Happy Easter!

All About Faith, Festivities 1 Comment »

Well, what else can I say but Happy Easter everybody!

Jesus on Easter Sunday

Let us not forget to thank Jesus for everything. :)

Black Saturday and Easter Vigil Mass

Festivities 1 Comment »

In the morning of Black Saturday, there wasn’t much activities in the church. By the way, I remember my daughter asked me if Jesus will resurrect from death. At her young age, I just don’t know how to explain her why we have Holy Week. I don’t know how to explain to her that Jesus is alive and we only remember His sufferings and sacrifices  to redeem us from our sins.

She also mentioned that she is sad because of what happened to Jesus. I told her not to be sad anymore for Jesus will be alive again. :) I told her, to be a good and obedient daughter so that Jesus will be happy. I hope that she understood it :) .

Anyway, in the night of Black Saturday, the Catholic church celebrates the Easter Vigil Mass. I wasn’t able to attend this for I need to look after my daughter and I need to report for work the following day at 4AM.

There was a blessing of fire and the lighting of the Paschal candle.

paschal candle

We also renew the vows we made when we were baptized.  My mother and my 2 younger sisters attended the Easter Vigil mass. I don’t remember the last time I participated in the Easter Vigil Mass. :(   Hopefully next year,  I will be able to attend this one.

Ciao! :)

Good Friday

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Good Friday was the second day of the Triduum Prayer. Today we remember Jesus crucifixion and death on the cross.

good Friday

My sisters and I arrived at the church 30 minutes later after the Liturgy has started. There was no mass on that day. There was a liturgy and veneration of the cross.

Like what I have said in my previous post about the said “holy grail”, my attention was caught when the commentator mentioned the name of Mary Magdalene being at the foot of the Jesus’ cross when He died. If we can recall also, Mary Magdalene was the first to learn that Jesus has resurrected.

But, then, when the cross paraded as we remember Jesus sacrifices for us, I knew in my heart that no human can do all the sufferings and the passion He went through. I know that Jesus is one true God.

I and my youngest sister Pauline participated the Good Friday procession.

Maundy Thursday

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I got home late from work last Thursday. Well, late than usual. :) Infact, I remember my sister sent me a text message asking my whereabouts. I should’ve gone home by 1:30PM but I was still in the office at around 3PM then due to my call. Well, we were to attend the mass by 5PM at that day. We called the mass as the “MIsa ng Bayang Pilipino” but it was indeed, the celebration of the Jesus’ last supper with His apostles.

Last Supper

In the mass, the priest did what Jesus’ had done during that feast. There were 12 men who acted as apostles. Our parish priest washed and kissed their foot. Every year, this part of the mass gave me a different meaning. I felt differently as I watched the re-enactment.

Maybe because I have gone through a lot of emotional, intellectual and physical stress in the past days, and I felt God’s loving arms keeping me safe and making me feel secured.

The celebration ended with placing the holy Eucharist into the Altar of Repose. Before we left the church, I stood by the altar and prayed before Jesus. It was a very relaxing moment. I really felt His presence. And I know for sure that He will always be there for me whatever happens.

I wasn’t able to take some pictures of our own altar of repose, but I have posted one picture here to give an idea what the altar of repose looks like. The tabernacle (which is encircled) is the most important thing in the altar.

altar of repose

Ciao! :)

Holy Week 2009

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The preparation of Holy Week started on Ash Wednesday. I used to be very active with the Holy week activities before. I was part of the church choir and I really miss the days when we used to sing during the masses and activities associated with remembering Jesus’ passion.

Our family always participate in the celebration of the Triduum prayer or the Easter Triduum. The Triduum starts with the celebration of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday ends on the celebration of the Easter Vigil Mass.

They said that if you are able to complete the Triduum prayer then whatever wish you have will be granted. :)

holy week

Ciao! :)

and say Hello 2009!

Feast Days, Festivities, It's my Life No Comments »

I need to finish a review today. Though I am still lazy to tell how my family and I welcomed the new year, I need to do it now.

