Sunday, January 01, 2017

December hodgepodge

(So I missed out on writing about this on the last day of December but hey, I guess it's a good enough first post for 2017.)

As expected, December turned out to be a very full month, what with the Christmas season and all. Of course, there were a lot of get-togethers and reunions. I met up with my high school/college friends twice: first time was with Mitch, Ferg, Joyce, Iona, and JP because Mitch and Ferg were celebrating Christmas outside Manila. We had lunch and merienda at Joyce's place so it served as a housewarming as well since she had just moved to her new place. I volunteered to bring dessert and decided to get the Le Matcha cake by Rebecca Disini. This beautiful cake has a matcha glaze that is subtle and well-balanced and it is beautifully decorated with edible snapdragons and gumamela petals. I'm pretty sure even people who aren't big fans of matcha will love this.

Le Matcha by Rebecca Disini

Later that month, Anna took the place of Mitch and Ferg and joined us for a late lunch that lasted until the early evening. Of course, this gang wasn't the only one I met up with in December. I had lunch with with my colleagues and ex-colleagues in Salvatore Cuomo in Uptown Mall. My team at work had dinner in Jang Ga Nae in Ortigas before moving to Millenia Suites next door for our after-dinner celebration. I also had dinner and drinks with some of my other hang-out buddies at my friend's condo. And finally, my big boss prepared dinner at his house for the leadership team of our business unit at work. Highlight of the night for me was our traditional surprise exchange gift. The mechanics: everyone brings two gifts, one worth more than P500 and the other worth less than P100. Each person gets to pick two gifts based on a turn order determined by the ranking in the evening games. As such,  it is possible to pick two gifts worth less than P100 (which happened to me two years ago). This year, however, my luck changed as I actually got two gifts worth more than P500. One of them is a Scheaffer pen - I initially thought this cost less than P100 but my colleague said that this was worth more than P500 - and this was actually one of the last few gifts remaining (our team was in last place so we got everyone's else's "leftovers"). The other one was a box of Marks & Spencer chocolates. I was really pleased with this because I was really hoping to get a box of expensive chocolates and I did!

December is also when we commemorate my grandfather's death anniversary. We heard mass at the chapel in the cemetery before visting my grandfather's grave to pray. We then headed over to my aunt's house for dinner. It was a fabulous feast and the Nutella Fudge cake that I brought with me from Mom and Tina's provided a good ending to a delicious and thoroughly satisfying meal.

sunset at the cemetery

Other stuff: I almost went through the entire month without a game night but that changed when Mich, Mike, Reb and I met up shortly before Christmas to play. I placed second in Marco Polo (by a point!) but I won our Bruges game. I am also really happy that my shipment from Forexworld arrived shortly before Christmas because I had a couple of gifts in that package. Since I took the last week of the year off, I have also been able to spend some time updating my blog. As I mentioned at the start of the year, I was expecting to slow down in my posting but thankfully, I am still quite active. Hopefully I can continue to write regularly in 2017.

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