I’m one of the fortunate army wives who could spend Christmas with her soldier. I will always be thankful for that. Not all military families are given that chance. And once you are given that rare chance, you have to take advantage of it. Well, we do have lazy days where LB & I didn’t do anything much but sleep, eat, play and be merry; but prior to Rhambo’s command post’s Christmas party --- everyone was busy. Yes my dear mudrabelles, it included me. It was Rhambo’s idea to hold a contest a la Mr. Pogi during the party. It served as the spotlight of the program, which usually has frolics, exchanging of gifts and a lot of inuman. The prizes at stake are worth the kahihiyan (if that’s how the soldiers have put it). The top three winners had cash incentives and a few extra days for their holiday break. I also gave three shirts courtesy of Dennis Dolor of ekoy.was.here.shirts. At first, according to Rhambo, there weren’t any brave soldier who had courage to join a male pageantry. But when they knew about the extended holiday break, there were 10 men who took risk, all for the love of spending more time with their family.
Few hours before the party, Rhambo distributed this cap to his troops. Super happy ako that it turned out really good. And it’s really just affordable. It’s only Php90 per cap. If you want to have caps or any embroidered souvenir done, you may contact Diongco General Merchandise at email@example.com or 0933-1608445.
I’m not really a morning person so I usually wake up at around 9-10 in the morning. The earliest could be 8am, if I need to. So while my lazy ass was still snoring, the Assaulters were already busying themselves with carrots, potatoes, torching the goat and what, designing the stage! Good thing that some of the soldiers have gay friends who helped them coordinate the event. Yezzzz muthers, these soldiers have gay friends.
See how everything was so pageant-ish? Because these gay friends are so sanay in doing this. Just excuse the banig and plastic flowers, alam niyo na, barriotic. But admit it, it looks bonggelz. I can’t imagine the kaba of the contestants while the stage was being prepped up. Kumpleto pa yan with smoke machine and strobe lights ha. The head of the gay friends even asked me if it looks okay, while I was taking pictures of it. I said yes, of course. I didn’t want to hurt the heart of our kafatid by saying that the banig and straw hats were so bakya. Native chenelin siguro talaga ang peg.
A day before the party, I bought Rhambo a collared shirt from Bench. We first planned to be in matching shirts but since I can't find any pretty top in the mall nearby that matches his, I went back to wearing my little black dress I bought last year in F&H. After all, mauupo lang naman ako bilang judge. Korek, head of the board of judges ang mudra niyo! Kasama ko was Cpt K, Attorney F and 2Lt E sa judges' table. Seryoso kami sa pag-judge ha, kahit aware naman ang lahat na hindi ito papogian kundi palakasan ng loob. Aliw factor was very very important. And when the Magic 5 was called, intelligence was 100% needed. We threw them with serious questions. Unlike during the preliminary Q&A portion, all the questions were casual, somewhat crazy but everything was real. Some of the questions were:
- Babaero daw ang mga sundalo. Anong masasabi mo?
- Meron kang matalik na kaibigan simula pa noong CS (Candidate Soldier) kayo, biglang nagtapat sa'yo ng nilalaman ng kanyang puso, at ikaw iyon, ano ang gagawin mo?
- Ginagawa mo naman ang best mo, pero madalas ka pa ding malasin sa CO (Commanding Officer) mo. Kanino mo ito isisisi, sa kanya ba o sa iyo? At bakit?
- Sa tingin mo ba, normal lang na maging mabaho ang isang sundalo? Ipaliwanag.
R and I were vying for crazy answers as well when we did these questions, but it seemed that they were too nervous to be funny; hence, got very malalayo and irrelevant answers.
The program was opened in its usual invocation-followed-by-a-welcome-message flow. Aba, maya-maya bumanat na ang music, smoke machine at strobe lights! Tapos naglabasan ang mga malalangis na sundalo with super kapal na foundation; rumampa, pumosing at nagpakilala. Tawanan, hagalpakan at hiyawan. All the way para sa extended holiday break. Atteeeehn-shoon!
I'm sure this is a first para sa mga mamang kawal na ito kaya ang dami-daming dead air. For a MassComm graduate like me, kapintas-pintas ang dead air. Good thing the band was there to kill those dead air moments. Oh yezzz, hindi ko pinalagpas ang pagkakataon na hindi makakanta with the band. Bumanat ako ng Adele! Someone Like You, mga teh. Eh medyo embarassing kasi mali-mali ang tono ng banda. Haha, sila talaga ang may kasalanan. So I redeemed myself. Bumirit ako to the tune of Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive. Ano pa ba?! So ayun, dahil hindi pa sila mga lasing, naka-smile lang sila sa'kin habang ligayang-ligaya ako sa pagkanta. But I did all the pagwawala sa mic after the judging kiyeme ko. Shempre dapat kagalang-galang. Choz.
And after two hours, the winners were announced. Jay Manalo, Coco Martin and Robin Padilla won. Oo, yun daw mga kamukha nila. Sabi nila.
Like what I said, they also received a shirt from me, courtesy of ekoy.was.here.shirts. A'Coy wears Ekoy! Bagay nga sa title-holder yung Bing, Bob, Bill & Baldo shirt niya eh. Di ba no, he kinda resembles Baldo? Hihi.
The party didn't end there. R gave a pamatay Christmas message to his men. He said, "yang inom-inom na yan, saka na yan. Pumunta lang tayo sa kitchen, pwede na tayo mag-inom eh. Pero ang makasama ang pamilya natin tuwing makakauwi tayo, minsan lang yun." Naks naman my kawal noh. Family guy! Ear to ear ang smile ko niyan, infer. And then they had exchanging of gifts, worth Php200. Pasa-pasa lang sila to the right, to the left. Ganun lang. Ang ending, nakakuha si R ng dalawang face towels from Bench, kapalit ng plastic storage box na may lamang soap, pancit canton, cotton buds at red wine. Soshal, may red wine. Hehe, hello recycling!
The party was well-attended. There were matured (oo, mga thunder cats) guests invited by the matured soldiers. And there were kids of the soldiers, too. Maraming civilian attendees, but most of them are dependents of the men of Alpha Company. Kung meron mang kabit na dumalo eh hindi ko na po inalam.
When my judging job was over, I had the chance to sit with my little behaved princess to have a photo op. Medyo busy ang fadir kaya hindi na namin inistorbo. Buti nga naki-cooperate si Sophia. Pero ang eksena, habang nasa judges' table ako eh nagpapakain ako sa bagets - ng kanin at ulam. Saya noh! Motherhood nga kasi - multitasking. Buti hindi nakiinom sa Tanduay Ice ko.
R also had to entertain din kasi his fellow officers who attended the Christmas party. They are graduates of the Academy, too. The table had a representative each from classes 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, respectively. I think hindi masyado uminom si R that night. Practicing what he preached, perhaps?
A little like 30 minutes after the party, dance, party, booze, eat, party started, Sophia and I went inside the bunks. I felt like it's not for us. It's for the boys. Plus, the boys get a tad wild when they get drunk, right? I don't want my little girl to see that side of the world, yet. Sabi ko nga, there were booze and strobe lights. So talagang party mode sila. Plus the band and mobile sounds pa. Grabe, 4 in the morning na ata nanahimik ang mundo ko at tuluyang nakatulog ng payapa. Really, I have learned to sleep with that noise ever since sumasama kami sa kampo. Well, I'd rather hear them singing their hearts out than listening to gun shots.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our brave and mababangong (sige na, hindi na kayo ganun kababaho) soldiers. Cheers! ♥