Our first embassy Christmas party at post and we loved every bit of it. Personally, I love the embassy events where we all get together and become one big family – eating together, sharing stories. In fact, I always feel that way whenever I drop by the embassy on a normal work day. Everybody is so welcoming and nice.

I love how in this embassy, ranks don’t really matter too much. You don’t hear officers belittling their staff or making them feel inferior – in person, in social media, and everywhere else. And there are no complaints from the staff about their bosses. Everybody works well with each other and whatever professional differences they encounter on a day-to-day basis, at the end of the day, people chalk it up to work experience and do not take it personally. It really is like a being in a big family where you find comfort despite being far away from home. We have each other to talk to, laugh with, and even share homesickness.

So I just wanted to share a couple of photos from the simple Christmas get together we had last 13 December. People came in red, green, and gold. It was also a going away party of sorts for Zaide, one of the political attaches of the embassy who is ending her tour of duty here in KL come 26 December. She’ll be going back to the home office for 2 years before being assigned again. Children of the embassy’s employees also showed us their talent. It was a fun night. 😀

Our Ambassador giving a speech at the beginning of the program.

During the party, our Ambassador gave a speech on what the embassy achieved throughout the year – enhanced relations between the Philippines and Malaysia, a Memorandum of Understanding between the governments, our President’s State Visit, out Vice President’s visit… etc.

But what really struck me was how the Ambassador thanked the families of the people who work in the embassy. It’s no secret that the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur is one of the most hardworking posts out there because let’s face it – there’s just so much work to be done here. People go home at 7 in the evening (this is rather late as most embassies close up at 5 in the afternoon) and it was really nice of the Ambassador to say his thanks to the families for understanding the demands of the job and for still being supportive of our family members who are working for the government. That was really sweet of him. *tears*

Zaide (in green) receives an award from the embassy. She goes home on the 26th and everyone will miss her terribly. She’s such a nice person with so much knowledge on Malaysia’s political dynamics to boot. Oh, and that’s her hubby and her daughter. Johann (R), is Alvin’s colleague as well and she was hosting the party. Yep, she’s totally quirky and fun!

A lot of the people who worked with Zaide also took turns to say something about her. My husband, a man of few words, even volunteered right away to get up on stage to talk about Zaide. My hubby is definitely warming up to people at the embassy. Oh, and he really appreciates Zaide’s work (both of them are from the political section).

Proof. 😉
Of course, there was food. Hihi. Filipino sweet-style spaghetti always gets the party going. 😉
Hello Zianne! Zaide’s daughter is super adorbs! She also dances very very well!
Here’s Johann and our Consul General opening a gift from Zaide’s husband, Jay. Jay is a photographer and his parting gift to the embassy is a gorgeous, framed photo of it.
What’s a Filipino gathering without music? And have I mentioned it here before that our Consul General is a really good singer?
These are the daughters of Rovel, one of the embassy’s staff. They did a song and dance number. So adorbs! I wish Alvin and I’s lack of singing and dancing prowess will cancel out and our future kids will also be as talented (and easily persuaded to show it off). LOL
With some of the embassy’s ladies. Miss Rachel (L) is from the Consular Section and we spent two weeks with her in Kota Kinabalu for a Consular Outreach Mission to Filipinos in Sabah. Miss Jenny (2nd from R) mans the first desk you will see when you visit our embassy – the reception. She’s always got a smile for everybody. Ms Gigi (R) handles trade and is considered the embassy’s #selfie champion! 😉
Hajji Ahmad! 😀 Technically, he is not Filipino. He’s a local hire who’s been with the embassy for over 40 years, driving the Ambassador’s car. He even received awards from the department for loyalty and service which he truly deserves. 😀 Alvin and I have so much affection for him. He’s a very kind and sweet old man.
More singing! And that’s Baqs leading the band. 😀 He handles immigration concerns and is from the same province as Alvin’s dad. They bonded while my in-laws were here and he cooked some Papaitan (Ilocano delicacy) for them. Personally, I don’t like it. But hey, his folks love it so they can cook it in my kitchen. 😉
Last people standing. 😀 Some had to go home earlier as they had kids to put to bed. 🙂

So there. Just sharing with you some of our (mostly) Filipino family away from the Philippines.

When living abroad away from our real family members and our old friends, it’s best to find a group of people you can connect with. They don’t have to be strictly of the same nationality but friends that you can laugh with and count on during hard times. Having a great time with them is the best cure to homesickness.

That’s all for now! Alvin and I are spending Christmas in a hotel where it’s supposed to be a bit cooler. I’m super excited! Oh, and I promise to write about it later – after I finish the rest of my growing pile of pending stuff. Arrrgh. New Year’s resolution: Make more time for writing! Not just for the blog but for my other projects as well!

More later!