|A huge Christmas Tree rises in the middle of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
Filipinos love Christmas. In fact, Christmas season starts to annually creep into our existence as early as September in the Philippines when people begin "decking the halls with boughs of holly" - and the revelry stretches on until the 2nd week of January. Christmastide officially covers Christmas day until New Year. Essentially, the Pinoy season is almost 3 months longer. Why not? There's the unshakable festive feeling. People are kinder and more generous. Who wouldn't want all that to linger?
BIRTHDAY AND TRAVEL SEASON 2014
November is travel season for me mostly because this is my birth month. Fact is, I have not been home during birthdays in the last 10 years or so. I like it that way. It's a personal time for me - I prefer when people don't fuss over you just because it's your birthday. I've experienced memorable things and seen places during these "international birthdays" - like the bombing in Mumbai; a frozen night walk in Kathmandu; a horrific bus ride between Vietnam and Laos, basking in Maldivian sun on a sand dune in the middle of the ocean; getting a surprise birthday cake from the hotel staff in Kandy in Sri Lanka, celebrating a miserable night at a derelict hotel in Delhi where tap water runs a muddy stream, etc. But who complains about these kinds of birthday celebrations? Not me.
Last November, I once again embarked on a trip that took me to so many places encompassing 3 continents, more than 15 cities/towns, 11 hotels, and 13 plane rides! As an added bonus, I was able to experience a slice of the Christmas season in these places. I've included local places after arrival back in my own country - for completion. And ain't it such a joy!
Joy to the World indeed. What about you? Where were you last Christmas?
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|Christmasland at the foyer of a shop along Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo, Brazil.|
|At the Novotel Jaragua Hotel's breakfast restaurant in Sao Paulo, Brazil|
|A Christmas Tree greets its guests at the Atlantis Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Love this hotel.|
|Baby Christmas trees and poinsettias at a Zonal Sul supermercado in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.|
|A manger at Cruz del Sur bus terminal in Lima, Peru.|
|Cruz del Sur chooses a "blue" Christmas in Lima, Peru.|
|A more sedate Christmas spirit at a shop in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.|
|Tulips at a Dutch shop makes sandwich cafes Christmasy. Don't you think?|
|Trees made into Christmas bouquets in Paris, France.|
|Pomp and pageantry at the Berjaya Times Square in Bukit Bintang, KL, Malaysia.|
|This is my favorite mall and cineplex in KL.|
|At the Nu Central Mall in KL Sentral, KL, Malaysia.|
|Lavish Christmas spread at the Pavilion in KL, Malaysia.|
|2014's theme is "Christmas Magnificence" and the Pavilion surely overdid themselves this year (KL, Malaysia).|
|Like walking into a Christmas dream... at the Pavilion in KL, Malaysia.|
|I took my family to Acuatico Resort in San Juan, Batangas just before the New Year.|
|Christmas display in SM Aura, Taguig, Metro Manila.|
|SM Aura, Taguig|
|The Terraces @ the Ayala Mall in Cebu City.|