Christmas 2013

It’s Christmas season!
Christmas eve with Archel and Lea in Makati City

How's everyone doing after the celebration? It's always nice to hear beautiful stories about holiday's fun and how others celebrated their Christmas with their loved ones. Always inspiring and a little bit...well, nostalgic. 

It's a bit distressing when the whole world is swathed in excitement and family reunions are happening everywhere, yet you're alone in a strange place, feeling empty and just wrapping thoughts with warm memories. 

I lived in the bustling metropolis away from my family so the celebration was not quite awesome. Excitement had gone totally. 

With no particular way to go, I went to my former boardmate (back in Davao), Lea Maika Bulfango, in Makati City on the 23rd to spend Christmas. 

On the 24th we agreed to visit Luneta Park and Intramuros, not that we wanted to forget the joy of preparing foods and other stuff for Christmas eve, but we just felt it was the best time to go back to history lol!

We just walked along Taft Avenue from Pedro Gil, passing through the Philippine Normal University (where we heavily criticized its poorly maintained surroundings and ancient buildings ^__^); UP-Manila, Supreme Court, NBI and PGH (Philippine General Hospital), until we reached UN Avenue in Ermita where Luneta Park is located. 

It was a loooooong, tedious walk and by the time we reached Luneta, our limbs felt so extremely wasted hehe! But it was a fun-filled experience because we had lots of laughter and giggles while walking the street. 

Luneta Park

It was terribly hot! The temperature slightly roasted our skin, but we enjoyed our little adventure, exploring the area, looking around and visiting different souvenir’s shops and food stalls. We crossed the street to visit Quirino grandstand and Manila Ocean Park.

At Lapu-Lapu's monument
Rizal's monument in the background :-)

At 4:00 pm, we left Luneta and started another long walk, crossing Taft Avenue to Manila City Hall and headed north to visit Intramuros. While entering the Walled City, Lea expressed her anxiety over the place because it was so quiet and calm and only few people were walking. I just convinced her that Intramuros is really a sleepy place with no unnecessary sounds to hear. 

We slowly entered the huge gate, passing a guerilla-looking guard wearing a Spanish-time uniform, then scaled the cobbled pathway to reach the top area. We just looked around and did not go down to the small garden because we’re so scared bad elements (snatchers, drug addicts) might bounced on us!

We just looked around and took pictures. Then walked towards Lyceum of the Philippines. We're amazed to see the 7-11 store transformed into a Spanish-era atmosphere with its gothic design wall and door. I wanted to roam around but Lea felt so creepy with the place so we decided to leave early.
For visitors who wanted to visit Fort Santiago, there are on-the-spot tour guides that would take you there. Not sure how much to pay, we did not ask them.
Inside Intramuros. Just imagine the anxiety you would feel
if you pass this area which looked like haunted prison cells? 
That was exactly what my friend, Lea, felt hehe!

After our leisure walk in Intramuros, we went to Pasay City to catch an MRT ride for Ayala. We passed at the Makati Shangri-La and viewed its lively display of Christmas decorations, then went to Landmark to meet Lea's cousin, Archel. We bought one bottle of non-alcoholic beverage and ingredients of Carbonara before proceeding to Ayala Triangle to view its splendid display of Christmas Lights. After taking photos, we left the area and went home to prepare foods for our noche buena.

 At the Ayala Triangle, Makati City
 with Lea
and Archel

Christmas in the metro is a bit scary than in Davao. Lots of blasting of firecrackers! The booming sounds of the explosion tore the holiday season mode and turned my happy appetite into displeasure. In Davao, firecrackers and all forms of dangerous powders are strictly prohibited so the celebration of Christmas and New Year there is more peaceful and safe.

We had a quiet Christmas celebration in the house anyway, I prepared Carbonara and Archel prepared Mango float, we gathered in the table at 12:00 midnight and feasted on food. I went to bed after eating because I could not endure the blasting of firecrackers in the neighborhood, felt like my ears were about to explode.


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