8 parties, 8M calories

Should I count the Noche Buena gathering, my dad’s birthday, the new year eve’s family party, and the intimate meals with friends who came home for the holidays? Summing it up, it will definitely be over a dozen. But the joy it brought, priceless! The calories, countless!

The holiday spread is always the most abundant. Every get-together, big or small, is always a feast. It’s high spirits we’re all in brought about by the season. Or, is it in our genes? We Pinoys always come up with reasons to gather and eat, and Christmas is definitely one of the best reasons to binge. After all, ‘tis the season to be jolly and counting calories is taboo.

I can’t help it though. After the encounters with good friends who you wish their two words of greeting would be “you’re stylish” or “looking great”, it had to be “you’re fat.” Who better to knock some sense into your brain than your real friends. So I did what I had to do, go on a diet. Bad time.

The season’s parties kicked off for me in mid November when Globe hosted a media party. It was fun and I resisted the offerings on the spread and succeeded. A month after, SBTC gathered us all again in the house of buchi, Lotus Court. I think you know what transpired. Blame it on the buchi. The good thing was the so-fun Pinoy Henyo game burned a few of the calories I took in.

Party #1
Party #2

Marco Polo’s associates gala ushered the first party for December. The cheese and crackers plus a glass of red wine and the fabulous display of talent of the employees in their presentations halted the onslaught of the hunger pangs. Though dinner was tempting, I was glad I had my fill earlier.

Party #3

Mid-month, it was time for the “dream team” to gather for the annual exchanging of gifts where everyone is a manito and manita. The lively chit-chat (like we haven’t seen each other for ages) made a lovely complement to the soup and salad. I ended my meal at that but the evening’s merrymaking lasted until way past the resto’s closing time. 

Party #4

I would think the SunStar Christmas party was the culprit. I re-established my love affair for the lechon in this reception. Of course, no carbs. Yeah, right. Had the departments’ presentation came ahead, I would have forgotten all about dinner. All the shows were hilarious! The editorial department’s mish-mash of headliners took home the blue ribbon. 

Party #5

Good friend and perennial hostess with the mostest, Dina M., gathered the gang for Christmas dinner. She loves to cook for us, she said. Dina always makes a mean spread of cocktails to desserts, with drinks to match (she hires a bartender all the time!) and we make sure we are present. I always never make it past cocktails, the main course I can forgo but never the dessert. She was the reason why I learned to bake the apple pie. Well, she has more tricks on her baking sleeves these days. 

Party #6

Then came the bigger party for everyone- fun, games, drink, dine. On the two buffet spreads of specialty dishes, I only had my eyes on the lechon. It was glowing in its glorious color of crispiliciousness! How can anyone resist? 

Party #7

One of the best reasons to smile would be the Down Syndrome Association’s holiday party. I love these angels! They love to dance, perform and whatever little gift they receive, their faces light up like they won the lottery. Their gratitude is always genuine. It’s a reminder to count every blessing that come my way and be grateful. Only my heart “grew fat” on the last party on my list.

Party #8

But the 8 million calorie count didn’t end there. I just didn’t list where I amassed more. Let’s just say the good ol’ lechon was a nice way to end 2011 and another greeted me on the first hour of 2012.

Now, I am on my Project: Belly Bust program. I don’t regret feasting over the holidays and celebrating with the people close to my heart. I have to thank everyone for making it a fabulous season and say that they’re right, it was not a good time to go on a diet during Christmas.

For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/ and http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/

Published in SunStar Weekend newspaper on January 8, 2012.