It's over.

No more sleepless nights.

No more rushed fastfood dinners.

No more contortionist sleeping positions on the office swivel chair.

The mad rush to produce advance stories is finally over, and right now I have two stress-free weeks to celebrate the holidays.



We celebrated the company Christmas party last Friday.

I don't know if everybody was just too stressed to be in party mood but I remembered happier celebrations. The Christmas presentations weren't very grand and unique. But what really irked me the most was the food situation.

The food service was no good at all. It took a whole two hours before they served the set meal so it was already cold. It didn't even taste good. It took a whole hour before they served our drinks and everbody was just pissed at how slow the caterer's response time is. One of the kids was already crying of hunger.

All I can say is, if you can't handle a catering situation systematically, then don't get the job at all. You just made our Christmas party even sadder than it is. I think it's gonna be quite a long time before I will eat Japanese again.

Oh, last but not least, they gave out more than a hundred prizes (in cash and in kind) during the raffle and I didn't win a single one (and so did a hundred others).

But it wasn't all bad. There were a few redeeming values, like: the grand fireworks every other hour, the unknown but great band that kept us on our feet for hours, our department winning the Christmas presentation contest (thanks to Dance Diva Nestie's all out performance), and the most awaited announcement of all time: the Christmas bonus!

I went home at around 3am, quite disappointed and exhausted. I flopped on my bed and woke up for lunch hours later. It was time to get ready for the V Amihans Christmas party.

The Amihans

Amihans is a collective term for the alumni staff of our University paper, the Varsitarian. There are Amihan groups for every "era" but the motto is always the same, "Once a V, always a V."

Our group was pretty tight when we were still in college. So tight, that we spent more time at the publication office more than our classrooms. Even then I was already in the habit of not going home for days on end since we had to spend overnights at the office to finish the issues. (But that's another story.)

Anyway, after graduation, we would meet up every now and then and have GTGs (our term for get togethers). We would reminisce over coffee the good ol' days and how ______ is still in love with _______ or how _______ bashed _______ so fiercely, or how the dark room holds the secrets of ________, _________ and _________.

The number of GTGs dwindled as the years passed, at least for me. I got eaten by my busy schedule and almost lost all contact with my friends. The Christmas party was a yearly thing since we all bid our goodbyes at the V, but I think I was absent in two of them.

So this year, I didn't think twice in confirming my attendance when I got an invitation from Kuya Ipe (our former Editor in Chief and father pillar of the group). This was an event I'm not going to miss ever again.

A and I met up at Megamall to buy gifts for our "babies" before we set out to Kuya Feli's house in Dimasalang, a historical place in V books because it was our third home next to the office.

Good thing my Kernie was patient enough to tag along and keep me on my shopping course so I won't get distracted by screaming SALE! SALE! SALE! signs all over the mall. He even drove us to Kuya Feli's house (my kernie's such a sweet baby!)

I wanted him to stay but he had to go home to Laguna to visit his parents. He won't be seeing them much for the holidays because this week is their team's airing week for Extra (bugger!)

When we arrived, everyone was almost there. There was a lot of great food at the table courtesy of Louie and Carli's loving hands. They went early to cook for us (awww....)

I wanted to take a lot of pictures but the house was a wee bit dark and my camera phone's no good. Too bad. ( Makes me more convinced that i really ought to invest in a digicam.) I'll try to upload some of the photos my friends took later.

Kuya Feli brought out his collection of old V photos, he has one of the most extensive collections among all the members of the V. Name the event and he has it.

Memories.... memories....memories....

Of drunken nights, past Miss Varsi beauty pageants, old flames, overnights at the office for the last presswork day that would never end...

There was a tinge of past happiness and pain here and there. A friend pointed to an old picture.

Friend: Jayme, tignan mo si __________ o? Yihee... (Jayme, look it's ___________. Yihee....)"
Me: Ah ok....
Friend: Nagkita na ba kayo uli? (Have you seen each other yet?)
Me: Not yet.
Friend: Kung nakita niya lang kung gaano ka na kaganda ngayon. (if only he saw how beautiful you are now.)

He was part of the past. And there's no pain anymore, just questions. But I didn't dwell on it as much because I was too busy examining how different we looked then.

My hair then was still short (some would mistake me for a lesbian) and unruly. I still wasn't kikay enough to discover the wonders of the blowdryer then so I would always plop a gunk of Suave hairdressing cream on my hair (ewww...) just to keep it tame. My face still had pimple scars and was always so oily, a result of my crazy astringent overdose.

Thank God for a huge sense of self confidence, I still thought I was pretty.

After earning my own money and discovering Cosmopolitan magazine years later, I became a changed woman.


The night was young and reminiscing shouldn't take over.

It was time for charades!

A V Christmas party will never be complete without charades.

The group was divided in 2 with Carli as the moderator. The prize money grew from 500 pesos to 1,500. So competition was very stiff.

After a few rounds, Paul our Comm Arts grad turned Nursing student just got news that he passed the licensure exams. (Congrats Paul!) He was so ecstatic he generously donated 500 pesos more to the pot. Thus the competition moved from stiff to fierce.

Everyone was all eyes and ears as we threw our best members to act out the clues. Incidentally, the hardest ones always fell on our group. But I won't use that as an excuse for losing the game. Blame it on comprehension slowed down by food and holiday chill (still not an excuse...he..he...) We almost won had we guessed the song "Rainy Days and Mondays" by the Carpenters.

But there were no sore losers. Because no one came home with the prize money. We all trooped to Starbucks Morato after the game and spent all the money on coffee and drinks for everybody.

This time, the lighting was okay so I took some pics.

Carli and Luwi, the cooks and life of the party

Marisse and Doc Gerald, they're not a couple but I think they look cute together (hint! hint!)

My boy - friend Paul, still ecstatic and all smiles

A, the other life of the party and my bestest girl

Modelo kami

Modelo trio

The firing squad

This our end of the table, there are still 16 others on the opposite side

At past 3am, there were plans of going to the Simbang Gabi at UST at 4am, but I was too tired to go.

It was a great party. One that reminds me how blessed I am to have such equally great friends. Didn't realize how much I've missed them til then. I know I should appreciate them more.


A, Nay Carli, Kuya Feli, Sir Jere, Kuya Ipe, Adrian, Kris, Leah, Barbs, Dexter, Alder, Brix, Christian, Sheila, Marisse, Lyn, Louie, Paul, and Doc Gerald:

Thanks Guys for a wonderful Christmas party! You make me feel so blessed to have friends. Can't wait for the next get together!


sheila said…
yay! this is sheila. reading this has made me remember a lot, especially the xmas party. anyway, you've got a nice blog. just found this by accident. take care!

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