Noche Buena

The following blog was originally posted from my old blog, The Geejay Journal:

In Spanish, I think “Buena Noche” means “Good Night.” In the Philippine context however, it means the midnight meal or feast partook on Christmas Eve. Some of my most cherished memories was of Buena Noche dinners or the anticipation of it.

Well, Raquel and I decided to have our own Buena Noche even though there’re just the two of us. I cooked Filipino-style spaghetti (bolognese-style but more sweet than sour) for the event. I don’t normally cook so Raquel has to guide me through the cooking. It all turned out well in the end.

While cooking, we had the TV tuned in to Nine Network’s Carols by Candlelight which was a live broadcast of a Christmas carol concert right here in Melbourne. We weren’t able to get tickets to the event itself so we just had to watch it at home. It was more convenient that way, anyway.

Earlier that day, we also heard the 7:00 pm Christmas Mass at St Mary’s here in St Kilda East. There weren’t a lot of people in the church which was a bit sad and disappointing. Back in the Philippines, the church would’ve been packed with people. I just reasoned that the church would probably have more parishoners on the midnight mass but I wasn’t able to verify that as I wasn’t there.

I liked the priest that celebrated the mass though. He was very contemporary and unstiff. We also sang Christmas carols during the course of the mass. I just wish they have a better organist as her timing was off sometimes and she frequently makes mistakes making it more difficult to sing in the right tune.

Anyway, back to our Buena Noche, the spaghetti I was cooking turned out better than I expected. We didn’t have any other traditional Buena Noche food stuff but there’d just be me and Raquel to eat it all anyway so having just the spaghetti is sufficient.

I was trying to call home when midnight struck so that I can greet my family a Merry Christmas but nobody was answering. It was around 9:00 pm in the Philippines at the time I called so I reasoned that they may be out hearing Christmas Mass or something. I decided to call again the next day (yesterday as of this writing).

Yesterday, I called them to greet them a Merry Christmas and to get some goss as to what’s going on back home. I found out from my brother that they didn’t even have Noche Buena last night which made him disappointed.

After all my remeniscing about Christmas and Noche Buena and how I wish I was at home to experience that traditional Noche Buena I was dreaming of, my brother who was right there back home didn’t even have one and we did. I felt sorry for him. He told me that he wished I was home then maybe Mom and Dad would’ve arranged it so that we’d have a Noche Buena just for me.

At least they had the Christmas family reunion we usually have yesterday. I still missed on that one. Next year, I’m hoping to join in on all the Christmas merrymaking back home, God willing.

Today, we’re off to the Great Ocean Road then to Port Campbell where we’ll be staying for the next two nights. I’ll just post about it when I get back.

Published in: on December 26, 2004 at 10:50 am  Comments (2)