothers and I all worked along Ayala Ave. I, for one, walked that street everyday for 6 months. But on this occasion, something about it felt both fresh and nostalgic.  Something about the lights that danced to the Christmas tunes at Ayala Triangle made me sad. I remember telling my mother that next year we should go to the World Trade Christmas Bazaar for new decorations, then cutting my sentence short with “shit this is sad.” Narealize mo bigla na wala ka na dito next year? she asked. I realized so much more than that, but I didn't say anything.

Ayala Triangle was packed with families, friends and lovers who came to see the lights show. We couldn’t get in any of the restaurants, and decided on Amici out of sheer frustration. My dad was already actually getting grumpy – and this is usually caused by indecisiveness on where to eat. He eventually lightened up (must be the wine).  

I’ve been having less and less time with family in hope of spending more time with friends, so this is rare. I regret not forcing kuya Pao to come with us. Although I completely understand that it’s his girl's birthday celebration. We all eventually change priorities anyway.

Let me cut this short. Just in case it evolves into a drama post. Here are some of the photos from dinner (I apologize for the grainy photos, results of a camera phone):  

Guh. That awkward smile. 

Pigs in disguise, I tell you.

Drinking wine as I was taught in Sideways, then deciding that I really do not like wine.

Having dessert before dinner - sansrival and cheesecake gelato.

Can't remember what I was talking about in here. Looks intense. Too bad my brother wasn't paying as close attention to me as he was to his gelato. 

Now I know why I don't know how to smile. Nobody in this family smiles right. Always awkward; verging on funny.

They're just as quirky and funny in real life as they are in pictures. 

Now, this is paying attention. Please don't mind my beaver teeth.

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