New Year is normally a family affair rather than partying the night away at a club (disco you have to be careful when you say club here as many assume your talking bikini bar). People generally stay in their own neighbourhoods and welcome in New Year at their homes as the immediate family is the priority on the festivity. To be honest its also the safest way to enjoy New Year unless your within your own compound. I enjoy fireworks but you will find kids setting them off in all directions and another Expat told me about a young child losing an eye from one during the celebrations near him. Others told me of houses catching fire and the big question on everyone’s lips is “why do people let it happen every year?”. Because unlike the UK a lot of these fireworks are homemade and are often decorated with the Christmas wrappers left over from Christmas. I agree with recycling but not when people are messing around with gunpowder and other explosive materials in built up residential areas.. At this time of year you can normally see parts of major cities alight where fireworks factories have exploded and set fire to the neighbourhood.. So like I said best way to celebrate is at home with the family, April was on the ball as usual with her cookery expertise creating some delicious dishes for the night polished off with some California wine. Main reason for the cheaper end of wines is that the wine doesn’t travel well from Europe and if I am going to be having tainted wine it might as well be a cheap one no point wasting money.. Can enjoy the good wine when I am next in Moselle valley where I got spoiled on wine tastes.
But the food on the evening with no visitors coming over and it just being a family affair on top of the fact we were still recovering from the costs of Christmas and Wilhelm’s christening it wasn’t a flamboyant affair but still some mouth watering dishes for the evening.
I recently was talking to someone who was explaining me about freeloading neighbours and relatives where he is that will simply expect to gate crash or invite themselves to things they shouldn’t yet have the brass neck to complain if not invited. An expat rule here and the same goes for OFW’s its a local saying “its up to you” and that’s what everything comes down to. I had an event previously where around 40 people were looking to self invite themselves yet they were invited to the event but hadn’t told them yet. When I found out I cancelled all their invitations. Events are part of respect and appreciation, I invite people to Christenings, birthdays, Christmas parties out of wanting to share events with them and as soon as people think its free food and drink to use and abuse well they simply miss out on that event if I find out in advance and definitely won’t be entertaining them ever at one of our events. I give respect so I expect it in return there is no obligation to give to people that don’t appreciate it and to be honest I would rather take a box of matches to the money than let them sit there eating my food and drinking my beer sniggering to themselves. I sound hard line on this subject and its because I have seen so many people have this issue and they don’t stop it often wives are being blackmailed by relatives in some form and the Expat just sits there biting his lip. You don’t need to.. its not Filipino culture and its not yours don’t entertain it.
Getting back to the night it may seem odd but we also kept the internet cafe running as it was busy with kids thinking there was a crossfire promotion happening where they got free gifts in the game. Don’t know if it did but generally if we are awake we are doing business somewhere.. always a busy household and New Years was no exception as alcohol and other drinks were high on the order list at the sari-sari store constantly. Music and Karaoke started early on and continued with an hours break around 3.30am before continuing until at least midday on the 1st. Then on and off its still going on now January 4th which gets back to the point Filipino’s often may not have a lot but they definitely know how to have a party and make do. All smiles and enjoying the little things in life such as family, food and good company..
Happy New Year!