A very merry BEARY Christmas in Beijing! :)

Celebrating Christmas in the Philippines is really something that is memorable. In fact, I haven't experienced Christmas as good as how we celebrated it back home. Inexplicably different. Although it doesn't snow in the Philippines, you can feel the spirit of Christmas and you can smell the Christmas air. Really inexplicable. And that's what we missed this year, unfortunately.


However, our Christmas wasn't bad at all. Why? Because Shangri-La Hotel Beijing has a different Christmas theme this year --- BEARY CHRISTMAS! And boy,  it really lived up to its theme... white teddy bears all over the hotel, from the lobby to its outlets! And all of those bears have the symbol and name of Shangri-La Hotel Beijing on their left sole. So cute!
From L-R: URB on Christmas Eve; Marthy & me on the giant bear; celebration with friends
And when I say bears of all sizes, I mean from palm-sized to... uhmmmm... HOTEL LOBBY SIZE! Hahaha! Yes, seriously. It was the first cuddly and huggable GIANT white teddy bear that I have ever seen in my entire life! I felt like a kid when we saw it on Christmas eve. My eyes almost popped out of my head and I screamed, "OH MY GAWWWD!", and ran to it to have some photos taken with Marthy.
Me and the giant Shangri-La teddy bear!
Beary Christmas!
On Christmas eve, we started performing at 6PM at the hotel restaurant. We played for 3 sets there and moved back to the bar for another 2 sets. We finished before midnight and the three of us decided to visit our sister band at the Kempinski Hotel's Paulaner Brauhaus. Although their band was already on their last 3 songs when we got there, they still managed to force me to perform a song. Hahaha!

Afterwards, we went to their friend's house, a Filipina married to a Dutch guy, to celebrate the Christmas eve. There were food and booze but we couldn't do much as we needed to go back to the hotel at 4AM because we'd have a lunch performance on Christmas day itself. But at least, we were able to spend it with people who know how to celebrate Christmas right. Thanks, Darren, Anita, Marfy & Toni! :)

NO HOLIDAY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
OK, back to reality, let's talk about work. I must admit that we haven't really celebrated Christmas the traditional way, the same way as we did in our younger days. Why? Because I've been traveling and performing outside the Philippines for 15 years now. You know how it is when it's Christmas. It's more stressful in our part, as musicians, as we try to make people happy during this season while fighting back the home-sickness that we feel from being away from families. Yes, that's true - put on a good show and time to wear that big happy mask. This year is no different from the past years. In fact, we won't be having an offday for 2 weeks. The only downside of it is we have lunch sets at the hotel restaurant on the weekends. Not that I'm complaining, but we all know very well that a musician's body clock is switched off at this time. You know what I mean? But it's great to actually see the daylight while singing. Hahaha! Well, we just hope two weeks would go by very fast. 

PS: THANK YOU SANTA!
I'm sure mini-me totally freaked out when she saw the ha... on TwitpicThis is kinda off-topic but I just wanna thank Santa Claus for making my daughter Selena happy this Christmas. She got what she asked for: a pet hamster in a super cute girly cage. She's been asking me to buy her a hamster after her first hamster died earlier this year. I guess, she'll take care of her hamster this time. Of course, it's from Santa! Thank you, Santa!!! :)
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