‘Twas the night of Christmas

26 12 2011

“STAR BRIGHT / First star I see tonight / Could you or would you please shine your light? / Shine it so I can see / My Savior smiling at me / Star Bright, I hear you once proclaimed / This is the way, keep on followin’ me / and at the end of the road will be, a baby…”

I spent Christmas Day by having dinner at 313@somerset, a little shopping, walking on Orchard Road, catching whatever remained of the “Christmas is Love” show, hopping on the train to Esplanade, planning for high tea while passing by The Fullerton Hotel, walking to the Merlion, seeking some peace and quiet, and having coffee at Starbucks at One Fullerton.

It was a lot of walking amidst a seeming City of Lights.  It was like following that Star.

Outside the Esplanade Mall, I couldn’t help but hear “Star Bright” in my head as I took in the view of the amazing Singapore skyline.  Everything was lit up, everything was festive.  Everything was cheering me up.

And just like me, everybody has a silent wish.  Some of them brave enough to commit these wishes to paper – to be more accurate, plastic actually – as they wrote them on the shining diamonds that hung from posts outside the mall.


Star light, star bright,

The first star I see tonight;

I wish I may, I wish I might,

Have the wish I wish tonight.


Merry Christmas.

















Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

“Meri Krismas, Kabayan!”

26 12 2011

Chilli Crab, Jumbo Seafood (Riverside), Clarke Quay, Singapore

I GUESS that when you put on an LED-lit miniature Santa hat on your head, you forfeit any and all right to lose patience at the fickle-minded weather, at the foot traffic, and at the motley crew that had chosen to converge at the only place seemingly open on Christmas Eve here in Singapore.

But come to think of it, the 24th of December is all about Christmas.  And Christmas is love.  As my favorite GAP ad of all time said, “Put a little love in your heart.”  And in your tummy, put a lot of great food.  It doesn’t matter where you are; Christmas Eve is all about Noche Buena (literally, “good night”).  In the Philippines, families gather for this traditional dinner at midnight.

This year, Noche Buena to me meant hopping on the 65 to go to Potong Pasir MRT station, and from there taking the train to Harbour Front.  And throughout the travel time, a little bobbing of the head was involved, as “pa rum pa pum pum” played incessantly on my mind.  (I had just come from the Christmas Pageant at St. Michael’s.)

My friends Loradel and Don and I were surprised to get a table easily at Jumbo Seafood at the Riverside.  We didn’t even break a sweat at the wait.

We vowed to splurge on this season that we are spending away from our own families.  So we had resolved to get the Chilli Crab, and around it built a spread that was worthy of Christmas – Braised Shark’s Fin Soup with Crab Meat, Fish Fillet with Sweet and Sour Sauce, Fried Noodles Hong Kong Style, Deep-Fried Mini Buns, Seafood Fried Rice, and a couple of jugs of arguably the best Homemade Barley.

The best part of the meal for me was the soup, so even at S$ 14.00 a pop, I didn’t mind having seconds.  You can never put a price tag on good food, on food that you love, and especially, on Christmas.

(The title is in Filipino and reads, “Merry Christmas, Countryman!”)

Soup so good that I had to have seconds!


Fried Noodles Hong Kong Style


My first portion of the noodles.


Fish Fillet with Sweet and Sour Sauce


Seafood Fried Rice


The fiery Chilli Crab


This clawed its way to my heart. Haha!


The bill


With the guest check. (I collect these.)


"Meri Krismas, Kabayan!"... With Loradel and Don.


Santa Baby. Hahaha!


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

Pa rum pa pum pum

26 12 2011

St. Michael's Rd, Singapore, at dusk on Christmas Eve 2011

A CHRISTMAS pageant, for me, has suburban America written all over it.  So imagine my surprise when I learned there was one that was going to be held here in Singapore, on Christmas Eve, at the church where one of my friends goes to.  I looked forward to it, while thinking that it felt so Gilmore girls season one.

The play was told from the perspective of the grown-up Little Drummer Boy.  The costumes were elaborate.  The singing heartfelt (the lead was a bit Josh Groban-ish).  The children’s acting rang with sincerity.

For a while there, while seated at the front pew, I forgot that I would rather be somewhere else – my whole family was at my youngest brother’s house – and got awashed in the spirit of the season.

I left the church singing to myself, “I am a poor boy too, pa rum pa pum pum.”  Me and my drum.

The little drummer boys and the rest of the cast get ready for the processional.


The grown-up Little Drummer Boy narrates the story of Christmas. "I am a poor boy too, pa rum pa pum pum..."


The pageant started with the whole cast appearing on stage.


This group of girls took care of all the dancing that was needed in the play.


The grown-up Little Drummer Boy and the cutest shepherd girls.


Didn't I say they are the cutest?!


Josh Groban, err, the grown-up Little Drummer Boy waltzes back into the scene.


Mary and Joseph make it to Bethlehem where the baby Jesus was born.


Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus


The grown-up Little Drummer Boy reflects on his finest gift, playing on his drum. "Come, they told me, pa rum pa pum pum..."


Six Little Drummer Boys


As the song built to a raging crescendo, two Little Drummer Boys went down to bang on these big drums. PA RUM PA PUM PUM!


The adult choir


Take a bow.


eNTeNG at St. Michael's Church, Singapore, Christmas Eve, 2011


St. Michael's Church, Singapore


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved