A Perfect Evening in November

What made November 1 perfect for me? For starters, it was my youngest daughter Sarah’s 18th birthday. Well she did not have a party for her debut, but we had fun.

We had the most amazing dinner, courtesy of the soon-to-be-Chef birthday celebrant herself and her Dad! They were like Batman and Robin in the kitchen. The result? A sumptuous, restaurant-quality dinner everyone enjoyed.

A Sumptuous Dinner

These are just two of the pictures we took of these restaurant-quality delicious food. The rest of the pictures are still with the best food photographer I know so for now I’ll have to do with these two iPhone photos.

Crispy Fried Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Shrimp Bisque
Crispy Fried Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Shrimp Bisque


Stuffed Crispy Pork Belly
Stuffed Crispy Pork Belly

A Night of Costumes 

For days my children had been planning to have a costume party … only for the seven of them and me plus three – my niece Elaine and nephews Jay and Alex. They were so excited my son Tonton started to work on his Zombie arm 5 days before November 1. April and Sarah were working on their wigs and were torn between wearing gowns or zombie costumes. Myco, on the other hand, was just relaxed – she already had her costume ready. Ella? She decided she will be The Princess (and she is) and has decided to wear her beautiful pink gown.

I, on the other hand, could not find my Tinker Bell costume, until the very last minute. Alas! Finally I found it! But guess what? it wouldn’t fit! Oh My! Did the dress shrink? Because I felt like an ogre getting into Thumbelina’s dress when I tried it on! Was it that long ago when I wore it at XU’s Fairy Tales Christmas Party?

Taken during Xavier University's Fairy Tales Themed Christmas Party

I rummaged my aparador and looked for anything not ordinary. Did I find anything? Yes! It was colored red! Shiny red at that! I realized too late, however, that I actually wore something more apt for the Chinese New Year than Halloween! Tsk Tsk Tsk …

Anyways, I wore my Chinese costume and the kids wore theirs, except Ella who decided the last minute to go as one of the students of the School of Wizardry, Harry Potter’s classmate. Tonton looked just like Harry Potter – the younger Harry Potter in the earlier episodes. His Walking Dead Costume is being reserved for next year’s Halloween Costume Contest. Alex wore the Power Ranger Costume and Elaine wore a black costume perfect for the Halloween! As for Sarah, inspired by the TV series The Walking Dead, she wore a jumper, a long sleeved shirt, and boots. April, I am not sure which character she’s portraying … bangs and wide black glasses … she looks like … well, I don’t really know. Myco, of course, wore her Harry Potter Costume with pride!

We were all giggling as we rode our car to Oro Gardens to watch the 9 pm Lantern Display. Silently I was crossing my fingers and hoping and praying that the kids will, eventually, get off the car still with the costumes on. Alas they did! But only for a brief moment. As they saw that they were the only ones wearing costumes (the kids who joined the costume contest earlier that evening have changed already into more comfortable clothes), they slowly removed bits and pieces of the costumes, until I was the only one left … and I felt silly.

Well, I almost felt like the night will end not as I expected, but then something changed. Myco urged her siblings and cousins to put on their costumes for a pictorial, and they did. Funny because when we reached home that night, they were all laughing because according to them, as they were posing and taking pictures, passersby – children as well as adults – watched them out of curiosity and these people were actually entertained just by watching my kids point their magic wands and hearing them say the magic words.

And Then Came The Beautiful Wishing Lanterns

They were called as such because according to those present, when you light a lantern and send it off to the evening sky, it’s like sending a wish into the heavens …

Off the lanterns went, much to our delight. Not long after the first 60 or more lanterns, however, security guards came rushing to the group of people enthusiastically lighting the lanterns to tell them to stop momentarily as two planes in the nearby airport could not take off. Obediently, the people stopped, and true, in just a few minutes, we all could hear the plane engines blaring and then one after another, the two planes flew into the evening sky.

In time, lanterns went up again the moonlit sky of Cagayan de Oro …

Th day ended was splendid, it ended with what can only be described as a perfect evening! I’m sure all those who saw the wishing lanterns disappear into the dark skies can attest that indeed, it was a perfect evening in November!


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