Cold Christmas

Did a couple of personality profiles for Rogue magazine in the last stretch of the year. The first was on TV personality Tessie Tomas for the November issue, second was on master musician Joey Ayala for the Jan-Feb issue. Pretty neat.

Spent the latter half of the Christmas season dodging friends and acquaintances, choosing to hermit out instead. Christmas eve found me in the heart of Ortigas, in one of em fancy hotels.

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The ubiquitous security guards were whipping out their phones and snapping photos of the fog-topped buildings. A pretty rare sight for this tropical country, I guess. This might have been the coldest Christmas in recent memory.

Walked around the eerily quiet business district in the last hours of December 24. Few stragglers were hurriedly closing up shops to grab the last bus or train to get home and be with their families. Even the hobos were mysteriously missing from their sleeping spots in parking lots. Hopefully, somewhere out of the cold.

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I bought a bottle of expensive wine from the mall and cheap whole roasted chicken near the bus terminal before heading back to the hotel. The men manning the chicken shop were getting drunk on gin because they were spending their Christmas working the coals instead of with their families. I bought them a bag of hard boiled eggs from a nearby store and they wished me a good one.

Back in the fancy hotel, I sat on the carpeted floor in front of the window overlooking the flickering city lights and ate the greasy chicken with my hands. I would check out the next day and spend Christmas on the road with my family, to get lost in various islands until after the New Year rolled around.

Got a text right before Christmas though. I ignored most holiday greetings, but this one in particular caught me off guard–

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