Random thoughts... Happy Thoughts... Sad thoughts... Anything goes!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tuloy pa rin ang Pasko

In a little while, we are already going to be busy with our preparation of our Noche Buena (Christmas Midnight meal). We will have a get together celebration comes midnight but not all family members will be around to celebrate with us.

The past days…weeks…months… year have not been so good for many Filipinos (and other people for that matter). Many have been affected by the super typhoons, majority are in financial crisis, many families have a loved one that could not physically celebrate Christmas with them, some even have to work this season, many have experienced sickness and even death in their families. And still some have been so engrossed with the material side of Christmas that they have forgotten the real essence of it!

Despite difficulties, despite any circumstance. Christmas will go on if we want to…

It is a remembrance of Christ's birth…
a remembrance that He is always in our midst…
and an anticipation of His second coming so His people could all finally share in his everlasting JOY!

Our family Noche Buena has always been simple affair but the sense of family is always there. We remember in our celebration, family members who are not with us and of course, we remember Christ's birth and presence. For so many years our family have been starting our celebration with a prayer and a song. We have a birthday cake and sing "Happy birthday Jesus" as the kids proxy Jesus in blowing the candles! :-)) (ahh they all want to blow the candle, so oftentimes we light it up a lot of times so all have their turn)…

This time I think we should also add Apo Hiking's Christmas song to our celebration... "Tuloy pa rin ang Pasko"...Hmmm… I think I better start teaching the lyrics and melodies to the kids!!!

Merry Christmas to all of us!!!

Hmmm... it may not be as merry as we want to but remember that there's happiness if there is LOVE, and Christ is the greatest expression of love there is!

HAPPY CHRISTmas to all of us!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Caroling

The other day, I came home from work finding my 2 nieces and 2 nephews busy in decorating their alkansya (piggy bank) and improvising musical instruments, they said they wanted to go CAROLING! I asked them if they already have Christmas carols to sing and they all sang "We wish you a merry Christmas.. We wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New year" then added "thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo (you are all good), thank you!" I asked what else and they started singing some but could not finish the song so they smiled (two of them without front teeth at the moment) and said that's all! I told them that they should have more and taught them the "Sa maybahay..." song because that's the most popular caroling song, especially for small kids at the moment.

My brother-in-law wouldn't want them to go out and told them instead to do their caroling rounds at the people at home… and they were disheartened.

I suddenly remembered one Christmas when my older brother and I sneaked out of the house and did our round of caroling using our improvised instrument made out of flattened cola bottle caps with holes in the middle and stringed together with laundry wire. We went to different homes singing and there was even one place we went to where there were other kids already done with their singing and the owner already opened their gate and started handing out goodies. All the homes we visited gave us money and it was the first time, we came across someone giving goodies so we joined the other kids. And good enough the owner gave us goodies too and the other kids protested saying we did not sing! But it was Christmas after all and he did not take back what he had given. Of course, we had to go another way from the other kids since they were not really happy with us taking part in the goodies without any effort. There were also other times when I went caroling with other neighbor kids. Streets were very safe.

Times have changed and our neighborhood is different from where we used to be so that my brother-in-law is more careful in allowing the kids to go out of our gate.

So today I brought out all my coins from my own sort-of alkansya (it is actually a ceramic gift I got from a friend a long time ago where I place all my excess coins) and asked one of my niece to help me sort out the coins. Then I also bought candies and asked them to help me put assorted candies in plastics so that we could give them when children goes caroling in our place. Since there is some distance from our home and our tall gate, I asked them to sit with me outside the house near the gate so that it would be easier to hear the small children when they sing.

We gave candies for the small kids and for the bigger kids that came, we also handed out coins.

The nieces and nephews were excited! They all wanted to hand out candies and I could see that some were getting double but there are still some candies left for the next days and my nieces and nephews already know what to do!

Just hope they enjoy the giving more than the prospect of getting goodies and money themselves and decide to sneak out of the house like what my brother and I did! :-)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm so blessed!

