Another year has passed, and I would say this was a good year for Marketman & family. I would even go so far as to describe it as a vintage year, in fact. I have a learned a lot in the previous 365.25 days, not the least of which is everything foodwise from the tremendous give and take in this blog which has become a large part of my daily routine, and hopefully and bizarrely, a part of your routine as well. I have learned that you can indeed get wiser as you get older (though that isnâ€™t a guarantee), you can learn to focus on the highlights and the positives in life and ignore or cast aside more of the negatives. You can learn to remain sharp, sometimes sarcastic, focused and witty, while feeling less put out by dull and depressing examples of our gene pool, of which I still feel there are still many. You learn to stay true to what you are, while accepting not everyone else will ever have the same or even similar point of view. I realize life must have variety and that you must work and enjoy what you do, play and always be open to new experiences.
I have realized that there are just a few things on my personal “high priority list” and at the moment, family and close friends, a passion for food and entertaining, running a business decently and properly and looking forward to the rest of my life and deciding what to do with it is a basic but fairly comprehensive list. Life can be as complicated as you want to make it, or as simple and satisfying as you choose. I am grateful for all of the wonderful things that I have been privileged enough to have received or experienced, and realize those of us who even have the time and resources to write or read this silly blog are by far so much better off than so many of our countrymen. It feels such a monumental task to overcome what seems to be such a huge downward spiral in the Philippines but yet we all hope that things will eventually get better. I particularly feel for the many millions of Filipinos who have had to make the often painful, sometimes voluntary leap into working in some unknown/sometimes difficult foreign land, just to make sure their relatives back home are housed, clothed and fed properly.
For all of Marketmanilaâ€™s readers near and far, regulars and sometimes visitors, frequent commenters and not, Marketman and family wish you a wonderful and interesting New Year (2007). I do wish we could collectively get together for a New Yearâ€™s Eve dinner for say 6,000 regular readers and have a choice of either this western or more Filipino inspired menu. A start-up toast with well-chilled Dom Perignon or Cristal champagne served with a single spectacular raw oyster, a sliver of foie gras, a cup of lobster bisque, a generous slice of rare roast beef served with Yorkshire pudding and lots of gravy, some asparagus and a wickedly rich plate of dessert with say a crÃ¨me brulee, a small mousse or wicked chocolate concoction. Alternatively, you could start with a supremely fresh kinilaw na isda, followed by several square inches of just off the fire lechon skin, a buffet selection of ham, morcon, rellenong manok, pancit, baked lapu-lapu, kare-kare, paella (and the list would go on and onâ€¦) and a dessert spread that must include leche flan, banana turon, etc.
But this New Yearâ€™s Eve the wonderful reality is you will be reading this post from nearly 80 different countries and hundreds of cities and towns, many of which I didnâ€™t know existed until I started reading the statistics of which locations the readers are logging on from. Many thanks for visiting Marketmanila.com and I do sincerely hope you and your family have a great New Year! And just in case you thought I was getting too serious and lost some of my sense of humor, I have not. It is 2007 after all, 007’s year that is, and Marketman intends to hit the 170-175 pound mark, build respectable muscle mass, lose the “bilbil,” retain some of my black hair, not shrink from my 183 cm height, will probably pass on the PHP950 blue contact lenses, will wear my La Perla square cut swim trunks that I will have fedexed from Beverly Hills with my faux Omega Seamaster, and with the soundtrack from Casino Royale playing in the background, I shall emerge from the Batangas sea shore to waiting cameras and shrieking fans….heeheehee. Happy New Year!!!