31 December 2008

Happy New Year!

Time flies when you're having fun. And these past few days flew like a hurricane! Surely it would have been a lot different had it not been for the new friends we have made in our 3 months' stay here in Wellington. Rather than staying cooped up in our apartment and thinking of what we ought to be doing at this time of the year back in the Philippines, our friends kept us occupied. We would all go to the shopping centres (not that we have the budget to shop, but it's great to buy our necessities at discounted rates), they would tour us around, and more importantly, they invited us to their homes and shared their blessings for the yuletide season.

Last Noche Buena, we stayed at Glen and Cory's home. We arrived in mid-afternoon and we were glad we did, because we were able to help out a bit with the preparations. I most especially enjoyed preparing the maki, which Glen instructed me how to make first before entrusting me with the batch as he proceeded with the barbecue.

Some friends and family members arrived as well. We had a very hearty dinner, followed by a rather fun way of distributing gifts. They actually had a Santa and a Santa's helper costume for the gift hosts for the night! That was fun. We were delighted that we also received gifts! It was so thoughtful of them and we appreciate it. Round 2 of the gift exchange was a game called the Greedy Man's Gift Exchange. It was a lot of fun. I will discuss the mechanics of that one in a future post.

We stayed on til Noche Buena, where we had the bounty from the barbie (nickname for barbecue grill), pavlova, salads, and loads more. Any attempt at dieting was promptly forgotten. The kids were still wide awake at 2AM trying to decipher a board puzzle they received as a gift when we left for home.

On Christmas Day, we were invited to dinner at Ricky's and Pinkee's home. Myra and Jerry and family were also there. We had a wonderful dinner and exchange of gifts. The laughter and chatter continued well into the midnight.

I feel so blessed that we have met a lot of good friends here in Wellington. We actually have other invitations that we were no longer able to go to; we regret not being able to visit but we will, one of these days. We were overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown to us. I wish that everyone will be blessed with good health and prosperity in the coming year, and that we will also be given the opportunity to pay it forward soon. This is one December I will never forget.

Happy New Year, everyone!


  1. Happy New Year to you and your family Nick!

    Sarap ano, kahit saan ka magpunta, andun yung mga hospitality ng mga pinoy.

  2. Anonymous8:43 pm

    Wow, time really does fly! Another year gone and you in a new home. Glad to hear you guys have found good friends to share the holidays with over there. That is so important.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  3. i am happy for your family Nick especially I read that you got already a job.

    I am also happy that you experience the "Filipino hospitality" of Pinoys abroad. Now you know why overseas Filipinos thrive even in foreign lands.

    Where there are Filipinos, there are kind hearts that beat to help the kababayans survive the first few months of culture shock and economic instability.

    Happy New Year to you all.

  4. jho: Happy New Year too!

    JMom: Happy New Year to you and your family!

    Cathy: Yes we are truly blessed. Happy New Year to you!

  5. Anonymous8:45 pm

    Glad to have known you made a joyous new year out there, Nick. Iba talaga ang hospitability ng Pinoy.

    Welcome 2009! Best regards to you and family...

  6. Happy New Year. Isn't it nice that you have family friends you can go to. The christmas season would have been very lonely for a filipino living outside of the Philippines.

    I think we do play the game with our family friends, too. What we do is roll dice and based on the outcome, get to pick the gift of choice which is still wrapped. Second round is with the gifts opened and one can choose the preferred gift even if it is already owned by one. Well, something like that.


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