Today is a special day and I'm thinking of all my blessings...
Ah I'm so blessed!

Mrs T's special Chloe

Today is the birthday of Mrs T's CHLOE!
How do I know???
because we share the same special day!!!

She's a blend of the East and the West and she's now 3 years old!
I first came across her when her mom requested for postcards online for her from different countries. I sent a postcard through the post office then. I thought I'd sent another Philippine card to greet her but no longer through mail but through this blog. Am not sure if her mom would come to read this but I'm sure the universe will find a way to send her my greetings and well wishes!

Happy Birthday Chloe!
God bless you and your mom!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Family affair

My sister and her family arrived from Australia last Thursday evening. They were there for almost a year since my brother-in-law had schooling there and was allowed to bring his family for the duration. So after their experience there they are back in our country and back to the rest of their family.

It was a joyful occasion of course so they decided to invite both sides of their family for a get together Saturday

We first met in Baclaran Church and had a chance to light a candle there and also a confession. They are one of the few churches now in the Philippines that still has regular confession. It was a good way of thanking the Lord for His protection and blessing for my sister and her family.

Then we headed to the Seaside Market for lunch. No it is not all market but actually a stretch also of restaurants. You could buys fish and other seafoods at the market and ask the restaurant of your choice to cook them according to your specification or you could ask them to do the marketing for you. In any case, it is a lot cheaper than eating in the popular seafood restaurants in Manila. Nevertheless my brother-in-law still paid a big amount, after all there were 30 of us that got together!!!

My sister's family missed seafoods! Guess they could forego aussie beef for a long while since that would cost a lot here besides they've been having it for quite a while already in Australia!

My mom was also with us, and since she still had difficulty walking wanted to go home already after lunch but my sister had other plans. It was rare that her family (both sides) got together and wanted to check out also the Mall of Asia which is the biggest mall so far in the country. Anyway, mama did not have difficulty going around since there were wheel chairs available for the old and disabled plus carts for the children too. Mama and I stayed for a while watching the skaters in the Ice skating rink. It was nice watching them… there were good skaters and those still trying to learn. It was funny since you see many Filipinos and others ice skating fairly well and there was also this one "white" man (I think he was the only caucasian there) trying hard to walk on ice in his iceskating shoes. He wasn't gliding, he wa trying hard to walk and kept falling. In fact his pants were already wet from his constant fall. People were laughing at him and I was trying to figure out if it was being done intentionally or not. Anyway, we did not stay that long to watch. Mama is not really a "maller" and so am I… geez, I think I am the only Divisoria girl that's not fond of shopping!

The mall is huge and we only got to see a small area, most of the shops we've seen are on the high end and both of us had no intention on going in… so we just watched casually the window displays. My brother-in-law was able to secure a map of the mall so we knew where we were. The others went their own way and decided to just meet around 4:30 pm for snacks. Good thing about cellphones, you could easily locate where the others are since it would be impossible to meet once you've gone your separate ways.

Jollibee, the fastfood restaurant we were supposed to meet, were fullpacked. No way you could sit together 30 people there so we once again decided to look for another place. They wanted to go by the baywalk and told us to meet in front of Malate church so we headed there, there was no Jollibee place near the area and to go to the other side to the bay area would be difficult for mama since she was really slow walking and Roxas Blvd is a wide street (but definitely narrow compared to Commonwealth Ave.!) so we decided to just scout the area for other fastfood place. Aristocrat would have been nice but they were full too plus we are not really that hungry. We saw a Chowking beside the church. They did not seem to have a big area but when we went inside, we saw one room that was not yet opened to the public (they were still filling up the other areas). We told the in-charge that we were many and they opened up the area… so we ended up having our own function room! Talk about having luck! We were lucky indeed for just as we have seated ourselves, people started coming inside the restaurant… some did try to get in our room but when they see that everybody there knows each other would back of so we had the place for a long while until we were almost through and the restaurant really full packed that a group occupied one table. Everybody was real happy at what happened and talking about our good fortune and I told them that I actually reserved the place for us :-) … nope, I was telling them that the good Lord probably saw our difficulty in securing a place and wanted us to be together that He reserved the place for us! :-))

We could have stayed longer since my sister wanted to prolong our get together but it was late and my brother-in-law's family still have to go back to Bulacan and we on the other hand had to fetch my sister-in-law. The kids were tired from the almost whole day affair and so was I. It felt good to be back home and finally rest that night!

