Lanterns galore!

Anyone guessed correctly what this picture actually is?

To some of you green-minded (mind the pun) people out there, no… that is NOT a gigantic condom. πŸ™‚

It’s actually a sky lantern, which starts of this small…

Hmmm… come to think of it, it does remind you of a condom when you take it out of the wrap. Comes in different flavors… este colors as well! πŸ™‚

The next step is that you’d have to carefully open it.

Hold it gingerly because this baby’s made of paper!
After it’s all spread out, place it on a flat area and use a marker to write down your wishes. That’s one wish for every side (there are four sides), and sign your name after every wish.
One of my Taiwanese friends writes something I can’t really understand. He’s probably wishing for more money and a promotion. πŸ˜‰

Here’s one side of mine:

Of course, what else can I wish but “Living every moment of my life to the utmost. Carpe Diem!” I also wished for good health and happiness for my family and friends, alongside other more selfish wishes. You know the drill… a chance to travel more, finding my soulmate, job fulfillment, among many others. πŸ˜€

Afterwards, you’d have to place a bunch of oiled lucky paper money in the middle and light it:

My innovative friends even added a certain twist: they’ve added sparklers at the end of every sky lanterns so that it’ll look especially beautiful as it floats up to the sky.
My innovative friends even added a certain twist: they’ve added sparklers at the end of every sky lanterns so that it’ll look especially beautiful as it floats up to the sky.

Last step: Let your wishes fly to the heavens so that the gods can fulfill it.

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Because it’s the last day of Chinese New Year, the whole of Taiwan celebrated this weekend. In Chang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall, there was the showing of the lanterns, in Yue-Shui somewhere in Tainan, there’s the lighting of the fireworks, and at Pingxi, there’s the lighting of thousands of sky lanterns.

Of course, I was part of the fun.

Good thing, my friend Ken invited me out to join him and his friends for dinner and some lantern lighting action at Bali (near the Danshui river).

I almost choked on the ammonia caused by the barbecue meal we had, but it was really fun lighting the lanterns. We probably lighted around 8 lanterns that day.

But the best was yet to come…

Afterwards, I met up with my guypal Mike, Dan and some of Mike’s friends at Rouge where there was a pre-Valentine’s party.

My gosh, I’ve never seen so many Westerners in my entire stay in Taiwan!

It was great fun playing drinking games, though it was kinda embarrassing when 20-year old Justine suggested this game that looked like this:

Trust me, it looked a bit stupid, but it’s soooo stupid that it’s funny. Imagine doing this in a bar full of Westerners (I’m not in any of the pics btw).

But it was great. It’s always good to party with good friends, and though the place only had one bathroom for both men and women (yeah, bad planning I guess… and you’d have to wait for at least 15 minutes for your turn), it was fun and I got home at 4AM!

Wohoo!

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The next day, I woke up bright and early for our charity brunch at the Sheraton. The president of WorldVision Taiwan (http://worldvision.org/) was there to share his experiences in Sudan and Afghanistan, and even the press was there! WorldVision is a non-profit organization that gives care to improvished children from less fortunate countries.

For only NT$700 (around P1,350) a month, you’ll ensure that one child has clean water, food, shelter, and education. Not bad if you put it in perspective. NT$700 is what you’d spend entering Mint.

My friend and I halfed the cost in sponsoring a child for a year. WorldVision was also able to find other people to sponsor kids so that was great as well!

Afterwards, the twelve of us headed down to Shufen Village in Pingxi to witness the lighting of thousands of lanterns.

The way there was pure hell.

Check out the number of people at the train station:

One guide was even pushing two old men into the train just so they can all get in! It was really crazy!

How crazy?

We left Taipei via the 3:44PM train, and got to Pingxi at around 7PM to 7:30PM!

Usually, it would only take you over an hour only, but there were just so many people that the trains were delayed. When we got there, Natalie was sooooo hungry that even the fried noodles and rice that we ate tasted really good!
Check out the number of people in Pingxi… and that’s just in one section of the village:

People were walking on the train tracks and lighting lanterns. It was amazing, and dangerous! Oh well, the things you experience in Taiwan!

Of course, we also did our fare share of lantern lighting, all of which were very successful.

Yay!

Haha, it would’ve been terrible if the lanterns caught fire. Imagine having all your dreams burned to a crisp! πŸ˜‰
That’s my ABC friends trying to make sense about lighting a lantern. Haha, if you’d notice, the girls are holding an orange lantern, which is especially made for those looking for love and romance in their lives. Careful there, Perry!

It was truly a very magical night.

That’s one of my lanterns floating up to the sky, baby! Beautiful, ain’t it?

Overall, the entire experience was sooooo worth it. Even though it was hell getting there, taking part of this once-a-year experience and seeing your wishes go to the heavens is truly an amazing feeling.Check out this picture:

No, those are not fireflies or whatever. They’re actually hundreds of lanterns being let go all at the same time.

Bottomline is, it was amazing.

So there you go, my lantern-filled weekend! πŸ™‚

Can’t get any better than this, can it?

C’est La Vie!
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I truly don’t like Valentine’s Day!!! πŸ™

It’s Valentine’s and I technically don’t have a date! Technically because I had a date, but we had a slight fallout last Sunday, so I’m not sure whether our “date” is pushing through.

People who know me know that I hate not knowing what’s going to happen later. I’d like to arrange everything well and know what my schedule is…

But it’s not as if I don’t have options.

I can always go out with this other friend…

This one guy did kinda ask me out for dinner…

Or I can go wallclimbing.

I do have options.

But for once, I’d like to have a nice romantic dinner and the works during the day of hearts… you know?! It’s a different feeling.

What will happen?

We’ll see how this Day of Love ends.

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata… πŸ™‚

About Bonita

I'm a forgetful person. But I think a lot. Every day, a lot of thoughts enter my head. That's why this blog came to be: first, to keep my memories alive through the years, and two, to actually see how I and my thoughts have changed. Please note that I seldom draft or edit my posts. Sometimes, if I'm not careful, I offend some of you, my readers. And while I apologize for making you feel uncomfortable, I am not sorry for being honest or for making well-intentioned mistakes. I will however be the first to admit if I change my mind. Hence, do read and proceed with caution. My life is as colorful and as boring as you make it. I complain many days, but offer some encouragement in others. Life is fluid, it changes. So keep the positives and throw away the negatives, and I do hope that at the end of the day, you will enjoy reading the blog and leaving comments here and there if my posts touches you. Happy reading!
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