Monday, December 28, 2009

Maligayang Bagong Taon!

New Year's eve celebration in the Philippines is quite different compared to other countries. We literally start the year with a bang!

Just a few days before New Year's eve, you will see lots of vendors selling different kinds of firecrakers. Actually, despite of the yearly ban on firecrackers (because of a number of accidents caused by firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices that have resulted in the loss of lives, limbs and properties), still many Filipinos see lighting of firecrackers as the traditional means to greet and celebrate the New Year eve.

December 31 is usually an unofficial public holiday in the Philippines, so we can prepare for the New Year eve celebration. It is a busy day for all families, me included, as I prepare food for the media noche. Most people are rushing in to buy firecrackers in preparation for the night celebration.

This is the time of the year when children have a good time blowing their plastic toy trumpets we called “torotot”. We create as much noise as possible to drive away bad spirit. Trumpets come in different shapes and sizes, colors and designs. I prefer this than buying fire crackers.

Children also enjoy stamping on their "watusi" - a kind of small firecracker that when rubbed against a rough surface and released, crackles into a little sparkwork.

At the strike of 12:00 midnight, the noise becomes defeaning, churchbells rings and firecrackers rules the sky. Adults and kids alike stood gaping in awe as we see the different firecrackers, blooming in the sky. The banging and booming rise to a climax which includes clanging of old pots and pans, jeeps, cars or motorcycle blowing their horns, ambulance sirens for full one minute at the countdown to New Year.

The loud noises and sounds of merrymaking are not only meant to celebrate the coming of the New Year but are also supposed to drive away bad spirits.

Around 12:15 am, the noise stops and the air is filled with human voices and the family starts to eat a thanksgiving feast called Media Noche, it is believe that we should put as much food on the table so that next year we will have food all year round. Twelve round fruits should be on the table as it is a sign of prosperity for the next twelve months. There is also a midnight mass celebration to welcome the New Year and to thank God for all His blessings.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Boom! Bang! Kabloom!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A day before Xmas.

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself...

Just want to greet everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope everyone will find Christmas in their heart and not under their Christmas trees, and since we grow tender with childhood memories of our Christmas, let us all become a child again at this time of the year. Have lots of laughs, ok?

Oh well even as an adult, I find it hard to sleep on Christmas eve, I guess yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine whatever our age is...

Have fun, everyone!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

25 things about me.

I have been tagged by Randy of Chicken Boys and I promised him I am going to do this meme as soon as I find the time. So here it is.

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you.
There's Giorgio Armani, Yul Brynner and Leon Spinks to name a few.

2. Where was your first kiss?
Hmm... at the public plaza. But it was dark and I was a clumsy 15 year old.

3. Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else's property?
Never did.

4. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex?
Yes, my classmate in elementary because he was very annoying.

5. Have ever sung in front of a large number of people?
Many times because I always join the school choral contest, and also because I am a choir member in our church. I sing in karaoke with few friends but never in front of many.

6. What's the first thing you notice about your preferred sex?
The eyes and their smile...and then my gaze would wander a bit.

7. What really turns you off?
Body odor!

8. What do you order at Starbucks?
Frappucino but it has been a while since I have tasted that stuff.

9. What is your biggest mistake?
Whatever mistakes I made also strenghten me as a person so I guess it's a process I have to go through.

10. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?
No. I am so scared of blood that I if I accidentally cut myself I would cry.

11. Say something totally random about yourself.
I am a sucker for sentiments. I cry just watching peoples wishes become a reality.

12. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
Yeah, a few times. But a local celebrity you may not be familiar with, so next question please.

13. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows?
Yes! I would watch it with my kids or alone.

14. Did you have braces?

15. Are you comfortable with your heights?
I am not. I wish I am two inches taller.

16. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you?
When he sent me a bracelet that he designed himself. I think that was pretty romantic because it's one of a kind and was made especially for me.

17. When do you know its love?
When i just can't stop thinking about him.

18. Do you speak any other language?
I can speak three native language. But only one foreign language (English).

19. Have you ever been to a tanning salon?

20. Have you ever ridden a limo?

21. What’s something that really annoys you?
People arriving home at 2am and make noises as if its 12 noon.

22. What’s something you really like?
I like to walk bare foot along the beach and feel the cool breeze touching my cheeks.

23. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room?

24. Can you dance?
Yes, but I am not good at it.

25. What is your favorite breakfast food?
Sorry, I don't eat breakfast.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Deal or no deal?

On his previous blog, Sid had mentioned about a bad behavior that a fellow member of his club had demonstrated. Also, Kirst had told us about a loud mouthed pregnant lady airing her complaint in the hospital corridor, and Amy, talks about that nasty lady spewing invectives to Steven. These stories kind of made me think. I wonder how I would react when confronted with such behavior in public.

