I guess I am excited for September to come around. In the Philippines, the start of the BER months means Christmas season! You will start hearing Christmas carols on radio stations. Malls start to put up Christmas decorations. Even some homes will start putting up their decorations! In the case of my family, we'd start Christmas shopping as early as September and hitting all the sales from the malls for good finds for christmas gifts. My mom and dad starts getting busy too with orders of food - ube halaya, leche flan, llanera and other Filipino food.
Gosh I miss the Philippines! I miss my family the most. I miss the festivities and the noise and the laugter. It's a like a party from September to January! Christmas here in the US is different. I am just glad Ryan's family has a good tradition to be together during the holidays, and that means alot to me. There would probably be a few quirky things I will be doing this year for the holidays. Like I need to start making my Christmas list and shopping here pretty soon. I also need to start preparing some Christmas decorations. Which reminds me I need to buy a new Christmas tree because Ryan and I gave away our 7 feet tall tree because it's just too big for the house! I need to make a parol (star lantern). I should've brought one with me when I came over but it's just too bulky. Well I will come up with my own parol! :)
Oh oh simbang gabi! That is the Filipino tradition of attending church mass/service from December 16th to the 24th. I am never good at finishing the 9 nights of the simbang gabi just because I have been working night shifts in the Philippines for the last 9 years. And there's the kakanins (delicacies) cooked at 4 in the morning - the puto bumbong and bibingka! Ryan loves bibingka and the only bibingka that we eat here is the ready mix bibingka from the Philippines. And then there's the castanas (chestnuts)! There are alot of chestnuts here too during the holidays but the smell of chestnuts being roasted on those big woks with the apog at the side of the road is intoxicating. I miss that smell!
Oh and the malls!! The malls are always packed with a million people from November to January! Everyone is just shopping NON-STOP! Sometimes it sucks to shop when there are so many people and you have to fall in a long line to pay at the cashier. But I miss that. Malls in the Philippines are so much fun! But then again, I love the bargains and sales here in the US! haha
I am still homesick even though I've been here for almost a year. But thinking about the things that we do in the Philippines makes me want to start new traditions with my own family, especially now that we have Apollo! I'd probably start by playing Christmas tunes here pretty soon! :)