My First Christmas in Penang

I did not expect that for this year, I will spend my Christmas away from my country. It has been my dream to work abroad, get a better life and career..and fortunately…..luck got into my way for this year 2010!.:-))
Bel’s door to the kitchen! :-))
Spending the Christmas away from what I called home is quite mixed emotions for me.Excited...to experience what it is like to spend the Holidays here in Penang, celebrating it with co-Filipino friends and other races (including the friends of Lewis, Bel’s hubby)…happy to celebrate the season without being in the hospital premises performing my duty as a doctor ( since I studied Medicine and had my practice…it is either Christmas or New Year that I’m having my 24-hour duty as an ER doctor)…but now… I can spend both Holidays with friends…without the fear of any distractions (like patients coming on and off after the fireworks, few minutes after the countdown for New Year..oozing with blood, etc). I can now sit, relax, talk with my friends, drink wine, cook with excitement , all the Filipino dishes I miss since I landed in this foreign land and prepare foods with friends.
Dr. Alvin, my co-teacher in Penang..as we stroll Queensbay mall with other Filipino friends.
Lonely, for the fact that I am away from my sister. My ONLY sister. And I miss HOME. I call my country my HOME…I miss the ambiance of hearing the Christmas Carols in the air, children singing house to house having their “karoling”, the cold air of December, the malls full of Christmas decors even at the start of September, the warmth of each person greeting everyone in the street,”Happy Holidays,”…the exchange gifts and  “monito-monita”, that we always look forward everyday for whatever theme it is..or whatever “something” that would be…the sight of Christmas trees, sparkling lights in every house, colored lanterns displayed along the roads in Pampanga as I heed to go home in Zambales…the fireworks… ..and even the sight of watusi (yes, I fear that small thing…but I miss it and I haven’t seen one here in Malaysia)…. But just as what Charles Darwin’s said about evolution of man…it should be the  “survival of the fittest”. I SHOULD ADAPT in this new environment…
Walking down the adorned stairways Bel had made…:-))
Thanks to the advent of computers and internet, I was able to subscribe and hear FM radio stations from the Philippines, tuned in to the Love Radio (hey, I am not an avid fan of the station but I always hear that whenever I ride a bus, jeepney or even taxi going home before), hearing  “Nicole Hyala”, “Papa Jack” and Christmas songs and of course…Tagalog ones..makes me feel i’m simulating an environment…which is called “HOME”. Not to mention the advent of YM and Skype, to see and talk to our loved ones. It must be harder for OFWs way back then without these technologies. I should say…we are still lucky today…:-))
I am really thankful that I have my friend, Bel, who warmheartedly invited me and Ate Vivs to spend the Christmas with her husband Lewis, a Malaysian Chinese citizen here. Doing all the stuffs for the Christmas eve made me feel excited…and I forgot all about the cold air of December ( the temperature here doesn’t change that much… it is almost constant over the year…with no summer, no rainy seasons nor cold ones…they don’t even have “bagyo” here!!!).
My loneliness of going home was replaced  by happiness!
I was amazed to see one small Christmas tree in front of their house, and a big, lavish one in the living room! The stairs are also adorned with Christmas decors, and the doors going to the dining room! What a nice house!

Ate Vivs and I had an early time-off that 24th of December. We already made our pork embutido

days ago for our potluck share in the gathering. We packed our things for a  2D 1N vacation in Bukit Mertajam, the place where Bel and Lewis stay. We rode the bus 702 going to Summit Hotel, where Lewis had to pick us up. We left Vista Perdana at 5PM and arrived at the Summit Hotel at 6PM. Lewis was already waiting for us when we arrived. We reached their house at 6:30PM and Bel was almost done with the preparation.We started frying the “lumpia”, cooked “pinaupong manok”, chopped tomatoes, onions and garlic for the “inihaw na bangus”. Few minutes, Krystel and her husband Edwin, came…they started their “inihaw session” outside of the house..and visitors and friends started to come. They have also their children and I can’t help but take a picture of them playing, having cute headbands and santa’s accesories.:-))

They really enjoyed playing with each other. We did not wait for the Noche Buena to come.. we started to have it early..for we cannot resist the calling of the foods. I miss Filipino dishes…especially the “inihaw na bangus” ,pork barbeque, liempo,  ginataang bilobilo which Krystel had made..and it’s time to desensitize my allergy to chicken (no worries coz, I brought all my emergency meds for asthma in my trolley.hehehe) and I was so fortunate that evening!
What would be my fate then? ….
Desensitization time! after 3 months of not eating chicken…now, it’s my revenge!:-))
Cooking time with friends..!!!!:-))
Lavishly flowing Filipino and Chinese cuisine…:-))
Few  moments later,  Bel started  the gift-giving for the children. and after that, we went outside to drink Vodka and Carlsberg and Tiger (beer), while telling stories. A few minutes, I went upstairs to chat with my fiance, who is in Dubai and also working at that time in Holiday Inn. After an hour, I heard them singing karaoke , eventually, and that’s the time I joined them downstairs. Lewis has a very good voice and he can also sing Tagalog songs  to my surprise!!! I’m sure it will be fun to sing with them and with other Filipino doctors, too, for I’ve seen a Redbox (KTV) in Gurney drive and Queensbay Mall.:-)) We sang all our hearts out till 4:00 AM and that was really fun!
On Christmas eve, we went in Euro Park, which is located in Sungai Nibong, Penang Island. The entrance fee was RM3.00. It’s like a “perya” in the Philippines. There are lots of “pika-pika” like mojos, squidballs, chickenballs, sweet corn, buttered corn and even roasted chicken, name it!  I tried the buttered corn for RM3.00 and it is delicious.
There are also lots of quilts, blankets, blouses, Penang shirts,  good as souvenirs and “pasalubong” which are cheaper in price.
The Tapak Pesta Euro Park in Sungai Nibong, Penang Island
Ate Vivs with Lyka, Bel and Me. :-))

The gang (Me, Ate Vivs, Bel, Lewis, Edwin, Krystel, and their child, Lyka)  headed to the carnival that night. I remember the old days whenever there is a fiesta in our place. My father always brought me and my sister to “perya”. I always ride  my favorite  which is the “horror train”. After strolling around, we also watch magic shows and watch some guys play the darts and win stuff toys.

