01 January 2011

How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Manila

Get your ass in Eastwood, Newport City, Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, Mall of Asia, High Street, or some other highly societal commercial center with a swaggering name.

Get drunk on two-hundred-peso mojitos and martinis and, just before the explosive pyromusical countdown, raise a toast to your friends, to the night being so “epic”, to a happy year ahead, and to resolutions like “I’ll really stop smoking,” “I’ll really join at least one 21k run,” and “I’ll really have more sex this year.”

Watch the Manila sky, which really is sort of beautiful. Not this-is-Times-Square beautiful, but wow-so-this-is-what-a-warzone-looks-like beautiful.

Tweet people with the message, “Happy New Year and God bless your family — now bring it on, 2011!” using your preferred Twitter app for iPhone, even though you have their mobile phone numbers. It’s more social that way.

Address male friends as “bros” and female friends as “sweeties,” “darlings,” or “bitches”.

Make fun of adults who light up gay firecrackers like piccolo and kwitis.

Acknowledge the coolness of those who have the nerve to use pla-pla, Super Lolo, Goodbye Philippines, and Trillanes without covering their ears.

Lose a finger. Like really lose a finger. Spend New Year’s Eve in the emergency room of a hospital with your hand — or what’s left of it — wrapped in a bloody towel, then be interviewed by Atom Araullo or Jeff Canoy, both of whom should be handsomer in person. No matter how badly your breath reeks of Red Horse, flatly deny that you have had too much to drink. The very idea! It was the goddamned Roman candle’s fault.

Wish that you could sue Dragon Fireworks, the bastards. (Not that we are, in any way, as capitalist as America.)

Wish that you could grow your finger back, even though you know you’re never going to grow your finger back.

Celebrate with family, with the extended family, a family so extended it wears your sense of self-identity thin. Then open up a bottle of Novellino, a bottle of the several left over from Christmas.

Tell the aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews you’ve previously never met that you’ll add them up on Facebook, even though you’re not really going to. Confirming friend requests for quantity’s sake is so 2008.

Set up the party-legitimizing device known as the karaoke machine.

Sing your favorite Journey song and sing it silly, so that people can’t tell that you really like Journey.

As you look into your mother’s eyes, your father’s eyes, the eyes of your brothers and your sisters, thank God or whoever it is that you have to thank for being here, for being here now, and for the fact that, on the last day of a year in which oils were spilled, cables were leaked, Haitian settlements were devastated, Chilean miners were trapped, Tea Partyism was spread, European flight operations were cancelled (no thanks to Eyjafjallaifdoslfskja), talents were taken to South Beach, and so on and so forth, you’re still celebrating. Well, okay — sure you’re still in the Philippines. But at least.

Or just start a new blog.

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