Month: November 2014

Home(sick) for the Holidays

Christmas carols and countdowns starting the very first day of September. Holiday decorations everywhere you go: lanterns, twinkling lights and for me personally, a Christmas tree that was already up by the time I celebrate my birthday in the middle of November. Even smells coming from traditional holiday rice cakes, puto bumbong and bibingka, remind you of the season. Everyone looks forward to simbang gabi or nine mornings, midnight masses where friends and family all try to wake up early and complete all nine masses, and if you do, a blessing is believed to come your way. The Philippines has what is said to be the longest Christmas celebration in the world, beginning in September through the Feast of the Three Kings, January 6th. It’s one of the things I miss the most about the holidays — the anticipation for the most joyous time of the year. When I first moved to the US, not yet hearing holiday songs on the radio and seeing decors when they were already having daily countdowns in the Philippines …

The Chrysler Building; and Not Only Seeing, But Understanding

One sees differently from different angles. May it be when looking at something’s tangible physical attribute or in an argument, a fresh view leads to not only seeing but understanding. Weekly photo challenge: Angular The Chrysler Building as seen from New York City’s The Ride, a tourist bus that takes people around midtown Manhattan while entertainers perform inside the vehicle and on the streets. (We did not particularly love The Ride, mostly because we thought it was going to bring us to more destinations. Perhaps if you’re familiar with the city don’t expect to be in awe.)

On Pain, Normalcy and Being Grateful

I have been thinking about moments lately. Moments — when we simply are. There is that age-old debate about Descarte’s philosophy, “I think, therefore, I am.” Are we the sum of our thoughts? It has been an interesting few weeks. I turn a year older in a few days, and in a span of give or take a week, I have learned more of the word pain than I would ever have wanted to. Four doctors’ offices and an ER visit later, a week and a half of sleepless nights with no answers and I was told the most likely explanation is trigeminal neuralgia, an often misdiagnosed and rare form of nerve disorder which many experts say is the most unbearably painful human condition. This experience is teaching me to be grateful of normalcy. Work, however hectic, helps me thrive and learn more each day. I used to think the days when I do not have migraine headaches are the days that make for being — and this past week, they were those pain-free minutes. …

Party for the Senses

As part of our Food and Wine Festival experience, we decided to purchase tickets to this year’s Party of the Senses. We found out that historically, famous chefs have participated in this event. This year they featured Disney chefs from around the world, cooking food representing their own culture and the Disney Parks they came from. It was a little chaotic waiting for the party to begin. It is a popular event and it was very crowded in the entrance while we were waiting for the doors to open. If you happen to be thinking of going in the future and purchasing general admission tickets, make sure you come early. Though there are seats and tables inside, people get concerned about being able to see the show and can get very aggressive once the curtain opens. We didn’t realize we could have gotten reserved seating, but at the end of the night if you could make it through the wait in the crowd, it is still a great time and may not have mattered. Once …

Epcot Food and Wine Festival

October in Disney’s Epcot has got to be the perfect time for foodies. The International Food and Wine Festival, appropriately marketed as “taste your way around the world,” is set up in such a way that you can hop from one booth to another and enjoy offerings influenced by different cultures. Once you have completed (tasted) a food item from a “destination,” you can have them stamp your Food and Wine Festival passport, which also lists what’s available in each location. For our anniversary this year, my boyfriend and I had the opportunity to go to Florida — this being a year we thought travel was out of the question, this was a truly blessing — and being the foodies that we are, the Food and Wine Fest was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. My apologies for the not-so-good photos of the food. It was a combination of the crowd and lack of places to sit. Our favorite was the Greek stand with their grilled greek cheese with pistachios and honey (a …