this is my first christmas away from my family after 29 solid years of spending not only christmas but new year’s, valentine’s, sinulog, april fool’s, birthdays, araw ng kagitingan, araw ng kalayaan, atbp with them. 29 years. wow, did i just give away my age?
before i left, el2 booked two rooms at maribago bluewater beach resort in mactan to, you know, chill and spend time together and all that. her christmas treat. well, sort of. as most families might be quite all too familiar with, going on a trip to relax and unwind can actually be stressful in the process. in this case, my folks found the timing inconvenient with me leaving in two days while complaining about how they were busy with work, that there wasn’t enough time taking into consideration the travel time while taking into consideration the traffic, and why is the room rate so expensive?! (it is a high class resort, after all. el2 bought a one-year membership package or something and it was expiring in a couple of months so we might as well make use of it. thus, the overnight stay/family bonding time/christmas get-together/el2’s christmas gift.)
but as they say, “all’s well that ends well.” i’ll tell you what, if there were two people in that resort who clearly enjoyed their stay, that would be my mom and dad. the moment they saw the cottage and the room, they immediately launched into a serious conversation about how they would build a rest house with the same concept as the resort’s and contract people they know who would design them a kidney-shaped swimming pool. listening to them talk you would think they’re gonna start buying the construction materials the next day! i bet my kidneys it would take perhaps another 5 years before they actually follow through. my parents can get way too
optimistic excited at times. hehe.
because it was christmas season and all, a huge native christmas tree greeted us at the reception area together with a perspiring glass of cold lemongrass iced tea. (yum!)
but that was nothing compared to this outdoor christmas setting which i found really romantic, minus the snow. but the white lights looked like falling snowflakes and the stars looked like, well, stars.
but that wasn’t all. after walking around the resort, i also saw this:
if i’m not mistaken, that is the bakery. but what really attracted me to it are the stencils on the glass windows. because it captures the concept of what filipino christmas is all about.
because a filo christmas is all about family and its extensions all the way to long-lost relatives you only see once a year. and if the roasted pig seems to be the star of the night, that’s only because it is a medium that brings families closer to the table and to each other as they lovingly whisper, “leave some crispy skin for me.”