Friday, December 25, 2009

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: My Pasko in Brunei

What's new? Again, for the second time around, I celebrated Christmas here in the Abode of Peace, Brunei! Pero ang bago, honestly, hindi ko masyadong ramdam ang sadness at mas exciting this year. Eh kasi naman. I had the chance to step again on Philippine Soil a week ago when my brother got married. Siempre, hindi ko dapat mamiss ang mga once in a lifetime moment like weddings. Dahil diyan, na-i-celebrate na namin in advance ang aming Christmas parteeee! In short, na-energize ako at naramdaman ko talaga ang essence of Christmas - ang pagsasama sama ng pamilya!

Honestly, FLAT or PARANG ORDINARY DAY LANG ang feeling pag mag-Christmas ka abroad, lalo na kung ikaw eh nasa isang Islamic country like Brunei. Maliban sa hindi mo ramdam ang Pasko dahil walang ka-decor decor ang paligid at walang mga christmas carols playing over the radio or kahit sa telebisyon, mas ramdam mo ang slight sadness dahil malayo ka sa mahal mo sa buhay, sa iyong family. Isipin mo na lang ang pain na puedeng ma-experience on the eve ng kapanganakan ni Jesus Christ. Habang ang buong mundo eh bonggang bonggang nagno-noche buena, eh ikaw, possibleng kaharap ng laptop mo at mega drama sa webcam. Isama mo pa ang pagiyak na maaaring pigil or hagulgol. O di kaya naman, suwerte ka kung marami kang friends, you could be in a party. In my experience, I'm just blessed dahil I have lots of friends here in Brunei who made my Christmas truly merry and memorable.

Napa-advance na ang celebration ng Christmas sa aming pamilya. We had it celebrated last 19 December 2009, habang ako eh nasa Pilipinas pa. We had lots of foods. May gift giving. My cousins came over. Pati family ng mga girlfriend ng aking mga kapatid.At ang mas masaya pa diyan, I covered the family affair with our old video cam which I brought here in Brunei. Naisip ko lang. Watching it would be an effective medicine just in case homesickness starts to kick in. Thankfully, di pa naman ako na-ho-homesick ng bongga. I guess, slight pa lang. Pero nagpaparamdam na ang uninvited friend sa isang OFW na kagaya ko!

Maybe you're wondering how's my Christmas in an Islamic country? Simple lang. Walang kaguluhan. It's up to you and your friends to make the kaguluhan. Nasa sa inyo if you will prepare ng bongga o simpleng kain lang. In my case and my friends', aba, dahil kami'y mga food trippers, napuno ang mesa with all the yummylicious pinoy cuisine. But before I go into that detail, share ko muna ang aking annual devotion - ang pagkanta sa church on a midnight mass.

Bago ang mass, sa opisina pa lang eh nagsimula na ang Christmas chaos. I gave away gifts to my officemates na most items eh dala ka from Pinas. Kakatuwa dahil yung iba, nagbigay rin ng gifts. I got chocolates and a cupcake. Sweeetness.

Sa kabila ng work load na hindi matapos tapos, I made an effort to greet my friends via Facebook with this: (bongga di ba! hahaha)
And as the day came to an end, nagsimula naman akong maghanda for the midnight mass. Kailangan kong bumawi. Ilang performances na rin ang sumabit ako. Waaaah! Dahil yan sa stress from different stuffs like kakaisip ng reqs sa school at ilang work loads. Speaking of stress, naku, burado yang stress na yan noh. Mega tawag ako sa aking pamilya at around 7 PM and we even had a chance to chat bago pa maging busy ang mga lines with the exchange of greetings. Sobrang happy talaga akong kausap pamilya ko!

Kakaiba ang year na ito dahil I was given a song to sing in the Christmas Carol line up before the midnight mass officially started. This time, I sang "Last Christmas." Nako, panic kaya ako. Aaminin ko, I'm not that familiar sa song na yan kahit national anthem level ang popularity. Panic in the sense na a day before the caroling ibinigay sa akin ang piyesa. Thankfully, nabigyan ko naman ng justice ang song on the performance night. And I must say, kahit mejo may mga sabit sa ibang tono, proud ako with all the praises I got after I sang it.

Here's a picture of my choir here in Brunei.
Then after ng kantahan sa church, sugod na ako with Shiela and Cecil sa aming All Filipino Christmas Party.Now this is the part wherein bumaha ng pagkain which I was mentioning a while ago. Super daming pagkain. From kaldereta, buttered prawns, carbonara, fried chicken, estofado, up to desserts like leche flan, home made chocolate cake, at cassava cake! Imagine ha, sa super dami at sarap ng food, katabi ko ang lalagyan ng rice!


The highlight of the party was the gift giving. Dahil mejo late na kami dumating, nagexchange gift na pala sila. But as the saying goes, better late than never. Kakatuwa ang monito monita. Ipinaramdam sa akin na Pasko na nga talaga.

Then after the gift giving, dahil super antok na ako at I have a song to sing kinabukasan sa mass, umuwi na rin kami. Di na nga gumana ang aking powers sa magic sing dahil super pagod.

On a happy thought, seriously, umuwi ako na talagang ramdam ang Christmas spirit. Bongga. (Thanks to Shiela, Soc, Aaron, Celynn, Hazel and Alice). Thanks din sa nakabunot sa akin sa exchange gift. At Thanks to my cousin Sheree sa pahabol na gift on my day of departure.
The next day, on Christmas day itself, binuksan ko na talaga ang mga gifts na natanggap ko! Weeeener! =)

But here's the catch. Hopefully next year eh payagan ako for a one week vacation sa Pilipinas. Ma-i-celebrate ko lang ang Pasko with my family, super bonggang regalo na yan! Cross fingers!

Maligayang Pasko everyone. =)

(sa mga oras na sinusulat ko, bongga ang pagkaantok ko. Sa opisina ko na ginawa tong entry na ito. Pampagising kumbaga! Hahaha)

2 comments:

  1. Hi Merry blessed Christmas to you and your family. May you have joy and peace always in your heart !

    fROM tHe Dessert oF Saudi Arabia!...

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  2. Maligayang Pasko to you and to your family too Life Moto! Salamat sa kumento!

    Hahahah! Dessert of Saudi Arabia talaga! I hope you enjoy the holidays there! Kakaiba ang Islamic country. At least we can still celebrate the holidays in a very Pinoy fashion! Ingats and keep in touch! God Bless! =)

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