Christmas, like how it should be

Joji & Nicole at the ligthing of the Christmas Tree of Gratitude

Finally, photos that show the smiles! You can’t imagine how frustrating it is to take photos of masked faces for articles. It’s as good as faceless. With confidence, smiles are caught on camera once more. It’s the best kind of sparkle this Yuletide Season. 

Interaction is past FaceTime and now face to face, Netflix and its Koreanovelas take a back seat (hooray to vaccine!), and thanks to everything that kept us sane throughout the confinement period. Now, it’s time to gather around the Christmas tree sans the mask, if you’re confident. 

Gatherings return with a vengeance. The social calendar has never been busier for everyone. Count me in. I don’t say no to any Christmas tree lighting event that helps brighten the townscape—and anyone’s disposition. We all need to get back the Holiday shine we missed out on twice.

At dusitD2 tree lighting with GM Christoph Kuch

Which towering tree dazzled me? All the ones I’ve seen brought out the child in me, and for sure brings joy to everyone who sees them. But I personally fancy the ones that salutes the Filipinos, like the trees of Abreeza, Park Inn and Waterfront Insular (a look that truly fits the tropical hotel’s vibe). If opulence is the category, dusitD2 and JIB International School’s trees are emitting the glitter. 

At the JIB Christmas tree lighting

Now, the parties are sprinkled with fun. At my age, catching up with friends includes reminiscing about the past and current health updates before juicy tidbits arise and the gifts are exchanged. For corporate hosted parties, it’s minus the medicine prescriptions topic. But whatever the gathering, the affairs are always livened up with parlor games—with covetable prizes, like KitKat chocolate for me is covetable. These prizes bring out the gold medal-aspiring athlete in all of us whether taking part in a Balloon Centipede Race, Limbo Rock or a mind game. Luck is on my side this year with me bagging the top prize on the raffle draws of two parties I attended. It’s short of a miracle, I must admit. Any other raffle draws coming up?

Megaworld celebrates Christmas F2F with the Davao family anew

Brothers & sisters from another mother, as the saying goes

Christmas with the SunStar Davao family

Food is tastier in the company of people close to one’s heart. I would attest to that, and confess, too, that diet is not on my Christmas list (some things never change). The beauty of that is I get to try everything and discover new flavors that create an explosion of flavors on the palate, like VANDA’s Signature Salad, and feast on the all-time favorites, like Leandro’s Macaroni Salad, Bistro Rosario’s Ribbonette Cake, a childhood favorite, and Misto’s Roasted Angus Beef Short Plate.

Waterfront Insular Davao after tree lighting treat

VANDA dining. The after dinner episode was wild

My fridge is like a pastry shop filled with goodies from generous souls. Thank you, dusitD2, Park Inn, Waterfront Insular and Acacia hotels, and from friends, too. I’ll worry about HbA1C next month, but the thought of having high marks on this test is scary. 

What’s on your gift wish list? I think I’m not alone when wishing for something practical, but I may be alone in preference for kitchen and household cleaning items, which I know I can use (again, the age). But I’m not going to complain if I do get a basic black T-shirt or a Tank Francaise. Like I said, I am practical. LOL. 

Before I end this story, let me share what I’ve always exerted on when planning a get-together. Make it happen no matter the number of confirmation. Don’t wait to complete the attendance because chances are, it won’t happen soon. Worst of all, the list loses one member. Make each gathering happen. No matter the number of attendees it will always be special. 

My sisters from AdDU 81

Happy Holidays, folks! Make each second of every Yuletide gathering count. Be grateful. Spread joy and kindness. Smile! This is how Christmas should be.

For travel stories, visit
Follow D’ Durian Daily & The Commuter on Facebook