Thirdy Ravena was in a Denny’s restaurant ordering some roast beef, Thursday evening.
The 24-year-old was rushing to get home so that he can catch up with a family dinner.
However, the Denny’s was in Hanadacho, Toyohashi, while the rest of the Ravena family is 2,771-kilometers away in Cainta, Rizal. Yes, the middle child of the Ravena clan will still have Christmas Eve dinner with his family through Zoom.
“Yes, first Christmas ko ‘to alone. It’s always the time of the year where we can spend quality time together. Lahat nasa bahay,” shared the 6-foot-2 Asian import of San-En NeoPhoenix, who tried to take out some KFC chicken as per Japanese Christmas tradition hours before but the lines were too long.
“This being my first experience of a Christmas alone, it’s different. But I’ll still spend time with them. Actually, I’m buying food right now kasi mag-didinner kami through Zoom.”
There have been a lot of first for Ravena so far in his two-month stay in Shizuoka.
When he got sick late November, he had to take care of himself. Last December 17, he also spent his 24th birthday alone.
Though Ravena has mentally prepared himself for this prior to leaving the country last October 15, it still is surreal once the day arrives.
“Coming into Japan, I prepared myself to do a lot of things alone – spending my free time pretty much alone, celebrating my birthday, Christmas, and New Year alone,” shared Ravena.
“‘Yung mahirap diyan ‘yung mga moments na sana wish mo na may kasama ka. But I prepped myself for it.
“A lot of my teammates and staff are also celebrating Christmas alone. May kasama naman ako so it’s weirdly comforting,” he quipped.
It will be business as usual for San-En on Christmas day as it prepares for a back-to-back against Akita Northern Happinets this weekend. San-En’s homebase is an hour and 45 minutes away by plane from Akita.
Despite being miles away, Ravena made sure that he can still give back to his countrymen for Christmas.
Last December 21, Ravena and the brass of NeoPhoenix, led by president Kenjiro Kitago, gave 250 shirts to the victims of Typhoon Ulysses in Tuguegarao City.
With this deed, Ravena certainly brought Filipino Christmas to the people of San-En.