It was raining when we welcome year 2009. My sisters and I wish to rain on new year’s eve came true this year. Well, we’re all afraid of fire crackers and I really hate people who are fond of lighting fire crackers. It’s a good thing, it rained on new year’s eve. So, there’s not much fire crackers.

My family and I blowed trumpets and shaked our coin banks and ofcourse we yelled Happy New Year at the top of our voice! We also watched fireworks display and Nonet really enjoyed it.

Afterwards, we ate our media noche. Mama prepared Relyenong bangus, embotido, menudo and pansit. My sister made coffee jelly while I prepared Buko pandan for our dessert. At around 1AM of January 1, 2009, they started getting ready for bed. But I decided to stay up and watch Charmed. I really love it! I just bought a complete season of it and I decided to spend sometime infront of the television. I slept around 5AM and woke up 12:30PM. After lunch, I went to bed again. I was really sleepy. 

My mother woke me up at around 4PM for we will attend the 5PM mass. January 1 is not only a celebration of new year. But for Catholic believers, we also celebrate January 1 as the Feast of Mama Mary being the Mother of God. January 1 is actually a week after we celebrate Christmas Day. Christmas is the day when Mama Mary gave birth to the Son of God, Jesus.

Well, I am looking forward to a brand new year. A new hope, new beginning and abundant blessings for me, myu family and for everybody!

Happy new Year!!!!

As I bid goodbye to 2008..

Festivities, It's my Life 1 Comment »

It is just less than 12 hours and we’re about to welcome a new year. A lot of people might say that the new year will make no difference as with the other years that past, well, many people still believe that a new year, signifies new hope, new beginning.

I can say that I have been blessed this year. Though I have experienced difficulties (especially financial difficulties :P ), year 2008 is still a happy year for me. I believe, that before we say that a year has not been good for us, why not think of other people who are less fortunate that we are. So, if I were to ask, how’s my 2008? My answer would be, It was a great year. And, I am looking forward for 2009. I know that there will be challenges ahead but then with God’s gracious love, I will be able to conquer it all.

My plans for 2009? Well, honestly I have not laid down my plans for next year.. OMG! Hmm.. I have started earning for Antoinette’s schooling and I will be more thrifty next year (hopefully! :) ). Mid next year, maybe I will start looking for a greener pasteur for I have to be ready for my daughter’s education. I am also planning to apply for a housing loan. I am planning to finish my “pending” cross stitch projects.. :)

Getting married next year? I don’t think it will not be materialized even later next year. I still need to support my youngest sister’s college expenses. Maybe, when she’s already working then I guess, I can tie the knot by then. Anyway, I am not in a hurry to get married yet. Although, I still want to see myself wearing a wedding gown and walking down the long isle of a church while my groom waits for me at the altar. :)

New Year’s resolution? My new year’s resolutions are: 1)never be late from work again (my team captain will be proud of me :) ) ; 2) be more patient to honey and nonet :) ; 3) be more patient to everybody (LOL!); 4) forget about being an impulsive buyer :P ; 5) use my credit card wisely (hopefully again..)

Yesterday, I asked my mother to buy fruits for our table. During the past years we normally have 12 kinds of fruit for goodluck. This year, we have 13 kinds. We saw in the news that it should be more than 12 so that the good fortune will last longer than 12 months.

My mother is planning to prepare Relyenong bangus, Embotido, menudo and pansit. My sister will prepare coffee jelly and I will doing Buko pandan for our dessert. Yummy!

It’s a good thing that I am on my Holiday Off tomorrow. I will really be able to enjoy the celebration as we bid goodbye to 2008 and say hello to year 2009!!!

A Kiss underneath the Misletoe!

Festivities, lifestyle, nature 1 Comment »

Mistletoe has been a part of Christmas ornaments and decorations. Though we have mistletoe decor at home, we don’t usually hang it by the door. I guess, mistletoe has been famous because of a custom. I have heard a lot of stories, that if a male and a female where caught under a mistletoe, they are obliged to kiss each other and would actually end up with each other.

I searched the net to check the origins of this custom. As always, wikipedia came in handy:

According to a custom of Christmas cheer, any male and female who meet under a hanging of mistletoe are obliged to kiss. The custom is of Scandinavian origin. It was the plant of peace in Scandinavian antiquity. If enemies met by chance beneath it in a forest, they laid down their arms and maintained a truce until the next day.” This ancient Scandinavian custom led to the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe.

