Christmas with Mom :)
I flew out of Manila on December 23 and arrived in Rome on the 24th. By the time my Mom and her friend Luigi met me at Bologna’s airport, it was already past noon.It was my first time to spend Christmas with my Mom in Italy. The hysteria of my homecoming in the Philippines didn’t prepare me for this immediately succeeding trip, and so I was quite in a daze when I got to my Mom’s house. I didn’t realize what a big deal it was until later that evening, when my excited mom drove me to Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore as an aperitivo for the Christmas Eve celebration. We walked along her favorite favorite streets (meaning, her favorite shops), and had hot chocolate in her favorite bar.
All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed by everything Italian – the land, the people, the weather, the culture, the lifestyle, and my Mom blending ever so effortlessly in all of it. It’s so amusing to see her shaken out of it whenever my presence reminds her that unlike the mother, the son is a tourist.
Since we didn’t have big plans for Noche Buena, my mom offered to take me to a Christmas Eve mass. She called her best friend in Bologna, TIta Lina, and they attended the Christmas Mass with me. It was a big deal since my Mom herself proclaims that she doesn’t go to Mass (she insists she likes praying on her own – mas personal daw kasi). It was an added bonus to find out that the Mass was being celebrated in Tagalog. It seemed like the whole Filipino community of Bologna was in that church that night.
After that, Noche Buena was spent over a modest meal of sandwiches, but my Mom and I stayed up for a few hours talking as Christmas Day got off to a mellow start.
The next day, we woke up at noon and went to her friend Luigi’s house in the outskirts of Bologna. We celebrated a bona fide Italian Christmas with Luigi and his family.
Ahhh… La vita é bella 🙂