Of course, it was also great to spend time with my sister and her family. We surely missed them!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tito Jaime

My mom just came home from a wake. She said that my uncle-in-law, who is only 32 years old (I’m older than him) died of liver cancer though he’s not even an alcohol drinker. The past weeks, I have also been visiting a lot of sick people and also attending lots of wakes. It is sad seeing people close to you get sick or die but such certainly happens and you have no control over it.

Last December 1, one of my good friends also died. Tito (uncle) Jaime was from my Centering Prayer support group and we’ve been together since 2000. He and Tita (aunt) Nely, his wife, are among the people I really admire. Tito Jaime wasn’t able to attend our prayers during the last year since he has been really sick. He had cancer. He wanted to live to see his grandchildren (none of his children are still married and that’s his constant prayer), he did not give up, he fought, he suffered a lot but he continuously prayed and trusted in the Lord.

He did not want his friends to see him deteriorate so I did not visit him often but there were moments when we would see improvements (and which all of us are happy) and moments when it was not good at all. On my last visit to the hospital, I could see him really in pain and it hurts to see him that way. I could not really offer him much but prayer. I tried to attend all the masses said in the wake (I missed one). I thought it was a good farewell gift to a good friend.

The priests that celebrated the masses all knew him personally but I liked best the mass presided by Monsignor Ramirez. It was so personal and he even shared some anecdotes. He remembered Tito Jaime joining their pilgrimage tour to Europe in 1998. They were in Lourdes, France then and they had a mass at 3:00 pm., Tito Jaime came in 10 minutes late and when he entered he stayed in one corner and was silently crying. They were worried something bad happened in Manila and asked Monsignor to talk to him. When he did, Tito Jaime said that he felt so ashamed for making the Lord wait! Never in his entire life has he ever been late in mass for he did not want the Lord to wait for him, but now he did! He made the Lord wait!

Monsi said he felt a bit embarrassed on hearing it and thought about the times he had made the Lord wait. He said that never in his entire life as a priest has he heard a man say those words. That was the kind of man he was, so devoted to the Lord!

He was also devoted to Saint Joseph and Monsi shared another incident when Tito Jaime approached him and said that he had a problem. Monsi thought it was a big problem and was concerned. Tito Jaime said that he thinks that his wife does not like Saint Joseph much since she was a devotee of Saint Jude. At this, Monsi smiled and said that they were both his favorites. I smiled listening at this too and kept thinking how simple Tito Jaime was. There were times I would look at him before and wished that I was as serene as he was. I’m sure going to miss him, my only consolation is that he is no longer in pain and now enjoying eternal joy and peace with the Lord!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hard fingertips

We have 3 guitars in the office which are mostly used only for our First Friday mass. Boyet uses the new one while Tess used the other steel-stringed guitar when she was still with us (now no one uses it, I think). The other one with nylon strings, our oldest guitar is rarely used at all but it is actually what I like to use when I go jamming with Boyet after office hours so I borrowed it until I could buy my own guitar.

It has been more than 3 months since I borrowed it and use it in our Prayer Assemblies and Christian Life Program. I’m not really a good guitar player but I volunteered since our Chapter does not have a guitar (nor any other musical instrument for that matter) player for a long while already.

So on Saturdays, sometimes even Sundays, I would bring the Lumanog guitar with its very heavy (extremely heavy!) case. I would commute, sometimes even walk a distance carrying it to our gatherings. Many told me NOT to bring the case anymore but I don’t want to. The guitar is not mine so I’ve got to take extra care of it. I couldn’t possibly just carry it with no supporting cover!

