Christmas Rush

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It’s just seven days before Christmas and you may find people everywhere always on the go, doing last minute shopping and groceries. Shopping malls everywhere are filled with people from all walks of life. Who would say Filipinos are poor? :) Well, its a good insight after all, right? :)

Talking about Christmas rush, I accompanied my sister Patty at SM Mega Mall yesterday. She has to buy more than 20 gifts for her godchildren, nieces and nephews. Since, she has a budget for each (and she follows her budget, unlike me.. Hehehe!), we needed to check every section of the department finding good gifts that will fit the budget. It took us maybe an hour or two to complete the list.  :)

The struggle brought about by Christmas rush didn’t stop at finding good stuff for a strict budget. It was just the beginning. After making sure that she didn’t miss any from her list, Patty tried to find a cashier that is not queuing. Well, how can she find a cashier that is not queuing at this time of the season! It’s a good thing that most of the cashier today are using barcode scanner. Waiting for your turn to pay for the items you bought isn’t that long anymore.

From the department, we went to pick up the new tower and printer I got. My old 4 year old tower decided to quit and I need to get a new motherboard, processor and casing. My hard drive and optical drives are still working so I didn’t need to get new one. I thought that since the tower didn’t have much component installed, it will be easy to carry. I also thought the same thing about the printer. Well, I was wrong! I carried the printer because it is heavier while, Patty is on the tower.

We knew that finding a ride to go home wouldn’t be that easy. Yet, we are both tired and we are carrying heavy things so we eliminate the bus ride going home. We went to the taxi bay and as expected, it is queuing again! The rain brought about typhoon added to the traffic brought about by the season. We found ourselves on the line, when Patty noticed empty FX bound to Pasig. Since, we can take that route as well, we decided to take FX and get off at Rotonda in Pasig. We just paid all the 4 sits available at the back portion of the FX. It was still raining when we got off at Rotonda.

The struggle going home didn’t stop at Mega Mall. When we reached Rotonda, we found many stranded people too. There are only few jeepneys bound to Marikina. Since, we have a lot of things with us, she told me that we should take the tricycle instead. I looked over our things while Patty checked on the tricycle that can bring to Roasario. Finally she found one. She took the backsit while I stayed inside with all the things we bought. It wasn’t comfortable as taxi but, if we didn’t take the route we did, we might still be in Mega Mall waiting for a taxi.

When we got home, we were both tired and exhausted but we’re happy. :) Thank you Lord. :)

Ciao! :)

Gift Ideas

It's my Life, lifestyle No Comments »

I went to SM Megamall yesterday with Auntie Tina for a grocery and I noticed the different items on Sale. :) I really like sale. I felt bad because I don’t have extra money to buy Christmas presents. Well, I have not work on my Christmas list either. The different items gave me different gift ideas as well. :)

For my god-children, I want to give them something that will remind them of me for we seldom see each other. I am thinking of giving them personalized T Shirts! :)

My sister’s gift to her godchildren last year were personalized tshirt. I think it would be cute and children will appreciate them. :)

It’s just first week of September yet, I can feel already the Christmas breeze!

Ciao! :)

 

What is your gift for Him this Christmas?

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I was busy doing the errands and chores I need to do last December 24. I went to the wet market early in the morning with my sister. When we got home, I rested for a while then I went to the grocery store. I headed to a gift shop afterwards to do a last minute shopping. Everybody was rushing that day. Everybody was checking and looking for good buys to wrap as gifts for family and friends.

While I was waiting for my turn to the cashier, a thought came to me and I realized that it was true. A lot of us were busy doing our Christmas shopping and checking many times our Christmas list to ensure that we were able to buy gifts for all the important people in our lives. Even on Christmas eve, we still rush to the nearest gift shop to pick up something for unexpected visitors who will come on Christmas day.

But, what we tend to forget always, is the reason why we celebrate Christmas. Why we have Christmas day after all? I asked myself then, what would be my gift to Jesus this year. Is there anything I can give that He doesn’t have?

My money is not suffiecient enough ’til the next payday. Yet, I bought a cake for the celebrant. :) I believe that He would be with us when we remember His birthday. :)

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On Christmas eve, I was talking to Him in prayers and I thank Him for everything. I cannot give Him any material thing and I cannot promise that I will not sin anymore, but I will do my best not to commit any. It may be very difficult but I will try. And, I will love Him always. My gifts may be nothing compared to the many many beautiful things He gave me, but I believe that He would be happy to know that inspite of the materialism that we have in celebrating Christmas, I still remember that today is His day. That we should always bear the Christmas spirits not only for one day nor for two weeks, but everyday of the year.

Ciao! :)

Jesus in a Manger

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After our Christmas dinner last night, my youngest sister Pauline asked me to tell the story of Panunuluyan. My daughter is only five years old but she is a very observant child. :) She also asked a lot of questions and I answered her questions, in the most simple answer I can possibly give.

On Christmas eve, she seen a re-enactment of Panunuluyan in our neighborhood. She didn’t understand it and she began asking questions about it. I started telling her the story but my words were not as accurate as it can be. I asked her to get her Bible and we’ll read the story of Panunuluyan from there. I bought my daughter a Children’s Bible where Bible story were written to cope with children’s understanding.

I browsed through its pages and began telling her the story of Panunuluyan. I continued the story until Jesus was born. Then she asked, why Jesus was born in a manger, while she was born in a hospital. She even asked if there were no hospital during Jesus’ time. I really find it hard to answer her question. I do not know how to answer it in a way that she would be able to understand it, and would not ask anymore. Hehehe!

