Our family started the year off with our yearly tradition of lighting fireworks and firecrackers on New Year’s Eve. More noise equals more luck for the year, at least according to some people. Also, it’s a popular Chinese belief that the loud noises will chase evil spirits away.
Ezra and I were too scared to go near the “heavy duty” fireworks, since we’ve heard too many horror stories about people losing a finger (or sometimes their whole hand), so we mainly played around with the sparklers, which were a lot safer.
(My mom requires us to wear red every new year for good luck)
We lit a couple of these glowing things too, I’m not sure what they’re called though. Lusis?
That’s my cousin Gilbert, backing away in case the thing explodes (it’s been known to happen, thankfully not to us).
Our family used to spend a lot on fireworks every year, but ever since we discovered that we’ve got a pretty good view of Trace College, we settled for watching the firework display that they put up every new year’s eve instead. It’s less effort for us, and saves us money as well.
Here are a few photos I took of the fireworks from Trace College (I just placed my camera on a tripod and clicked away):
Ckloy couldn’t spend the new year with me since he had to work, so we just greeted each other on YM.
It was our very first video chat ^___^ Can you believe it? We’ve been together for 5 years but we’ve never had a video chat session before this XD Well, he’s seen me many times on webcam before, but since the laptop he’s using doesn’t have a built-in webcam, this is my first time to see him (he borrowed the webcam from a friend).
On New Year’s Day, we went to Marikina to spend some time with my aunts who would be heading back to California after the holidays.
One of my aunts wanted to go to Luneta Park to watch Manila Ocean Park’s musical fountain show. She’s been begging my uncle to take her there even since she saw the advertisement on TV a few weeks ago. Since she’ll be leaving in a few days, we decided to take her there to see it – definitely not one of our brightest ideas. We got stuck in traffic for almost 2 hours before reaching the park! And when we got there, we found the place overflowing with people. It was so chaotic! Since there was no place left to sit in the actual park, people were having their picnics on the sidewalk, wallowing in pollution from the vehicles on the road. All the parking spaces were taken, so people parked their cars on the street, which definitely didn’t help with the traffic. It was so bad that we didn’t even want to get out of the car. In the end, we decided to just head back home. And of course we got stuck in traffic again. By this time my PSP had run out of battery, so I took pictures of light trails to pass the time.
On the way home, we stopped by Sofitel Philippine Plaza because my mom and aunts wanted to inquire about room rates. And also because we all needed to use the bathroom and stretch our legs a little after being stuck in traffic for so long.
Road leading to the hotel entrance
Dining area. I love the staircase.
Huge cage with no birds in it, just candles
Mirror shot in the bathroom since the lighting there was really nice (hotel bathrooms always have nice lighting for some reason)
Pretty bokeh from the Christmas lights in the lobby
Raffy took this shot
Back in Marikina, my uncle decided to show us this awesome house along the road. What’s so special about it? See for yourself:
Yes, that is a house. A real house where real people live. Not a store or an amusement park (or a casino).
We actually got down from the car to take pictures because it was so cool. And we weren’t the only ones. The sidewalk was filled with cars and people who stopped to take pictures of the house.
(I was trying to take a picture of the people and the parked cars in front of the house when Ezra hopped into the shot. But you get the idea, there were lots of people there.)
I think my uncle mentioned that this house was even featured on the local news or something.
Anyway, after our failed adventure (which ended up being fun in its own way), we headed home to have a second dinner. For some reason being stuck in traffic made us all very hungry. Then we chatted with each other a bit more, planned our activities for the next day and went to bed.
And that’s is pretty much how I spent the first day of 2011. Nothing too fancy, but I definitely enjoyed it. Good way to start the new year 🙂