Happy New Year!
I can’t believe we’ve just ushered a new year. Following the noise and revelry which lasted up to three this morning, it is unusually quiet and boring in my little corner of the world, considering that today is the first day of 2011.
Here’s how it goes in the Philippines: everyone goes all out when we usher in the New Year. That means fireworks are everywhere and in every street (unlike in key cities around the globe where the fireworks display is held in one place. Read: Times Square, Sydney Opera House, etc). In the Philippines, it’s free-for-all. So as the year comes to a close, one can be assured of an experience that will assail the senses: free flowing food and booze; company and conversation; and the image of someone’s mom (mine, to be exact) dressed in a red and white polka dot combo while beating the crap out of a iron roof sheet as “she tries to scare away the evil spirits of the old year and usher in good vibes for the new year”.
Please don’t ask me to explain the last statement as I will need to touch on centuries of Philippine colonial history and all that shit.
Anyway, after all the revelry, merry-making and general craziness of New Year’s Eve comes…nothing. Yes, today officially the first day of the new year and there is nothing to do but channel-surf, go Facebooking the whole day, eat (New Year Eve dinner left overs), read your backlog of books from 2010 or in the case of Filipinos: do the videoke thing and sing like there’s no tomorrow.
I don’t understand why malls don’t open on the first day of the new year. Is it because employees were still hung over following all the partying of the new year? I remember back when I was younger, my mom and dad will bring us all three kids to what ever was open on January 01 (mall, parks, etc) and treat us to any restaurant we desired. Unfortunately, there was never any mall open so we usually spend the day eating at a fastfood restaurant near our place then we head back home.
On our way home earlier from a quick visit to the in-laws, I counted about six videoke machine set-ups within just two blocks. In one set-up, a woman was caterwauling on lost love and a seven day affair, while in another a group of friends were dancing to a song. Faced with the lack of anything to do on January 01, people resort to singing.
As for me, I am already getting stir crazy due to the lack of anything to do. I would have wanted to take a visit anywhere or even shop anywhere as long as it will require me to get dressed, ride a cab and be somewhere where I am surrounded by people and stuff to buy. 01-01-11 and the first thing I get is a bad case of cabin fever.