Thursday, January 1, 2009

My own New Year Celebration

I had a conversation with Je last Tuesday (Dec. 30th) on the possible events that people could go to on New Year's Day. Of course, New Year is louder, funner and more party-oriented compared to solemn Christmas celebrations that are usually spent at home. In New Year, people can actually go out to commercial centers and do the countdown with the public. There are programs, concerts and the much-awaited fireworks displays sponsored and thought of by these bigwig organizers. When I was a kid, I can barely go outside of the house when the clock strikes 12. It was covered with smoke all over and the loud bangs won't stop. But since government has slowly changed the culture of Filipinos of all out, ear-nerving lashing, they have resulted to encourage local governments to host organized central events where the community can gather and celebrate New Year in a less ear-threatening and less solitary way. I have to agree that they did a good move on this.

So in our conversation, Je and I agreed that we will go out on New Year's day and possibly bring Harvey, my JRT and Charlie, her Beagle, along. We had so many plans as we exchanged notes. We promised to text each other on our whereabouts so that we could see each other. And that's that. I was talking to a Tracy, also on the 30th, about our rendezvous on New Year's day. I told her that it's been a 'tradition' to spend sunrise with Mitch on New Year's somewhere where there's an event, and we decided this year it's going to be at Fort.

So that's that.

Within the last hour of 2008, I made my last blog, opened all the lights at our new house and managed to follow whatever superstitious beliefs we could follow. My sister and brother were already at the bar area playing wild and loud songs enough for the whole street to hear. My aunt and mom brought out champagnes and wine. Everyone was outside looking at fireworks. It was indeed time to party. I went down, fetched Harvey and began to hear the roar of firecrackers in our street. Harvey, our cute little puppy, wasn't a bit scared. He was always doing his hunter-stance, but that was it. He follows the sounds and tries to witness the commotion. I don't think he was scared. He turned into a war freak that made him a bit stupid chasing sounds and fire crackers.

A few minutes followed and I looked around and I feel blessed that we are all in the house together. My sister and I were initially semi-dismayed that we won't be able to go to Makati and watch the fireworks. Our reservation for Mandarin was moved to today since my dad doesn't want to leave our new house empty for New Years. I say it took us the whole night to realize it's a GOOD MOVE. It's been so long that our family literally stayed put and watched whatever fireworks our street could display. After years of spending New Year's day in Makati, watching brilliant fireworks and engaging with beautiful people, we decided to relish the entrance of 2009 in our new home. I thought it would be such a bore, but I actually enjoyed and realized that I missed it.
In fairness the fireworks display in our street was sophisticated. I thought everything was all about cheapskate fireworks that's just there to create ear smashing noise, but our neighbors had their own fireworks worthy of shows. Of course, there were loud ones, but majority of it were sparkling ones that turn into rain when released. There were lots of colors, schemes and shapes that all of us were immensely impressed. My dad bought out two large boxes given to us by his friend and it was indeed wonderful. I realized we had our own little fireworks display here in our street. Who needs to go to Ayala to have good clean fun?

Also, the fact that my sister and I would always go out after 12 am. We've been doing it for years. It has been a given, but there was something about spending the first hour with my family, in my own house with familiar and comforting places, that there was actually a choice for me to stay put. I was enjoying my drinks with my crazy family, doing photo-ops and I honestly saw the picture of domestic calm. It is a rare feeling that might last only in that moment so I just relished it. I looked at the time and it was past 2 in the morning. I finally made the decision and called Mitch.

I called Mitch to tell him happy monthsary and happy new year, and also to tell him if I can skip the party at Fort. Besides feeling a little bit tired and squeasy from the drinks, I felt I was already 'steady' and at peace, something that I hardly ever feel at home. I decided to relish it and form a good first new years memory at the new house. Surprisingly, my sister did the same. It was a weird, yet comforting experience, especially for our parents.

My sister opened the bar, invited a few friends over for an impromptu house party and skipped partying outside. I went upstairs, got a glass of cold Minute Maid, changed to my comfy pjs and watched the trilogy of Pirates of the Carribean at STAR Movies and Transformers on HBO. I slept at around 4 am and woke up blissfully. I realized how much I missed the "old school" celebration.

Ever since I met Mitch, my New Year has been restructured to waiting for Sunrises in Makati. It's been their group's tradition in the essence of welcoming New Year. I am accustomed to it and actually enjoyed moments of it, as long as it doesn't go overly wild. Also for a few years until now, my family had always celebrated our New Years at Makati, with lots of people, enjoying public shows and street parties. It was naturally a choice that we would follow suit for 2009, but there was something about a lot of calm changes, peaceful demeanor and blessed year that made all of us make our own respective choices to stay put.

Watching movies with my current favorite drink, with my comfy pajamas, may be a little bit boring for some. Enjoying a few drinks with friends at home may be a little bit limited for others. But this is the New Year that I essentially grew up in. It's a nice way to move foward if one can actually learn how to enjoy and look back at wonderful memories of the past. Once in awhile doesn't hurt. It's all about making the best choices at the start of the year. Times may have changed and certainly I have changed in some ways, but there a few things that I never forget to enjoy. 2009 starts of right, my choice, my way, with a glittering fireworks of possibilities.

Good morning 2009.

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