02C79: Giving Christmas Thanks

Christmas - Beauty in a Pot Desserts

I kinda thought about writing a gratitude post around the time of US Thanksgiving, but that felt weird since we don't have an actual affinity with the holiday. But Christmas feels like a better fit for this sort of thing, at least within our cultural context.

I'm always thankful for my family. Getting through the harsher years of the pandemic was no easy feat and I'm glad that we got through things well enough despite the many ups and downs. I'm thankful that we're closer than ever with interesting innovations for the year like our family book club and even board game nights in recent months. Our core family unit has been through a lot together and we continue to face different challenges together. But our strength always sees us through - perhaps often through sheer stubbornness. 

I'm thankful for our company. It hasn't been the best year for us but I still feel that 2023 has been a year of significant growth. We have a better sense of who we are and why we do what we do and I think that stronger sense of identity will help us reach new heights in the years to go. There will always be a lot more work that needs to get done, but it doesn't always feel like work. Every day is exciting in different ways and I always look forward to what will come next. And I can't ask for better people to work with day after day.

I love our gaming friends, which is a tight circle that isn't very big and at times can feel rather exclusive. But that's because the people we do hold close and choose to spend so many game nights with have become some of the most important people in our lives. Beyond the games, we've become a support system for one another and I think we've gotten through the worst bits of the pandemic thanks to our unique friendship. Our RPGs haven't returned to being in-person, but at least the sessions remain fairly regular. And we now have a lot more board game nights than we used to, even if we play with relatively smaller groups on average now.

I'll never stop praising our O Bar family and I cannot imagine a life without what is clearly a Philippine LGBT cultural landmark in itself. The different performers and the staff truly feel like family to us and extra glad that the bar survived the financial challenge that was the lockdown period of the pandemic. Places like bars and professions like being drag artists and dancers are uniquely in-person experiences that you'll never fully replace with an online experience. This is why we invest so much of ourselves into celebrating and promoting the bar whenever we can because it's just that special to us. We owe so much to everyone who makes O Bar possible.

And, of course, the biggest gift of all remains to be Tobie. I've said it so many times that my life changed completely because of him and I'm forever grateful for how he has helped me to become not just a better person but a much happier one. We still live in a country that doesn't have a way to legally recognize our being together, but I know that Tobie and I are in it for the long haul and we're pretty much married in practice, even without the paperwork. But I would really like the legal protections and other rights a couple like us should be entitled to. 

This has been a pretty relaxing Christmas weekend. It may not have been the flashiest and I still feel bad for not having managed proper gifts for everyone that I wanted to give gifts to. However, it has been no less meaningful and I hope this blog post helps to capture some of that sentiment and strength of deep emotion that I feel.


  1. We're also Star Fleet officers. :)
    But yes, had the legal protections and recognition existed in this country, we'd jump right into that without a second thought so we can also benefit from those. Until then, weddings seem unnecessary and just ... "fun". I love you!


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