ON CHRIST­MAS

Let’s Eat - - LETS EAT -

I’ve spent a to­tal of one, count ‘em: ex­actly one Christ­mas abroad. And be­lieve me, that’s more than enough for a life­time. In spite of the fact that I spent it in the win­ter won­der­land that’s Toronto, it still lacked some­thing, or rather, a lot of things: the in­escapable croon­ing of Jose Mari Chan, the swarms of smil­ing street chil­dren knock­ing on my car win­dows, the silly but en­dear­ing com­pany party pre­sen­ta­tions with clichéd themes, and most of all, the Christ­mas lanterns that light up our coun­try in De­cem­ber, bea­cons of hap­pi­ness and hope for the year ahead. That sense of miss­ing the spirit of “Mali­gayang Pasko” was tan­gi­ble in­deed. There re­ally is noth­ing like Christ­mas in the Philip­pines.

Our hol­i­day season, the long­est in the world, will never be com­plete with­out lots of loved ones around, matched by an al­most ab­surd abun­dance of food; after all, we Filipinos re­ally cel­e­brate Christ­mas around the din­ing ta­ble. In this spe­cial is­sue, we fea­ture three of our fa­vorite restau­rants, all with great food and yes, great booze -- the bet­ter to make merry with fam­ily and friends. We’re also shar­ing our fa­vorite Noche Buena slash mid­night snack treats, be­cause when it’s Christ­mas, re­mem­ber: calo­ries don’t count. Here’s to the hap­pi­est time of the year…

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