Tag Archive: Christmas

Not once, but twice. Got to do it a second time, because my battery died on me just when we were on the last stretch of the Navidad drive across the city center. Yes. Bummer to the core. I wanted so much to commit the lovely spectacle to memory. But I do need to document the scenario through my cam lest i fail to describe them well. And yes, I wasn’t so happy with the iPhone shots…… so i trooped back and joined the line.




Rode atop this bus 2x. Ikr.



Las luces y arbol de Navidad. These Madrileños do take their Christmas decor seriously. There were assigned artists/designers for certain streets. Not sure if there is a competition, but the variety from street to street certainly spelled excitement during the hour’s drive along Calle Serrano through Puerta del Alcala through Gran Via, Santo Domingo, back to Paseo de Recoletos and through Velasquez, Goya, etc and finally back to Calle Serrano. Don’t know all the names of the Calles but this second time around, I noticed the crowd getting thicker! Makes me mull over earlier plans to be in Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor area right on Christmas Day.



Metro stop: Plaza de Colon. Then walk towards Mikhael Kors shop along Calle Serrano.


Puerta del Alcala, looking like a bride waiting for the groom.

Calle Serrano is right within the posh neighborhood of Salamanca in Madrid. Somehow, I expected Christmas lights to be brighter and fancier in this barrio. What can I say? They were fancy, bright, colorful and festive. Just as it was everywhere else. If this is some competition, the judges would have a difficult time. If only the Navidad Bus would take time to stop for a few shots of the brightly-lit Puerta del Alcala. Or pause for a moment at the corner of Calle Goya or Calle Diego Velasquez!


This is right by the corner in Calle serrano where the line for the NaviBus starts.


Lovely spectacle in the posh neighborhood of Barrio Salamanca.

At 5 degree celsius and on a moving bus, it was an ordeal to take shots with frozen fingers. That plus almost everyone on the bus stands up to take shots everytime the NaviBus momentarily stops. Since this is my 2nd time, I earlier planned on WALKING around my fav streets but they were too many and kind of spread out, so I ditched the plan and took the bus at Plaza de Colon. Swell……… except that the windchill left me with freezing bones.


Still in Barrio Salamanca. One of my favorites!


Gran Via. Near the iconic Metropolis Building.

The iconic Palacio de Cibeles (called Palacio de Comunicaciones before 2011) looks like a gingerbread house, though one admits this edifice looks awesome even outside the Yuletide Season. The Puerta del Alcala all lighted up across Parque de Retiro somehow reminded me of December brides (don’t ask me why….), all veiled and vibrant. It’s a pity the Navidad Bus couldn’t navigate through the small streets and alleys with just as interesting luces or Christmas lights. They’re just as lovely and add to the festive spirit. Even posh department stores, signature shops and some government and big private buildings displayed some Christmas spirit.


Calle Serrano. So Christmasy!


Palacio de Cibeles looking like a Gingerbread house.

By the time the NaviBus negotiated its way back to Calle Serrano side of Plaza de Colon, the infants on the bus with me were asleep, the toddlers crying out of hunger, and the more senior gingerly walking down the steps (from the open top section of the bus), likely with freezing knees and limbs. As for the teens and young at heart? I wonder if they really joined the line to view the luces y arbol. They were very “BUSY” keeping themselves “warm” at the back of the bus. Ahem. 😉


Multi-colored Christmas Gift boxes?


Arbol de Navidad…… in funky pink!


Photo sourced from the Net. Feliz Navidad a todos!

The Day After Christmas

It’s the day after Christmas! But the festive mood is still very much in the air. After all, IT’S STILL CHRISTMAS elsewhere in the world. Greetings here and there, memories of Christmases spent here and there, family gatherings here and there. Thanks for the gift of technology, we were able to celebrate CHRIST-mas with loved ones ONLINE. 👍👍👍







A niece’s photo (first pic) of the neighborhood church I visited daily while living in Madrid brought in nostalgic memories. Such a powerful memory perfectly matching our sentiments this Season. Gratitude. Thank You, Jesus, for the many blessings. We may not be physically together, yet technology didn’t make us feel “separated”. We chatted as we prepared our Christmas dinners. We laughed as we donned our festive hats!






