The eve of New Year's Day was a bit slow for me - maybe because we didn't really plan to serve much for Media Noche. At 9:30PM, we went to the chapel to hear mass, and when we got home, I took a nap to recharge myself. Sister woke me up at 11:30PM, and my plans of cooking / preparing tacos and mojo potatoes wasn't done, as I needed to get myself ready in welcoming the new year. Good thing brother took care of the tacos. Thanks, bro!
We (and some close neighbors) don't really put up firecrackers and / or fireworks every new year, so we just make our own noises. Some neighbors put up some fireworks, and we just content ourselves watching as the skies lit up.
When we went back home, our neighbor Bebeth came over with a half-ful bottle of Lambanog (Arrack) - commonly described as coconut wine or coconut vodka. The drink is distilled from the sap of the unopened coconut flower and is particularly potent, having a typical alcohol content of 80 to 90 proof after a single distillation, but may go as high as 166 proof after the second distillation. It is commonly made in the South Luzon, where the Jacelas ('te Bebeth's family) hailed from. 'te Bebeth wanted us to have some lambanog shots, and since I still haven't the drink, I was a bit excited about it. We invited Czarina (our next door neighbor) to join us, and next thing we know members of the Jacela and Raboy families were already gathered in our terrace.
It was a first time for us to celebrate the New Year together. Each of us took a shot of the lambanog while sharing stories and eating snacks. It was so funny seeing some of our neighbors having hesitations about taking the shot (as they don't really drink), but it was much fun seeing the elders - my mom and tita Prosy ('te Bebeth's mom) also taking a shot. After the lambanog, we also took shots of the vodka. Nobody got drunk, thank heavens. :)
We also had the annual coin toss, and I was lucky to get 27 pesos worth of coins. It's a tradition between our family and the Raboys ever since we were kids - just so people would have their own money at the start of the year.
The little party ended at around 2:30AM, but after the guests have left, us family still took time to pose for some pictures, also an annual tradition. And because we now use a digital camera, we can get wacky with the poses as well.
I didn't sleep right away, but when I hit the bed, I could feel that my head was heavy and wobbly - probably because I was already sleepy and the alcohol didn't help. After a few games on my cell phone, I dozed off to sleep. This has been one of the best New Year's Day welcome we've had. But, time and time again, I miss my dad during this time - He would always put some Jive Bunny music on full blast during New Years Eve, something that I miss hearing. I miss dancing with my dad. But... I have to move on.
2009 has been good, hopefully 2010 will be better.
Happy New Year!
*** Jenn ***