Thank God it's [jam-packed] Friday. I could not think of an even better way for a pre-Christmas celebration than to spend it with the closest and dearest people in my life. I shall not forget how my best friends who are individually different from one another gathered for and shared the same wonderful and happy moment with me. It was a Christmas wish come true. I neither asked nor even thought about it, but God knows the longings of a cold heart such as mine this Christmas, and he just filled it with warmth, gratitude, and love. Christmas, indeed, is about the coming together of people who share the same love for one another, even when you least expect it.
So, what happened?
Today's start was a bang. I went with my housemate to the first early morning mass (called Misa De Gallo) which is a traditional practice during Christmas here in the Philippines. So since we came in early, we sat on the third pew and got a good view of the lovely-decorated altar at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Church. We, the early birds, caught the worm indeed. But more than that, we also got to pray the rosary and say a novena. For someone who has forgotten the last time she did something holy, that was surely an achievement. By the way, I plan to complete all Nine Mornings and hopefully get my Christmas wish come true.
Upon our return to our apartment, I immediately jumped off to bed since I slept past midnight already and had to wake up at least three hours after for the mass. These days have been really challenging for my body and I think I've messed up with my body clock already.. Excited for a big day at Manila, I left Los Baños at around 8:15 AM and took the new (not sure) DLTB bus to Buendia. As a passenger, I would say that it was the best trip from Elbi to Manila so far! That particular DLTB bus was just perfect for four things. One, its seats were bigger and more comfortable than the other buses. It was cozy for a quick rest. Two, its air-conditioning unit was good. Three, it has a huge and clear TV screen in front. And the big thing is, it has wifi that actually worked! I recommend that you take this bus too.
Among the thousandfold problems of this country, I think the Philippine Traffic System has the top post. Christmas Traffic, for this matter. I was in the bus for three freaking insane hours! Such a terrible waste of time. Traffic in the Philippines is no different from Climate Change. They're such a piss off. What can we do about it? I'm sure you do not want the answer of an un-optimistic person.
My first meet-up is with best friend, Fiel. I was badly starving so we rushed in to the nearest food diner that is Jollibee. Oh what an unhealthy choice. I got myself a meal of beef with mushrooms and a hotdog sandwich; both un-nutritious of course.
What came after was a delight. Next meet-up: with best friend Aniks, the girl with big arms (oh she'll hate me if she reads this). Our date at Shakey's was a feast. We ordered mojos (still my number one favorite), carbonara pasta with yummy garlic bread, and a pepperoni pizza. Of course the price we paid was as much as the satisfaction we got from such a delightful banquet. But of course we did not just fill our table with food, but with lots of laughter also from our crazy stories and amazing friendship.
After three hours or so, college best friends Mea and Thea completed the gang. And I was happy. More than happy in fact. It was heaven for me.
Then off we went to the very beautiful and park-like campus of University of Sto. Tomas. With or without the Christmas decors, I would say they have the best campus in the Philippines. It is clean and green, historic, organized, and simply picturesque. My favorite building is their main building which looks like one of the palaces of in the UK. It was UST's Paskuhan 2011 that day and I must say that it was a great activity by their school. I wish we had the same kind of activity in UPLB as well. It's highlight is the fireworks display of course. It was the most splendid part of the evening. But of course, my best memory of that evening is the complete attendance of my best friends.
After the activity, Mea, Thea, and I stayed at Jollibee and Starbucks in Dapitan where we had to let the night pass and while we await for the morning mass the next day. It was the second time we went to mass but having attended Misa de Gallo at the UST grounds is another new experience.
That ends our perfect day.