November musings: the brighter side

Half of Manhattan was thrown in total darkness

THERE was Sandy, then the snow. It was cold, vey cold, and dark. In the East Coast, it was a chance to get a glimpse of life in the past, void of new world conveniences— candle lit nights when great conversation ruled and smart phones set aside (it’s not as smart minus the power it needed to run), warmth came from not only from throws and blankets but from the company of good friends as well, and “hiking” to the tenth floor (several times a day) was good for the heart, thighs and butt, I said to myself between gasps for air.

One snowy night in Boston

Candle lit dinner in lower Manhattan

There is always something to be thankful for, things we only see during unfortunate times– including gas run ranges to cook and heat water for bathing, for growing up Pinoy with “tabo” (what’s exact English translation for the word?) and “balde” as implements for cleansing rituals which the Westerners cannot comprehend and perform. So who smelled better when Sandy came?

All dressed up to meet Sandy. What I had to go through to satisfy a craving for donuts.

Who would have thought I’d be in the center of it all? After a long, hectic and tiring visit to this place a couple of years back, every state started to look the same that I said won’t be back to visit in another five years. But to see the one and only “lola” was a chance of a lifetime— Vogue-ing was in order and it cannot be denied. Madonna had me eat my words, and on the second row of the concert, I gladly munched on them. 

I was this close to the goddess

After finally seeing the goddess in person from two meters away, I caught Sandy’s major stunt. Both performances “brought the house down”, so to speak.

I was glad I took this trip. For the very first time, I flew a long haul flight in utmost comfort in business class. Though only curtains separate the area from coach, there is a world of difference—food, drinks, service and comfort. If I can afford to travel this way all the time, I would. Sometimes missing the original date of departure turns into a blessing.

Trip delay turned into a blessing....

Then there’s the question of how long should I be gone. It was meant to be a month that became forty days then back to thirty. Then I decided not to spend my birthday or Thanksgiving a mile from the ground and rather spend it with family. Forty-five days. Too long.

Actually, time flew by. There were a gazillion things to do and see in the states I visited-- spent time with friends I haven’t seen in ages, explored new spots and mimicked Anthony Bourdain and ate just about anything recommended (please hold off on the “you gained weight” comment when you see me).

NYC stop: Crif Dogs. Because I saw Anthony Bourdain TV show.

Time well spent, so was moolah. Shopping was on a budget but no thanks to Martin Margiela x H&M collab, I overspent (there was Armani, Missoni and Miyake to blame as well). The funny thing was I didn’t camp out in the cold waiting for the store doors to open, I held off and went after lunch praying that I could take home a piece. Surprise! No one was on the men’s department. Yet I panicked, like I had competition. Thus, overweight luggage to the tune of $50 upon check-in. Let me weep over the bills later, the turkey was waiting.

No need to panic....but I did anyway @ opening day of Margiela x H&M Collab.
The new H&M at Time Warner was the place to be--no competition!

Thanksgiving was special at the Lone Star State. I was surrounded with family, friends and a multitude of stores screaming my favorite word – sale. After partaking of the turkey, we dove into the Black Friday frenzy. It was 8AM when we got home. Like I said, let me weep on the bills later, I was happy, contented and wanted to sleep.

Sunrise on Black Friday, time to head home.

Maybe there was Sandy and a snowstorm but it made me realize how important appreciating every little thing around me. Maybe I stayed too long in this place but the experience was every second awesome. Maybe the credit card was deeply scratched due to countless swiping but what I got made me happy.

It’s always nice to look at the brighter side. For all these I am extremely grateful. I am blessed, and believe I will always be.

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Published in Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 2, 2012.

In the company of fabulous friends....

Freshly vogue-d with Tess, Jinky, Tenny, Mayee, Jenny & Claudine.

With Jonah & Tonypet @ Eat-aly

With Nuhma & Richie

Early morning send-off. Thanks San Antonio denizens!

With Tenny & Jovic in Buffalo.

Finally made it to Boston to see Cris & George.

With Tony & Victoria @ the Armani Ristoranti

At the Donut Plant in NYC (where relationships last longer) with the 'Sex & the city' girls- Keng, Jenny, Tetel & Rica.

Frisco family- Malu, Eski, Diane, Iya, Marco, Buddy & Philip.