Christmas Eve, as expected, was brimming with food.

At home, we had an early Noche Buena—at 9PM, since my aunt had work eight hours after. She was pissed off because work had to get in the way of celebrating, but she just had to do what she had to do so we had to settle for an extremely early Noche Buena. We didn’t mind, of course. How could we when the food was superb? She prepared baked mac (which was almost like the nostalgic, iconic one from Gamay), fruit cocktail float (you know, just like mango float except that instead of mangoes, you put a can of drained fruit cocktail on the alternating layers of graham crackers and condensed milk-sweetened cream), garlic bread, and some glazed ham.

Afterwards, my cousins got to open their gifts earlier than the rest of the kids in the neighborhood. It was so nice to see how they tore out the wrapper like mad men, and then squeal in delight when they finally discovered what was underneath the wrappers. But that was when they liked the gift, of course. If it was just so-so, they’d quickly move on to the next present.

My favorite moment had to be when Demon-ique opened this particular present—a box containing a pen and flashlight set strapped on a piece of foam for cushion and presentation. When she saw it, she beamed, “Wow!!! A sponge!!!” What can I say, she seriously has a different definition of what a present is.

After dinner, Honeybun and I went to my brother’s house to go eat some more even if we hadn’t finished digesting what we ate yet. We indulged in my dad’s concoctions: rosemary chicken with plum and satay sauces, spicy tuna salad, fruit salad, and peaches and cream. And then it was time to go home because we were still going to my grandmother the next day.

Waking up early the next day (which is a first, after all these years), we dashed off to join my grandmother and our other relatives for our annual Christmas lunch. We feasted on awesome barbecued pork, pansit bihon, pata tim, pipian (some sort of kare-kare, but with chicken), mechado (which was everyone’s favorite of the day), ice cream and fruit salad. I couldn’t stop myself from stuffing my face silly, but I naturally had to allow myself to pig out since it’s the holidays.

We capped off our Christmas by being Pinoy—by watching an entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival! We originally wanted “Wapakman” or the latest “Shake, Rattle and Roll” flick, but we ended up agreeing to watch that Gabby Concepcion, Angelica Panganiban, Derek Ramsay and Kim Chiu love rhombus. Sadly, ATC wasn’t showing it, so we settled for the latest “Mano Po.”

All I can say about the movie is that:

1. Ciara Sotto has crooked lower teeth, and I wonder why she hasn’t had them fixed
2. Zsa Zsa Padilla was awesome, and that her character should have a spin-off
3. Heart Evangelista is perfect for the role, and she should be doing more of that bitch stuff, instead of that Jessie role in “Full House”
4. Sharon Cuneta reminded me of Jessica Soho in several scenes

And how was your Christmas?