Anyway, though I enjoy playing the guitar when I have a chance. I would play it for my pleasure and more to accompany me when I sing… I don’t sing loud (hmmm… well sometimes I do but not as loud as I have to be when I’m with the assembly!) so I don’t strum loud as well. But when you are playing for a big group you’ve got to play it really loud since you are not just accompanying but leading the group! So now my left fingertips are thick and calloused already from pressing the strings harder!

I have observed that when I am playing and singing in our gatherings that I would really perspire. I don’t know whether I’m just tensed from playing or maybe the strumming could be a great form of exercise too. Anyway, it feels nice that I was able to complete my commitment to play for our CLP. We have finished our CLP so that means no more weekly playing. Well at least for the time being.

Playing for a group could sometimes be tiring (especially if you have to bring the very heavy case to the function) but somehow I felt happy being able to sing and play! Of course, I’d be lots happier if I could sing and play the guitar without hardening my fingers! Hmmm… maybe a hand spa will do the trick?

Yup! I think it will help PLUS the fact that my brother and sis-in-law gave me an early gift. A guitar with a light case! Now, I don't have to buy my own guitar and I don’t have to worry about that heavy case anymore (geez, it really is heavy. Lots heavier than the guitar itself!!!) and I could already return the guitar I’m using back to the office tomorrow. I wouldn’t really say I’ll miss it since I have one extra copy of the song book I’m using and I still plan to sing and play in the office on occasion.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

snatched quiet time

It is lunch break... they have turned off the lights...
all the girls went out and I am all alone :-))!!!
I've temporarily set aside the papers I am working on...
It feels nice to have some quiet time...
It would be cool to post some entries in the blog...

all the thoughts i wanted to write on has gone away!!!
SNATCHED from the moment!!!

Things have really been sooooo busy and exhausting that I missed spending time in my machine at home, just thinking of things I want to write on or reading nice stuff...

Hope things settle down soon and I get to enjoy writing some thoughts again.

Ahh... Julie has arrived and turned on the lights and his music... soon the girls will be coming back too... no more quiet!

Even some quiet time cut short!!!
Oh well at least i got to enjoy some quiet...
Plus a quick post in the blog...
I'll catch up... snatch some time again...
Another time...

Friday, December 01, 2006


Yesterday, government declared NO CLASSES in all school levels for Metro Manila since there was going to be a super typhoon coming. Likewise many establishment prepared for its coming. They put down the tarpaulins of the big billboards, Christmas decors along the streets were temporarily removed, many informal dwellers reinforced their roofs so it will not be taken away by the strong winds. But Reming, the super typhoon changed its course and weakened. It spared Manila. It hit other parts of the country but it did not pass by Manila. Manila was dry and calm the whole day! Just cloudy!

Yesterday, in church, during the 12:15 noon mass, the priest included in the intention that the super typhoon does not bring too much destruction to our country. He was concerned of its impact! Yes, we were all concerned. The last super typhoon caused too much destruction and nobody wants to experience that again. Then we too were dismissed early in work in anticipation of the typhoon. I came home early and it was still calm when I got home.

In the news they mentioned that Reming would not hit Manila anymore so the family felt relieved. We went to sleep early and I could feel some wind coming through my window and somehow wondered if we would experience some of its presence but now I wake up very very early and it is calm!

It used to be that people would really be mad at PAG-ASA if they make a blunder in their weather prediction. The weather bureau used to name the typhoons with women’s names since they said it could be unpredictable, so they have something to blame (???) if their prediction didn’t come true. But they have better gadgets for forecast now and the weather does change course but forecasters can still make mistake. Error or not, I’m glad the typhoon did not pass us. It is so nice too feel the calm!

A lot of times you experience it and you take it for granted. But you anticipate a storm and it does not come or it comes to pass and you experience tranquility and you remember how blessed you are!

It is quiet and it feels good!