I must admit that I am a bit sad that I am away from home during the holidays. As I was telling a friend the other day, I have this notion that I am entitled to have Christmas blues since this is my first, away from my loved ones. Truth is I am not the yuletide type of person, but Christmas for me has always been about family which is why I cannot help but feel a bit melancholy.
Another reason is that December 31 is the birthday of my most favorite woman in the planet – my mom. This is her first birthday that I won’t be there to give her a great big hug, and as expected, the first is always the hardest. As much as I enjoy every new experience here in Libya, a great big part of me is left with my mom back home.
Still, as a friend told me, I find solace in knowing that I am still blessed to be here with JG. As many of you know, many Filipinos choose to work abroad in hopes of finding greener pastures. And unlike me, they must endure homesickness all by themselves. So I am still thankful for what I have.
It is not all that bad, like I said, I suppose this is a natural reaction; I will get over this and just look forward to the day that I can once again spend Christmas at home. Besides, Pinoys here in Libya are doing the best they can to at least keep the Christmas spirit alive.
The other day, the embassy had a small party. We shared a nice dinner, had parlor games for the kids, and of course no Pinoy party is complete without the videoke. Everybody sang, including JG who rarely does, broke out his most heartfelt rendition of “The Impossible Dream”. I almost passed out laughing, and the staff was probably shocked to see their often quiet Vice Consul show-off his singing prowress – or lack there of. Yes, I did sing as well as I agreed to, in the condition that JG does (which I really thought he wouldn’t). A few weeks ago, we flew to Benghazi for the second time to attend another party for a Philippine school, which was a treat since watching kids perform in all their cuteness is always fun for me. Also tomorrow we will be going to another party for the Philippine Community.
And I think it actually helps that as some parts of the world celebrates, it is but a normal day here in Libya. It feels a bit weird I must admit, but it helps that there is not much to remind you of what is happening back home. And the locals, as well as our Muslim kababayans, are nice enough to respect our Christian tradition, some even greeted me “Merry Christmas”. My new friend from work, even helped my buy some toys for the embassy kids, guiding me through Babelhiriya and the old city so I won’t get lost.
So yes I am sad about being away from home this holiday season, but there is much to be grateful too; which after all what Christmas is also about. Maligayang Pasko po! (Merry Christmas!).