As we walk down the alley, there were so many stuffs which is on sale…we were able to buy our queen-sized fleece for only RM10.00.:-))

Lots of deli displayed in every corner.

 

There is a big food court in Euro Park, just like the Hawker place near the Gurney drive. Here, we had our beehun soup when we got tired, before going home It only costs RM 3.00.

If others would like to a heavy meal, then, they can also purchase big roasted chicken like this for the whole family!

Goods tagged as export Quality…
What am I missing here? Any kwekwek around?
Yummy mojos on stick….
About to ride the ferry’s wheel…
The flying fiesta version of Enchanted Kingdom…but it swirls faster here, I might find myself on top of Queensbay mall!
The view  from the Ferry’s Wheel up above…

 

After  the long queue, we were able to ride the ferry’s wheel. We then decided to play darts and wheels to get some stuff toys as cute as nemo, winnie the pooh, mickey and minnie mouse, kero-keropi instead of  riding the drop zone and flying fiesta., and the horror house.

Ate Vivs was able to win one small pink bear. I was able to win a small Minnie mouse mug from getting the rubber duck in the water, and a small calendar 2011 for “Hooking a bag” contest. That’s somewhat lucky for 4 tokens I bought for RM 8.00

I cannot resist them calling, “Hey, PLAY and GET me!!!”
A smaller pink teddy for Ate vivs!!!:-))

 

I really wanted to have Mickey or Minnie mouse, but I did not try to shoot the rings to the bottles. I only watched Ate Vivs play and others. The ring kept on bouncing. But one guy, was able to hook it to one bottle. Very lucky, or should I say…a very good shooter.

I even asked the lady if I can buy the stuff toy! (hehehe)... unfortunately…the answer is “NO”….

The boys as they arranged the snake in my shoulders…

The most exciting and thrilling part is my picture-taking with the yellow snake. I really can’t go without having a picture with it. I’ve seen it the moment we entered the rides zone, and I’m looking at it before we go home. I finally decided to have a “pictorial” with him.:-)) It’s a golden snake and I fell inlove with its color and it has no scales. It costs RM 10.00 but the experience is worth it!

I was able to handle a big snake way back in UPLB, as one of our friends take care of it. He feeds it with a chicken and it will hibernate for 4 days. I was able to touch its skin, and it is cold, and scaly and strong, as it waved my hand away from its body.

Galemma…is that you? hehehehe….
The final picture of Galemma…

The snake is somewhat sedated, I think, that’s why it is not as strong as the snake I held in Los Banos. The night was really fun!!! We went home at 1:00 AM of December 26. Of course, there’s no place like home …but somehow I was able to manage the loneliness I feel…”Homesickness, go away!” ….so it ended up fun…..My First Christmas in Penang!!!:-))

*** This is my entry to jeanny’s blog contest:-)) http://jeannycdj.com/2010/12/26/spreading-the-cheers/

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. docgelo
    Dec 29, 2010 @ 12:00:32

    hey mama anna, kainggit ka kasi updated na blog mo. ako din sana marathon blogging mamaya (so help me,God!) ….i like this post! ganda ng kuha sa mojo potatoes! …si lewis songer pala lolo mo! … at si ate vivs, panalo sa prize, hahaha, aliw!

    do blog so often, nakakarelieve ng stress di ba..
    sali mo itong post na ito (yes, mismo ito/URL) sa pacontest ng blogmate ko…
    http://jeannycdj.com/2010/12/26/spreading-the-cheers/#comments
    dali….contest nya ends jan 01.. pagnanalo ka, padala mo kay ate andrea yung prize.. ako naman kay ite.. let’s gowww!

    Reply

  2. centromere
    Dec 30, 2010 @ 03:11:37

    yes papa gelo! stress-relieving nga! Thanks, my mentor! jejejej!!!
    Happy new year!!!! See you, ite and gabby next year!!:-))

    Reply

  3. jeannycdj.com
    Dec 30, 2010 @ 04:44:10

    hi sis. Thank for joining and thank you din kay Doc G sa pag recommend sa iyo. I will review this later mejo mahaba hehehe. By looking at the pic mukhang masaya christmas mo dyan. I will often visit here na. I love it here. 🙂

    One thing lang,paki link back na lang sa pa contest ko , isa kasi sa mechanics yun ng pa contest ko 🙂

    Thank u ulit at Merry Christmas 🙂

    Reply

  4. centromere
    Dec 30, 2010 @ 05:52:49

    Thanks also jeanny!!!! sana i will win! hehehe!!! Happy Holidays!:-))

    Reply

  5. jeannycdj.com
    Dec 30, 2010 @ 08:05:44

    Yehey meron na. I will update my contest link. Salamat sa pagsali 🙂

    Reply

  6. sheng
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 09:46:01

    Hey, that spiral mojos are so creative, ang galing. I wonder if there’s a special knife or cutter they use for that. Dropping by here, too! Great blog, will link you up as well.

    Reply

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