302 – The Monching Walks: Black Friday, 26 November 2021

There’s a lot to be thankful for, even though Thanksgiving has come and gone and Americans have consumed the last part of the turkeys they feasted on. I’m thankful for the US-based bosses at my current workplace giving us Nov. 26 and Nov. 27 off to correspond with Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I wouldn’t be writing this if we still had to report on those two days.

I took this chance to venture outside of my house – with my younger brother in tow – since I had a four-day weekend. Both of us had been looking forward to have a haircut in preparation for the Christmas holidays. Since we were already fully vaccinated – AstraZeneca for me, Sinovac for him – I also treated him out as a sort of post-birthday and advanced Christmas gift.

It had also been some time since I visited Eastwood City. While I did visit Eastwood Mall earlier this year (and even dined at Greek restaurant Cyma), a lot of things had changed at the business park.


We started off by accomplishing some bank transactions, which we successfully did as Eastwood City is home to a number of banks. We then headed to Union Station Barber Café at One Eastwood Avenue for our haircuts. Goodbye mop-top, hello shorter fade for me. For my younger brother – it’s goodbye long-hair, hello undercut.


It was already past the lunch hour by the time the haircuts were done – which meant lesser people in restaurants. Being fully vaccinated allowed us to dine indoors and even get free menu items. I introduced my younger brother to CoCo Ichibanya at Eastwood Mall‘s third level, which has been featured here in the blog for some time now.

He ordered the joint’s Cheese Hamburg Curry, while I ordered the Shrimp Cutlet Curry with extra spinach topping. Both of us also got free soup and iced tea.


We then proceeded to buy several items we are supposed to buy, such as groceries, clothes, and electronic peripherals. Following that, I visited an installation at the mall’s fourth floor sponsored by a company I worked at some years ago. I asked my younger brother to take a picture of me there.

I’ve had a lot of first experiences in this company: Being exposed to the reality of PR blogging in the Philippines, dealing with not exactly the best people on the project management side of things, getting involved in a nasty internal conflict between executives, and more.

But if I did not join this company seven years ago, I wouldn’t be here writing this blog entry. Besides, if I did not accept the job offer for this firm back in March 2014 – I would not have met my former partner, who I spent four years with. Things happen for a reason: Even my departure from that company in 2016 and a breakup two years later served a bigger purpose.


After the photo ops at the fourth level, we put the things we purchased in the car and went back for one last round of purchases and pictures. Eastwood City is always decorated during the Yuletide season and this year is no exception, despite the pandemic. Once these were done, we paid the parking fee and left for home.


I have other things to be thankful for, aside from this chance to leave the house.

I’m thankful that I still get to blog, especially after an extended period of inactivity. There have been several instances of me being pushed, to borrow my manager’s expression, “beyond the point of mere frustration.” Despite that, I still managed to churn out entries. While I can’t chase the blog’s record highs from 2015, I still have a writing outlet that isn’t subject to strict rules.

I’m thankful that despite WordPress being filled with weirdos, spammers, and clout chasers – there are still good, sensible people that actually interact. Thing is, I’m searching for people that I would want to hang out in person over a good meal or a drink – and in my case, find the right woman I want to be in a relationship with. Despite this platform being overrun by commercial fakeness over the years, it definitely feels refreshing to see interactions with actual people.

I’m thankful for being able to power through sadness like nothing happened, more than 100 days after Mom left this earth. While this year is the first birthday I spent and the first Christmas we would spend without her, it would have been a very difficult Christmas had she insisted on staying. Seeing her succumb to cancer would only bring tears to our eyes – something she never wanted.

I’m thankful that the three of us – me, my younger brother and Dad – remain COVID-free. Dad also managed to get a Pfizer booster dose to bolster his immunity, while younger brother got the Moderna vaccine as a boost. As I mentioned in an earlier post, being hospitalized for COVID here in the Philippines is no joke. And with the advent of the “mutant” B11529 Omicron strain alongside fear-mongering by the media, it’s best to take precautions.

That’s it for this post. How about you: What are you thankful for this 2021?


Let me conclude this final post for the year with this song from Wham, in commemoration of George Michael’s 5th death anniversary. The British singer left this earth on Christmas Day 2016.

“Loving you always!”

Until the next post, Merry Christmas and wishing you a happy 2022 ahead!

24 thoughts on “302 – The Monching Walks: Black Friday, 26 November 2021

  1. I hope you had a peaceful and relaxed Christmas and New Year. Covid cases rose quite a bit over in the UK so it was very touch and go up until the last minute! Not sure what the next few weeks will bring so I think it’s going to be a case of taking it one day at a time!

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    • Thank you! Truth be told, my holidays were rather chaotic — which is a staple of Filipino culture. But still, I’m glad that’s over.

      Covid restrictions here in Manila remained at relaxed levels from early Q4, in time for the holidays. Unfortunately, the holiday celebrations have contributed to the Philippine capital’s rising caseload — with new infections climbing. I hope things improve, even just slightly, over there!

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      • Hay, it’s because of our exaggerated rules with the poorest implementation. My mom and dad traveled over the holidays, ay grabe ang quarantine. You would think 3 days as published, 7 days pa rin sila almost kasi antagal bumisita nung magsswab. Pero sa street naman nila, parang walang Covid, labo labo pa rin daw sa palengke.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my…no wonder traveling is a chore nowadays. Yung tatay ko nga, magni-ninong sana sa kasal this month sa Baguio. Kailangan pa ng negative RT-PCR test, LGU reservation, and hotel booking para makaakyat.

        It was only the night before the supposed wedding that the couple messaged him: Postponed ang kasal to April of this year. Mabuti at di pa siya nakakaluwas!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oo nga saka struggle ang PCR test ha. Yan ang dahilan kung bakit ayokong lumabas ng lungga. Kawawa rin yung mga may occasions, they couldn’t plan their event peacefully kasi andami talagang ganap. But I am hopeful that this will soon be over.

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