CELEBRATE, just like the Queen of Pop said we should. However “take some time to celebrate” in December takes on a whole new meaning when celebrations happen everyday. You know how it is when we Pinoys celebrate, there’s a lot of food and wine on the table. Laughter makes the gathering even merrier.

I had my share of the food, drinks, laughter, and the weight gain on the onset of December. I am not complaining but I am not moving either. We all know extra effort is needed to burn off the excess calories. I will have to whip myself after the season.

In the meantime, let me enjoy the season-the food, the drinks, the laughter, and some good news from those who hosted the gatherings.

At the Smart Holiday Hoopla, everyone in the room was a kid again. Cupcakes were personalized, maybe to assure we all had a bite of the dessert (LOL), and we had to work for the prizes via the party games.

From twerking to mumbling song titles while wearing a lip retractor to group performances, winners got to take home their prizes.

Maybe the biggest prize was for the city with Smart and PLDT’s news of upgrading their system in the coming days to make communication faster.

Megaworld kept its gathering intimate. The sudden downpour even made the “gratitude dinner” gathering more intimate with a few guests not making it.

Over food and drinks, which included Fundador Light, news of the township’s development in the North of the city was shared. Harold, the host, painted a picture of what to expect when the well-planned project reaches completion.

No party games this time. The host’s generosity extended to presenting us with gifts as the company’s way of saying thank you for the partnership.

The Sunday stay-in-bed time took a different turn when Bistro Rosario invited me for an afternoon of Christmas Carols. Why not, it’s the holidays anyway.

It was an afternoon of discoveries.

First, Echoistic, a group of young talented performers, did a mighty fine job in serenading the crowd with Yuletide carols and current favorites.

Second, Amylou Aarts’ baked creations took me to seventh heaven. The Baklava was fantastic and the other, which made it to this year’s best desserts, I will reveal on the yearend issue.

Perhaps, it was a glimpse of more fantastic desserts for this Davao food institution.

Admit it, if you’re a local, you grew up loving and craving to this day a bite of the ribbonette cake and the butter roll whenever you hear the name Peter Pan and Bistro Rosario.

The boys in congress’ Christmas party came next. Karlo and Koko Nograles, who succeeded their father, Boy Nograles, and earned their seats in the congressional hall, shared their good news as well.

The new budget has been passed and with it is the share for Mindanao’s development. Both men are in all out support of each other and Davao.

At the DOT-Davao Region yearend gathering, the key tourism players in the Davao region reported on their achievements, and were glad to announce the increase of visitors in their locale.

They all shared their plans for the coming year, which included strengthening the partnership with all the provinces in the region.

The parties are far from over, there are several more in the coming days and yes, I have accepted the fact that the waist will indeed be gaining an inch or two.

Come 2017, I look forward to the big dreams for Davao turn into reality as I put a stop to the merrymaking and uncontrolled population growth of the fat cells around my belly.

Merry Christmas to all!

Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com. For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit www.ofapplesandlemons.com & www.jeepneyjinggoy.com