I know that bad behavior is something we should not tolerate. But why is it that as we grow older, we end up tolerating it more and more? It also seems that behaving badly in public has become a normal behavior. I noticed that many people aren’t concerned anymore about other people’s feelings. Are we living in an age where saying what is on our mind is priority over any harm that it might do?

Sid had reacted to the public display of bad behavior by not accepting it. He spoke out and told this quarreling couple to stop. I think that is wise. Too many of us let bad behavior go because we don't want to rock the boat. I think this is a right time that we should rock the boat and rock it hard. It is not okay to behave badly no matter who you are.

I also think however, that Kirst did the right thing when she decided to walk away. We all have the power to walk away from bad behavior when it arises. We just have to learn to let go. If we don't have control over anything in the situation, then we better leave it behind and move on to something that we have control over. We can not control what other people do, but we can control what we will do about it. I think we will feel much better in the end if we don't let bad behavior into our life.

As an individual we should learn how to act properly. Bad behavior from other people is not our concern unless it is one of our children. I believe we should not take on the responsibility of other people’s behavior. It is enough that we keep track of our own behavior. Leave out what isn't ours.

Tsk, tsk tsk! Too bad that bad behavior is on the rise. Even superstar athletes are behaving badly, maybe because they thought they won’t have to pay for its consequences, although Tiger’s endorsements are now starting to back out. Hmmm..., I should then make the consequence concise and clear for my kids. And I should worry about how I behave rather than how others behave.

Pretty soon, it just may catch on.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Christmas meme.

I had read this wonderful Christmas meme from Julie and I asked her if I could also put this on my blog. She readily agrees as she said it's a fun way to get to know someone. So here it is and I wish you would also share with me your answers to these questions below.

1. Have you started your Christmas shopping?

No, I have not. But I don't have a long list and besides, I only purchase presents for the immediate family so I don’t have to worry about taking too much time.

2. Tell me about one of your special traditions.

We would all go to church to attend the midnight mass. Upon retuning home we would feast on our Noche Buena. Everyone is awake to partake on the table's fare and we stayed up all night exchanging banters and opening our present as it's nicer to open gifts at night when all the Xmas lights are on. If I am in the province with my folks, we would play majong( chinese bricks) till morning.

3. Are you a Black Friday shopper?

What is Black Friday? I shop if I have money, no matter what day it is!

4. When do you put up your tree?

At my old house, I would put up my Xmas tree a week after All Saints day, which is November 8. Yes, I like to spruce up the house early to enjoy the spirit of the holiday season longer. I don't have a tree in the apartment I am staying now because of space concern. I have a nativity though.

5. Do you travel at Christmas or stay home?

When the kids were in the province, I would travel there to spend Xmas and New year with them. I have to book a flight as early as October to get a discounted fare. Now that they are here, we just stay home as we don't have relatives here to visit during the holiday.

6. What is your funniest Christmas memory?

I don't remember a particular funny one. But I like spending Christmas in the country with my folks because the sheer number of people gathered there add to the festivity. It is heart warming to be among the people you care about during this time of the year.

7. What is your favorite Christmas movie of all time?

Does "Love Actually" counts? That movie takes place around Christmas.

8. Do you do your own Christmas baking, what’s your favorite treat?

I don't know how to bake. Haven't learned the craft so I always buy pastries. But I do know how to make a Mango Float with graham crackers which my kids love a lot.

9. Fake or Real Tree?

We always use a fake tree that I owned for like over ten years. I only add new things to hang there or changes the theme color depending on what I fancy.

10. What day (as a mom) does the actual panic set in to get it all done?

I never panic. There is not much to prepare as my kids aren't picky. They eat whatever is laid on the table and accept whatever gifts I gave them.

11. Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?

No way! If someone come and I don't have a gift ready to hand over, I can always give cash which is more appreciated as they can use to buy it whatever they want.

12. What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas?

I love it when after enjoying our food and opening the gifts, we would just gather around the couch and watch a movie.

13. What Christmas craft do you like the best?

I particularly like the Christmas lantern like the photo above. I like the way the lights changes and the way they seem to dance from the distance. We call our lantern - parol.

14. Christmas music. Yes or No, and if yes what is your favorite song?

Definitely, yes. Christmas songs for some reason make me sad. But I still like to listen to the haunting rendition of I'm Dreaming of a white Christmas. I don't like Jingle Bells because it's kind of irritating.

15. When do you plan to finish all your shopping?

I haven't even started shopping yet! Maybe as soon as I have the money to shop.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When laughter rolls through...