We all had a good laugh seeing how 2 sisters — oceans and thousands of miles apart — managed to don the same, IDENTICAL black dresses for Christmas Eve dinner. Not twins, but twin fashion sense. As I’ve mentioned to my nieces, fashion sense and sartorial preferences are not hereditary, but acquired preferences. Exposure counts. Much. Like my mom’s habit of shopping for 2 pairs of shoes or sandals bearing the same design — in 2 earth colors. Well, looks like we all picked up the same habit! On the other hand, there are families who simply dig vibrant hues and flashy clothes and accessories. Don’t blame the genes. It’s a passed-on lifestyle and fashion sense. Of course, there are some who “break through” — some for the better, others worse off.



Day after Christmas and some of us went back to work. The retired and “on leave” and “on holiday from school” continue to eat Christmas left-overs, review photos and videos, and simply bum round the house. So….. This is Christmas! Love it.



It’s that time of the year again. Looking all around, and stuck in traffic jams all around the city, it certainly is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!




That’s the Airport decked in Christmas lights and decor!



Has it been a year? A granddaughter is well into her teens. Fifteen is a nice young age to discover new interests and develop friendships to last and count many years. It’s that age when shopping trips and watching movies are more fun with friends than with ahem….. family. Patricia’s artistic talent got her enrolled for summer class in SoFA and self-expressions found their way into her photography, sketches and t-shirt designs. Of the latter, she poured many late hours designing the shirt for her school batch — the Sophomores, as she did year-earlier for the Freshmen — and was rewarded with recognition and an award for best design. Reminds me of the time she designed her own dress to wear to her Grade School Batch Party. Sweet girl minus the moods……. And that occasional streak when she enjoys scaring her Mamu with a frog!




Anna Patricia and Her Frog. Now she knows what makes me jump!


I blinked. And the little girl grew up!



Martin turned 12 TODAY – – his last pre-teen year but remains our sweet, loving boy. Tall for his age, but never too old to charm his Mamu to bring him to Heaven & Eggs in Glorietta 4. Last week, he asked me to gift him with Polaroid film and promptly took shots in quirky, artsy “The Collective”. He is graduating from Grade School in March. Of course he didn’t fail to ask me to enroll him again for badminton lessons next summer. I remember how I used to dread meeting his teachers in school. Lovingly, sweetly, they’d invariably recount how “talkative” our dear Martin is. Mr. Congeniality, that’s him. This young gentleman also opens doors for his Mamu. At least whenever he remembers 😉 From food trips, Martin is now beginning to discover the joys of shopping. Scary thought!




Our sweet, charming boy. Martin never fails to get me OUT of my grumpy mood. A hug and a kiss never fails!


a Treasured Photo………



How time flies! Our “nest” is emptying out. NO, more like branching out……. to Sydney and Madrid. Birthdays and Christmases shared via Skype or FaceTime. Truly, Christmas is in the heart. Before long, I should be leaving to join one in Madrid. I rummaged through my files and found these photos of my girls. Back when the youngest was only 6 months old. I got them to pose nearly the same way on the same sofa in the ancestral house years later. It’s a treasured photo now!




Sarah and Yane on Facetime. Mayette at work. The Bautistas with Sarah on a trip to Corregidor.



And me? I’ve had my fill of adventures this 2012 just as my 2 blogsites each hit 100,000 views. Early in the year, I left and lived in Spain for nearly 3 months where I helped set up house for a niece. Back in Manila in May, in time to enjoy the last few weeks of Manila summer with the rest of family. Before long, I was off to a dream trip in August. Another one off my bucket list. South Africa and Zambia. All adventures fully documented, to include some domestic destinations which were shelved for the longest time.



Google “liliram” for my TravelBlog site. Google “lifeisacelebration” for my wordpress site.



Trips filed according to destination. There’s one for Spain. Another for Africa.



All told, it was another wonderful year. AND YES, IT’S A MERRY CHRIST-MAS!

Christmas cheer to everyone!