 

It is a sweet and funny tradition. But then do you know that, mistletoe is actually a poisonous plant?

Mistletoe is the common name for a group of hemi-parasitic plants in the order Santalales that grow attached to and within the branches of a tree or shrub. Parasitism evolved only nine times in the plant kingdom;[1] of those, the parasitic mistletoe habit has evolved independently five times: Misodendraceae, Loranthaceae, Santalaceae (formerly considered the separate family Eremolepidaceae), and Santalaceae (formerly treated as the separate family Viscaceae). Although Viscaceae and Eremolepidaceae were placed in a broadly-defined Santalaceae by Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 2, they originated independently, according to DNA sequences analysed by Dan Nickrent, Southern Illinois University.

The word ‘mistletoe’ is of uncertain etymology; it may be related to German Mist, for dung and Tang for branch, but Old English mistel was also used for basil.

Mistletoe is a poisonous plant that causes acute gastrointestinal problems including stomach pain, and diarrhea along with low pulse.  (Wikipedia)

Well, mistletoe will always be part of our Christmas decorations. Who knows, that the person you will kiss under the mistletoe is your one true love. :)

It’s the Most Wonderful time of the Year

family, Festivities, It's my Life, lifestyle No Comments »

Finally it’s here! We’ve been waiting for Christmas day and it’ here!

Christmas holidays is my favorite time of the year. Every year, I look forward to this season. How I enjoy completing my Christmas list. Shopping gifts for my godchildren, my family and my friends. Putting up our Christmas tree. Eating puto bumbong and bibingka. And, participating the 9-day novena mass or misa de gallo.

Well, due to work schedule I wasn’t able to complete the simbang gabi. I thought I will not be able to attend even a single day but I was able to manage. I attended the last day of simbang gabi last December 24. The priest asked who was able to complete the 9-day novena mass, and almost everybody was able to complete it. I just laugh to myself. It was everybody’s last day while it’s my first time to attend this year’s Simbang gabi. I really wanted to attend it though it’s just a day. Gladly I was able to make it

  

On the same day, I went to Robinson’s galleria to do my last minute shopping. Well, I just need to buy few items more to complete my list. As expected, there was a long queue for atm. When it was my turn, I almost cry when my bank went offline. I looked for another ATM in the mall and thank God I was able to find one. I withdrawn enough money to pay my credit card bills and for the things I need to buy.

I arrived home at around 5PM. I was really tired that I fell asleep. My sister woke me up at around 8PM for we will be attending the midnight mass. We intended to attend the 9PM mass but we ended up hearing the 10:30 PM mass. It was our Parish priest who celebrated the mass. The  homily was really good. He really made a point and hopefully everybody was able to understand, internalize and materialize what the priest said during the homily.

He shared us that he was watching the news few hours ago. He was really dismayed about our local actors and actresses. Those showbiz personalities were doing feeding programs and gift giving. They said that it is their way to praise and thank God for the ample of blessings they received. Then Msgr. Pasti said, it is not good to do feeding programs and gift giving only once a year. Feeding the hungry must not be done only once a year but everytime an oppurtunity comes for you to feed the hungry and to help the needy. Well, he has a point. A very big point that everybody must realize.

As utter my usual prayer, I thank God for many blessings He has given and continue to shower on me. I thanked Him for the I have enough money to buy gifts for my love ones and to have many foods on our table. I thanked Him for everything. Then, a thought came to me. .

Every year, we celebrate Christmas to remember Jesus’ birthday.  All of us are too busy shopping for gifts, buying foods. But have we ever realize or think for a moment, if we have prepared our gift for the birthday celebrator? Isn’t that we celebrate Christmas because, it is Jesus birthday?

I cried when I thought that I have not prepared any gifts for Jesus. Then I told Him in prayers that, the best gift I can give Him is myself. I am not perfect though. My soul isn’t that white as ivory. But then, with Jesus love for me, I may be able to make myself a pleasant gift.

