Christmas in Bacolod

I had a fun, rollicking and quality time with my husband's clan, the Gallagas.

I love the dynamics of the whole Gallaga clan - Bing's immediate family, all his Aunts and Uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces.

I love the closeness of the siblings and the cousins. They grew up together and created this bond between them that has somehow stood the test of time. They have grown and led their respective lives, some have moved abroad, but they remain close as ever and not allowed themselves to grow apart from each other.  They may have their differences from time to time but they know how to set those aside so they can enjoy each other's company, especially when those from far away are in town. Their craziness, eccentricities can be brutal at times, yet they have a loving way of picking on/ teasing each other and that's usually whoever is the youngest among the cousins or isn't around during get-togethers (a good reason to make it to the reunions, hehe). 

Their sense of humor is deep - they are witty, funny and can even be intellectual snobs at times. It's always a blast when they are all together, the repartee is enjoyable, interesting and not for the faint of heart.

I love to sit among the cousins, observe, join and listen to whatever it is they're discussing. I may not say it but I love all his cousins and everything that goes on with each of them. It could be movies, fashion, our children, their parents, uncles and aunties, hunk Hollywood actors, chismax among cousins and the least favourite, politics. Conversations are always interesting and deep, it could shift from frivolous subjects to more serious and heavy ones. Nobody is spared. 

Regardless of whatever goes on, there's no judgment. Well, that's how I feel whenever I'm in their company.

They know how to party, but also comfortable just being at home watching a movie, hanging out and just talking.

I have the coolest, pragmatic, loving mother-in-law.

They always made me feel how it is to have a family. They are sticklers for family traditions and old-style family values in relation to manners, such as showing respect to elders, traditional Sunday lunch with the clan matriarch. I think this is what helps create that sense of being a family.

I knew right away I belonged because of the food, I love to eat yet so picky but they know their food and drink - hahaha. They are adventurous and they take their food and drink seriously. It is never random or arbitrary, meals during gatherings are meticulously planned, coordinated and prepared.

Lucky am I in this lottery of life.. My deepest thanks I give to thee ... I don't get to spend as much time with them but they're never far from my thoughts.

They're the kind of family which keeps you going even when everything doesn't make sense. They aren't perfect, they have their issues, but they haven't let that get in the way of making each one feel the value of belonging to the clan. The positives far outweigh the negatives.