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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, December 25, 2020

entry arrow12:00 PM | Two Unplanned Noche Buenas

I had no plans to do noche buena for Christmas this year. This pandemic year has upended all expected things—and while I have not seen my family in months, I also had no wish to be in close range with them, indoors, and trust in fate to keep us safe and in check, health-wise. My mother was nearing 90, a demographic of some concern, and I felt keenly for her well-being—and so when my brother Dennis texted me the details of our Christmas dinner—"Be here by 5:45 PM"—I was ready to ignore the invitation, and keep to an inchoate wish to stay in the confines of my little apartment, eat what I could find in my refrigerator, and do some lonesome chilling with Netflix.

But the s.o. dropped by around 5 PM, full of cheer and love, and wanted to know what I was doing Christmas Eve. "I don't want you to be alone," he said.

Something in his voice, in his genuine care for my welfare, touched me profoundly, and I found myself asking for a lift to my brother's house in Pulantubig, as well as a promise he'd pick me up at 8 PM so I could join his own family for their midnight Christmas salubong feast.

So I had my family, and my s.o.'s family, for Christmas company—a bittersweet turn of events that makes me think deep about the depths of love, the frailties of life, and the chance we give ourselves for slivers of happiness.

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