Today, I should be preparing for Christmas eve. Apparently, since we have work, I am facing my workstation. Despite our work day, the beauty of Christmas preparations still unfolds in my eyes via online. I can see and feel how each and everyone's joyous feelings through social network sites. Thankfully, we're just half day today. By 1 pm, we can go home and finally plunge in the festivity.
For an OFW like me, living and working in an Islamic country like Brunei, I can't deny that I terribly miss my family and friends right now. If only I could make a wish and make it happen, that would be to instantly go back in the Philippines just to celebrate this special day of the year. As you all know, taking away all the gift giving and the stretch of appetizing food delights, Christmas is all about family and thanksgiving.
Na-ho-homesick ako ng slight. I guess that's normal. Here I am, a thousand miles away from my family and all I can do is to engage in virtual space and reach them. Slight ang homesickness dahil I'm already used to this set-up. This is my third time to celebrate Christmas in Brunei, without my real family. While each celebration varies, this year is very much distinct yet more exciting.
Aaminin ko, minsan parang ayaw ko ng magbukas ng Facebook. It's a mixed feeling. I am happy to see how my family and friends enjoy the days before Christmas. Yet, I am a bit sad. There's this thought at the back of my mind saying, Sayang at nakakamiss talaga ang Pasko sa Pinas. Sana andon din ako, nakikiparty. Then again, looking at the bright side, I still engage in social networking because it is through connection that I am able to understand the real meaning of the festivity; the sharing of happiness and love, wherever, whenever.
I can say that feel na feel ko ang Pasko this year. Now, naniniwala ako na mind over matter is powerful. The more you think of happy thoughts, the more joys will be attracted to come to you. Since iniisip ko ang so much saya sa Kapaskuhan, feel na feel ko ang festivity. Let me share my thoughts kung bakit mas ramdam ko ang Pasko.
First, obviously, karamihan ng Pilipino ay umuuwi ng Pinas. Such reality indicates that Christmas is here. In fact, sa dami ng umuwi ng Pilipinas, nagkaubusan ng OEC dito sa Brunei.
Second, I received a lot of gifts this year; both given by friends and by myself. Yes, I gave myself a gift. For now, I got two books.
|Gifts in my Christmas Tree|
|Gift from my officemate Celynn!|
|Gift from Maggie!|
Third, I decorated my room. Believe it or not, I put up a Christmas tree, which look like a stick tree. Well, it's more of a family tree wherein I placed our family pictures.
Fourth, speaking of decoration, oh well, Brunei is packed with lots of it. Before the Misa de Gallo started, some Filipinos setup a Christmas tree in the church. My supah friend Elna and Lisa are the "brains" behind it! So proud of you, girls!
On a different note, just yesterday, I saw two lovely Christmas Trees at the Cinema area and at Empire Hotel. But what hit me the most was knowing that the Christmas tree at Empire Hotel is made of stuff toys. The stuff toys are the Proboscis Monkey of Brunei.
|The Christmas Tree at the Cinema, Seri Q-lap Mall|
|The Christmas Tree at the Empire Hotel!|
|The base made of stuff toys!|
|Jampacked stuff toys!|
Fifth, I am excited to prepare my dish for tonight's Christmas Eve. Yes, with my bestfriend Liza's DM last night, I will cook my first ever tuna pasta. On the side, I'll buy a cake, chicken and garlic bread. And oh, last night, I already bought some chocolates and drinks for tonight's Virtual Paskuhan. I call it Virtual Paskuhan coz my family and I will chat via Skype!
Lastly, I went to NBT's Christmas Display. The display is an annual exhibition sponsored by Toyota Brunei to delight the festive season! Here are some photos.
|The Toy Kingdom!|
|Ginger Bread Man!|
|A sea of spectators!|
If there's anything I learn from this experience of being away from my family as the world celebrates Christmas, that's Christmas is not only about family, it is about our recognition of God's birth and the appreciation of the many blessings we receive from him. Indeed, there are a lot of things to be thankful for.
To my family and friends, see you all in April 2011. =)
And now, let me greet everyone a...
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!