There is always something special about someone who knows how to make me laugh. I always like a guy with whom I can share a few inside jokes, and it is just amazing how well two people understand each other.

I think aside from compatibility and understanding, laughing at life's quirks and follies is a good way to go through the day. I believe that two people who laugh together deals with life in a healthier manner, than those who sit in forlorn silence. Besides, laughing can also serve as a double-bonding thing: not only does getting through tough times bring two people together, the laughter will also help them become even closer.

As one who believes that we should laugh maniacally at life, I cannot imagine a good relationship without laughter. There is no better feeling than someone knowing how to make me smile, especially since I have a difficult sense of humor. To me humor is vital to life and to love.

You know there are times when I could be cranky and difficult about something (especially when I am PMSing) and I would wish someone would jolly me out of it with some humorous remark. It's pretty hard to stay in a bad mood and I want a partner who can make me laugh at myself. I believe that the experience of sharing humor with my mate about my own idiosyncrasies and childish behavior would strengthen and reinforce the bond. .

In my home, there is always a lot of banter between me and my kids and a great deal of humor related to things our three cats do. We often comment that our cats bring us their own very special form of therapy. Sharing humor with the boys related to our four-legged family member undoubtedly helps to keep me upbeat about life - when otherwise I could be worn down by considerable stress. It's great that my boys has wit and are a natural comedian. Of course I am glad that (fill in the blank) constantly lightens and brightens my day with his hilarious comments.

Is your partner just as goofy? Do you laugh together too?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gone no more.

Inee, is a one year old kitten and is among the first litter born from my older cat Stray. She is a calico cat with the most snobbish personality. She doesn’t like to be touched by the boys, but would snuggle close to me and would allow me to pet her. She follows me in the house wherever I go, and I like to scoop her up and cradle her in my arms.

When it’s nap time, you will find her sleeping in my bed or in the stairway next to my bedroom. When it’s playtime she likes to harass her mother and her younger brother Loki.

Inee is an indoor kitten and doesn’t normally dash out of the door whenever the kids leave for school. But last Sunday when I woke up and was putting food on their plate, only Stray and Loki came. She normally was the first one to run towards the kitchen, and that’s when I realized that she is gone. I looked through the entire house to no avail. I started looking outside, no luck.

Then I remember that Benjie had mention the other night that he wants to bring Keisha home to visit me, but that he worries the cat fur may give her an allergy. Maybe he took Inee with her and let her loose somewhere hoping she won’t find her way home. I was torn between my desire to see my grand daughter and my beloved kitty. I know Inee is somewhere close by. I think she is hiding and scared. With several dogs and neighborhood cats around, there are plenty to scare the little feline in the big bad world of the unknown.

I have been watching Stray and Loki the whole day. They both sat at the window for hours when they noticed that Inee had been missing. Loki has been watching the front window as though it was a vigil. I think the cats feel my woe. When they are not by the living room window, they hide in my bedroom on my bed or they come to me and purr loud as they can. I feel that Inee being gone has affected not just me, but them as well.

Then, yesterday when I come home from work, she is there!!! My kitten finds her way home! I am so glad to see her, and she hasn’t stopped purring since she came back through the door. I am so glad my kitten has the ability to find her way back home even when left alone in an unfamiliar territory.

I know Benjie won’t be pleased. And even if my son will try it again, I am certain now that Inee will come home again and again.

Let’s see who will eventually give up this game...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I believe.

Is it possible that our thoughts are guiding our destiny?

Why do you think no two people ever experience the exact same thing along with the exact same details? Think about it, no other person, living or deceased, had or will, experience the things I have experienced, nor the things I have yet to go through. Sure, other people may have or will experience strikingly similar events, but none exactly the same down to the most minute details. So why is this so?

Simple. Because we are controlling our own lives and the events we experience without even realizing it. It is no secret that the mind is a powerful tool. Hence we attract the things we think most about and with greatest intensity.

Our thoughts become events or things. If we look carefully at all that is around us, we will know that they had happened in our life as a result of how we have thought about our life, and our belief about it all. Yes we may want to have a great amount of money, or happiness and may think about obtaining it. But if our belief system centers around feeling undeserving, that we will never have what we want, or that there will never be enough, then our bank account or life will reflect those thoughts. If lack and limitation is what our focus is, lack and limitation is what will manifest in our life.

Knowing that likes attracts like, I have tried to think of positive thoughts. Of things I desire and I truly believe that I will have it - in due time. Everything in this world has a natural development time, and this fact will not change no matter what resources I will throw at it. Being part of the universe, I am also governed by the laws of the universe, and I cannot change the natural development of time.

But I am patient. I believe, that I will eventually get what I want.

How about you? What are you most passionate about? Do you believe you will have it too?


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