I told her that Mary and Joseph wasn’t able to find a house where they could rest and they didn’t expect that Jesus would be born when they went to Betlehem. I told her that there maybe hospitals or clinic then, but the couple weren’t able to find one on time. Of course, she didn’t stop asking. :( I continued explaining that Jesus was laid on a manger, where the animals eat. I told her that when baby Jesus grow up, He will redeem people from sin. My daughter is aware of the Jesus’ passion because she was able to watch Sinakulo one time and she had seen that part in her bible.

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I told her about the sheperds who were the first visitors and witnesses that the son of God was born. I told her about the three wise men who came and offered gifts for the baby Jesus. She even asked if the wise men happened to be Jesus’ god parents. Well, they could be for they brought him gifts. :)

I told her that Jesus being born in a manger was a symbolic one. That soon, He will be offering His life to save people from sins. I told her that only Jesus can because He is king and He is God. I told her that when she grow up, she would understand better the persona of God. I told her that what Jesus wants from children like her is for them to be kind, respectful and obedient to parents. :) My daughter didn’t say that she is perfectly obedient. Instead, she said that her kakulitan is lessen already. And, she obeys mama (my mother) as much as she can. At least she is honest. :)

I told her to remember, that the reason why we celebrate Christmas is because we remember Jesus birthday. I told her that even if it is not December 25 anymore, we should continue to hold Christmas spirit in our hearts everyday of the year. Well, that one goes for everybody too! :)

Happy holidays!

Ciao! :)

Merry Christmas!

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I am taking advantage of the “avail time” we have in the office right now, to greet you guys a Merry Christmas. Yup! :D You read it right, I am at work right now and I am hoping that our customer’s will be kind enough to spare us from talking and talking today. Hehehe! I hope that they are enjoying the Christmas holiday with their friends and families! :)

I am so lucky to spend Christmas eve with my family. It happened that my rest day from fall on Christmas eve. :) My cousins, April and Joy went to Quezon to spend the holidays with their family. That’s why only five of us, (with Tabibe who dropped by to say Merry Christmas) ate the Noche Buena food we prepared. :)

The following morning, we heard mass together. It was a great feeling. I don’t remember having that kind of serene feeling lately. :)

I hope everybody enjoys celebrating Christmas! God bless us all!

Ciao! :)

A season of SALE

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I never realized that Christmas is just behind the corner.  How time flies so fast they said. Christmas is my favorite season of the year. I like it more than my own birthday. :)

People become nicer and generous during the Christmas season! To top it all tiangge and baratillos are scattered everywhere! Oh this what I love during Christmas season. My Internet is not working at home that’s why I wasn’t able to update you very often. But, I am working on it. I am hoping that I will be able to make it work again this weekend.

Anyway, I really took a time off and visit the nearest Internet cafe to give you an information about the different toy sales I visited last week. One toy sale is in Eastwood City. It’s Toy Town’s Toy Sale! It will run up until January 2, 2011. The store opens at 11AM and closes at around 11PM if my recollection of the schedule is correct. There are lots of toys to choose from! The toys they offer are not only for child ones but for those young at heart, too! :)

Another toy warehouse sale I was able to scout is along Monarch St. near Eastwood City, too.  Well, I guess that’s what it is called.  The warehouse schedule is November 26, 27 and 28; December 3-5, 10-12, 17-22. The store opens at around 10AM and closes at 6PM I believe. :) I would like to remind you that this warehouse toy sale only accepts cash as mode of payment. While Toy Town’s toy sale accepts credit card too. :)

I really love to buy toys and wrap them and give them to my godchildren and to my nieces and nephews. However, I have to attend to more important things first. Though I would really save something to buy those children some gifts. :)

Well, we would probably bump into each other in one of these toys sale soon! Enjoy!

Ciao!

It’s SALE Everywhere! :)

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I went to the mall last Saturday to buy gift for Samantha who just turned 7 years old. I came from a team lunch out after work. My sister Patty, Antoinette and mama went to the venue earlier that I am. I decided to drop by Ever Department along Ortigas before going to Taytay. I have not bought any gift yet. My goddaughter, Simoune, who is Sam’s cousin, will attend the said party as well so I need to buy 2 gifts. Simoune will turn 8 years old in November. They live in Bicol so I decided to give my birthday gift early. :)

I thought of giving them books. But I decided to look around first before going to the bookstore. Well, the mall wide sale is very overwhelming! :) If only I have the budget I would really buy a lot of items on sale! You actually can buy Christmas gifts for everyone on your list! :)

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Well, mall sales and tiangges will be everywhere, as Christmas comes nearer and nearer! :)

Inthe end, I still bought the girls books as presents. I gave Sam, Fairy Tales while Stories from the Bible for Simoune. :)

Ciao! :)

Happy Birthday Jesus!

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Thank you Mama Mary…

I am taking a break from catering calls to greet Jesus a Happy Birthday; to say thank you to Mama Mary for saying YES to God’s call and to greet everybody a Merry Christmas!

I know that everybody is very busy enjoying different family parties, but we should not forget the real reason we are celebrating Christmas. Tomorrow is a holiday, please do not forget to hear mass and offer a prayer of thanksgiving to the star of today’s celebration; Jesus Christ.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Ciao! :)

Bro: Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko

Feast and Festivities, In the News 11 Comments »

I asked my cousin to download an instrumental for the songs that I will be singing for my friend’s wedding this coming December. She was able to download the songs I need. In addition to the songs I asked her to download, I found a song which happened to be ABS-CBN channel 2′s Christmas station ID. It was the first time I have heard and seen the full video of it. I cried as I watch the video.

It is true that our country has suffered a lot of problems. But we should not forget that Jesus is our hope and He will light and direct our way. We should not forget that we have Christmas because of Him.

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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. :)

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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Nine Mornings

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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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