When I pray to God and ask Him to make me strong, He gves me oppurtunities to be strong. That sometimes, I don’t want to ask him to make me strong, :) When I pray for patience, He gives me oppurtunities to be patient. Very patient. It is so hard, Lord! Well, I asked for it and so He gave me.   

My Christmas this year is really wonderful. Hopefully, the Christmas Spirit lives in each one of us, the whole year round!

Merry Christmas!

Is Santa Claus for real?

Fairy tales, family, Feast Days, Festivities, It's my Life, lifestyle 3 Comments »

When we’re young, we always hang our Christmas stockings and wait for dear Santa Claus to fill it with gifts. More often than not, we caught our parents secretly placing our Christmas wishes into those big stockings the night before Christmas. So, when we woke up and greet Christmas day a good morning, we found our stockings filled with gifts.  Then we knew that Santa stopped by our house last night, gave our gifts for being good boys and girls the whole year.

To this day, Santa Claus is still a significant symbol of celebrating Christmas. I received this email this morning and I would like to share it with you.

 Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

From the Editorial Page of The New York Sun, written by Francis P. Church, September 21, 1897 We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

“Dear Editor–I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?”
Virginia O’Hanlon, 115 West Ninety-fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

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A Christmas Wish

family, Festivities, Filipino Showbiz, lifestyle 1 Comment »

I watched Betty La Fea in Channel 2 the other day. It stars Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz. There was a scene when Armando Solis(John Lloyd Cruz) is sharing with Betty(Bea Alonzo) the places he went to celebrate Christmas in the past years. He also told her that when he was young, he used to write his  Christmas wish on a paper. He said that his father will grant almost everything in the list, except for his number 1 wish. Betty then asked Armando what was it. But Armando just shrugged his shoulders and told Betty that it doesn’t matter anymore.

Then, it’s Betty’s turn to share her past Christmas celebration. Betty had wonderful Christmas with her family. Then, she asked Armando if he can spend his Christmas with her and her family. Then, Armando hugged him tight. He told Betty that it was his number 1 wish, “to spend Christmas with a family.” Something that his father cannot fulfill.

john lloyd cruz and bea alonzo

I really like their love team. I have admired John Lloyd Cruz as an actor and he really looks good in the big screen. He’s a very good actor. He can play each role given to him as if he’s really that “person.” I remember one time, when he played the role of man who has cerebral palsy. That in spite of it, that person became successful. That’s about John Lloyd. :)

Well, everyone of us has our own Christmas wish. As for me, I just wish that my daughter will have good health and many blessings for me my family. :)

Nine Mornings

Feast Days, Festivities, Food Trip, It's my Life, lifestyle No Comments »

Christmas will never be complete for Filipinos if we will not participate in the 9-day Novena mass in preparation for Christmas day. Simbang Gabi as we call it here in the Philippines. Though, the mass is being celebrated usually at around 4AM, we still call it Simbang Gabi or MIsa de Gallo in Spanish. The word “gallo“ comes from a Spanish word called rooster.  

The 9-day novena mass starts on December 16 up to December 24. They said that if you will be able to complete the 9-day novena, whatever it is that you pray for will be granted.

When I was young, I really see to it that I will complete the 9-day simbang gabi. I would really felt bad if I miss a day, especially when I am praying for something that I really wanted to have. Due to work reasons, I can no longer complete my simbang gabi. But, I still participate in the mass if I can.

In our parish church, we have 3 schedules for simbang gabi. That is really cool. Everybody will have the time to attend mass, without making work reason as an excuse. Well, that really hit me.. :(   The first schedule is 9:30PM which starts from Dec. 15-23. And, 3:30 AM and 5:00 AM which starts on Dec. 16-24. 

The sacrifice of waking up early and to hear mass will then be benefited by a seasonal Filipino delicacies, Bibingka and Puto Bumbong. Although, these two kakanins are being served from some stores all year round, it is still great to enjoy these kinds of food during the holidays.

bibingka

Bibingka

puto bumbong

Puto Bumbong

As of this writing, it is just about 6 days to go before Christmas. I still have time to attend Simbang Gabi and enjoy bibingka and puto bumbong.. :)

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