Christmas came and went with the somewhat usual fanfare….noise makers, karaoke, food, caroling, and friendly gatherings. Shortly thereafter, we were visited by a Tropical Storm which provided us over 4 days of rain heading into the end of the year. Our year-end family get together was small this year as we planned for a somewhat smaller celebration compared to our annual Christmas gathering. Besides, everyone seemed to want to rest up for the New Years Celebration (which is kind of an understatement in all reality).
We invited my wife’s sister, husband and our niece over for the evening of food, fun, and good music. We enjoyed some non-traditional eats like sliced pineapple ham, meatloaf balls, and deviled eggs, along with the more usual pork adobo, fish, rice and veggies. Red wine and San Miguel was on tap. We played a few games of darts on the patio, then moved inside to eat some more and then settled down for a game of dominoes – and then it was time for….well….the real noise to begin. Normally at this juncture in years past (about 10pm) , we would already have been retired to the bedroom. Our celebrating days were basically….well, behind us. As one reflects on years past, one begin’s to realize that a New Year’s celebration is just like the next that preceded it, and the one before that, and the one before that…and so on. You stay up late, drink too much, make a fool of yourself (not that I ever have), go to bed and wake-up with a hangover and the recurring thought throughout the day that you will not do that again! The routine is easily predictable. And I always wondered why when I was younger, you rarely seen all the older folks out celebrating! I guess that “recurring” thought finally settles in eventually.
It had been noisy all day long (somewhat more noisy than the week which preceded it) with the noise makers, the horns, fireworks, banging on cans, etc, but now late in the evening, we were readying ourselves for like, the grand finale…which is the longest grand finale one will ever witness! I got to expend the last remaining large bottle rockets in my inventory and, once all were skyward, we headed indoors again for the end of our little party. We never actually made it as the family separated at about 11:15 and it was just me, the Mrs. and the three cat critters (who were not at all happy about bringing in a new year in this manner!) And then at midnight, another year begins anew…another year gone. The young woman across the street, just like last year and without a bag of noisemakers at her disposal, decided to crank up her scooter and at full-throttle, joined in the noise making rucus. Just like last year, I stood on our terrace and subliminally waited for her engine to explode as I am quite sure she had the poor thing cranked wide open for about an entire minute. I really don’t believe Honda engineered these engines as New Year noise making machines, but nonetheless, the scooter held together (until she turned it off or it ran out of fuel-hard to say which one). At this stage in our lives, I joke with my wife that there should be more emphasis on celebrating the past year as an accomplishment, rather than celebrating the year we haven’t lived through yet.
Anyway, even after living here in the Philippines for some time now, I continually discover that there are certain things you must learn for yourself…and usually the hard way. Like how one should take long naps and get well rested for New Years Eve…’cause you ain’t ‘gettin no friggen sleep ’till the noise and fireworks end (this morning around 2am). And after over 4 days of continuous rain leading up to the last day of the year, all those large flaming and exploding rockets launched towards the heavens last night apparently were effective enough to summon the sun-god to return with the first sunrise of 2015…and the sun, it shines so brightly this morning! Today, I think the cats will agree with me that it will be appropriate to take multiple naps…to catch up on our sleep deprivation.
My New Years Resolution for 2015? I will never again refer to the place I live as a “sleepy little fishing village!”
Happy New Year From Samar Province in the Philippines!