Due to many personal engagements, the scan and upload of the cover picture and publishing of this article took quite a while. Hopefully it wouldn't be too off-season for would-be readers.

Ah Christmas, the festive season that augurs the holidays, anticipated by those who are keen on a break from life's responsibilities and those who wish to spend quality time with their loved ones. This Christian holiday spans a couple of days near mid-December, promoting an atmosphere of benevolence and forgiveness whilst participating folk cover their homes with gaudy lights and fancy decorations. To join in the yuletide spirit, Rohm hosts an annual themed party for all their employees. The theme this year was "Winter Wonderland", which was strange because the Philippines neither had a winter season nor was ever a wonderland. ಠ_ಠ

So, preparing for the event I had to decide what to wear. I thought going as cap-a-pie Willy Wonka would be cool, but I also had the option of going with a plain ordinary business attire in snow white, turquoise, or azure color. There was a contest and prize money for best attire, hence I chose to go dressed as Willy Wonka (a sure winner in my opinion, I mean have you ever seen anyone dress any fancier than him?). A price-check on the online catalog for a Willy Wonka get-up unfortunately made me change my mind, as the over-all expense  exceeded the 1st prize. In the end, I went with a dull turquoise business attire and white-spotted tie.

Arriving at the venue, there was a crowd of young girls holding a banner with giant letters of my name on it. "RLDP no kurisumasu paa-chi- e yokoso Justin-senpai!!" they greeted in unison as my jaw dropped in surprise.

Okay, that's actually how I imagined things would go. In reality, I sort of lost my way when I arrived at the venue. I had no idea where to go. Some of the attendees had waaaaay better outfits than mine so it was embarrassing to go up to them and raise such a basic question. I mean, some of the women were even dressed like Alice in Wonderland and some of the men like upper class 18th century British aristocrats. A couple of awkward questions later, I finally landed on the registration area, where I was then seated at the assigned table already filled by my prompt colleagues.

The program was interleaved with dance performances and raffles. The grand prizes involved were a refrigerator, an HDTV, a Nintendo Switch (ಠ_ಠ), an electric fan, and some other household appliances - my memory is a bit foggy on the grand prizes because I didn't win any of them.  I did win a P1000 ($20) gift certificate though which was awesome! In an amazing stroke of luck, my boss also won a P1000 ($20) gift certificate. My boss and I are pretty close so I guess that explained the synergy of events?

The food was scrumptious but limited to three (3) Filipino delicacies. We enjoyed it with an exchange of casual regalement here and there over awarding ceremonies for outstanding tenured employees. The competition for best attire for men went to some guy with an ordinary tuxedo, which was okay in my opinion because he had a charming personality. The competition for best attire for women went to a lady wearing a dirndl. By the end of the night, our director gave a heart-warming speech on our president's achievements for the company.

Before leaving the venue, we had a photobooth session as a souvenir of the wonderful night we had.  The people in the photo are and were my valuable workmates who I deeply love and cherish. Without them, I think I wouldn't have grown to be the engineer I am today.