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Archive for December, 2015


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Wish you feel the joy, He has come! To all my online friends at  WordPress, MERRY  CHRISTMAS.

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Yes, our very own Pia Wurtzbach got the crown after a controversial mix-up by Steve Harvey proclaiming Ms. Colombia as Miss Universe 2015. The cue card was big enough for everyone to read but then what happened declaring someone else instead of the real winner was just so disappointing. Miss Australia confirmed that the teleprompter declared Pia as the real winner. It might have been an honest mistake (maybe he needs a new pair of eyeglasses) and  Pia was deprived the actual moment of glory  but still, she is someone to be proud of – articulate, intelligent, elegant, graceful and has shown from the start that she deserves to win.

Yes, we got the crown, the third Miss Universe win for the Philippines. It’s been 42 years since Margie Moran took home the crown. What a lovely year-ender news for the Philippines.

Photo courtesy of Twitter  (magic 89.9)

Photo courtesy of Twitter (magic 89.9)

So proud of you Pia 🙂

 

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Now that I’ve typed the title, I am wondering what is the equivalent of tuýo when you translate it in English. I think it would just be dried salted fish.

Some of you are probably wondering why of all things to blog about, tuýo comes to mind. Here in our country it is a common dish for breakfast paired with fried or sunny side up egg, a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and spicy vinegar as dipping sauce.

We celebrate noche buena  on Christmas eve. After we have attended the evening mass, we wait for twelve midnight to greet each other Merry Christmas   then share  a spread painstakingly prepared earlier on, one full meal that consists of delectable and savory dishes that you only get to see during Christmas, lots of sweets,  fruits  and even a bottle of wine to toast the occasion. This is even more scrumptious than preparing for one’s birthday. After all, Christmas is a special occasion to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Tuýo.

But why tuýo? You have probably heard of it and you might not even like the taste or the strong smell while it is in the frying pan but know what, it is  a necessary viand on the table come breakfast time and that means on Christmas morning.  You no longer want to eat those left-overs from last night’s celebration until probably a day or two but you would welcome the former complete with fried rice with diced left-over ham, eggs, mixed veggies and lots of garlic. Believe me, come Christmas morning it would be the most welcome thing you want to see on your dining table.

Nissa messaged me earlier and she said that she is excited for the coming Christmas. I am too. it would be nice to see them all again. Nate is now three, although he knows the figure of Santa, I don’t think he would associate seeing the image of Santa Claus as someone who fills the Christmas tree with gifts. He will always be excited to open gifts though and rewards you with a hug and a kiss with a shout of “thank you”.

Blessed is
The season which
Engages the whole
World in a
Conspiracy of love.

-Hamilton Wright Mabie

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That moment you wake up, open a window and faintly you hear Pinoy Christmas songs playing in some neighbor’s house….priceless. You get a little nostalgic thinking of Christmas past when celebrations were more focused on attending Simbang Gabi, nine days of novena masses until Christmas eve. Yes,today is the beginning of our traditional Simbang Gabi.  It started last night in our village chapel but it was raining hard because of the typhoon so I was not able to attend.  I have clogged nose the past days and it is hard to breathe especially at night.

It pains me to see those places affected by the typhoon, people who lost their homes, damaged roads, uprooted trees and it has not left the country yet. Our weather bureau says that there is another one coming.  Typhoons that visit us late in the year are usually strong and destructive.  I hope next week would not be a rainy one for us.

My PC is weird. Is that even the right term for it? Yesterday, I woke up earlier than 3am, a perfect opportunity to check my blogs and update our daily Gospel readings at our Catholic page on Facebook. You see, for the last five years I help manage a page with a priest friend and another friend who is a lay minister in their parish.  I was able to post Gospel readings until the end of the year then my PC practically crashed on me.  Gosh, perfect timing but you can’t quarrel with an almost ten-year old PC nor get mad at it. You just shake your head in frustration while taking another sip of a tepid cup of coffee by your side.  Like right now it is running well and I am listening to Christmas carols while I blog (keeping my fingers crossed).

I found a wonderful book on Padre Pio but I don’t want to read it in just one go, a chapter or two every day until I finish it. I also bought a copy of the Daily Gospel 2016, a collection of all the readings for the coming year, a helpful guide for my online apostolate. Speaking of books, a friend who is coming home for a short break bought me two lovely volumes of Richard Paul Evans books, one was just published last month while the other one is the 5th  and final installment of The Walk series.  Wonderful gifts from a wonderful friend.

Did I say it’s nine days to go before Christmas?  This might appear on my wall dated December 15 but it is December 16 now  and it’s 5 am. The cold winds bite but the rain has stopped. May I share another inspiring Christmas quote?

It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you… yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand. – Mother Teresa

 

 

 

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It looks like I have a lot of catching up to do, not only to get updated with what some of my online friends have posted but I think it is also time to update my blog. I haven’t posted anything since the start of December but thank you just the same for those visits. I noticed that some even read my earlier posts years ago.

I recently read a comment posted by one of my readers. He was searching for the name of his father’s urologist and found my earlier blog post on the latter. He was glad  and inspired that the same doctor did  my kidney bypass five years ago. You know that feeling of confidence that you have because of some people’s affirmation that he is good  and his patients have faith in him. Years ago,  I was also surprised when this same urologist learned that my surgical oncologist in another hospital was his mentor when he was in college.  You’d think they are coincidences but deep within you know that the connection maybe ways in which it makes you feel that you’re not alone. There are people who are traveling the same road with you and traversing life’s journeys the same way that you do.

Some people may find it uncomfortable reading about illness, believe me though, when you are the one in that predicament, you’d rather share your woes and fears even if no one empathize, even if some people don’t really understand how you feel. Reaching out, trying to accept everything  the best way you know how. Maybe that’s the reason why my older posts about being a cancer survivor still make it the most read entries in my blog.  I am still of the belief that if I could reach someone out there who needs a bit of inspiration, my efforts of maintaining this blog is not in vain.

These are actually busy days for me,  trimming our carabao grass, changing curtains for the Christmas season, hanging Christmas decor here and there, planning on what recipes to prepare for our noche buena, wrapping gifts and catching  up on my reading when I can. Having an unreliable (and moody)  PC does not help though and boy, the slow internet connection is such that I rather read than visit my blogs. I finally found a lovely book on the life of my favorite saint, Padre Pio and discovered new authors too.

Here’s something for  you to ponder on.

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” – Charles Dickens

 

 

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Gosh, where have I been the past few days?

I don’t want to whine since it is the beginning of the Christmas season but apart from the endless shocking news in our part of the world, our internet connection has become oh so slow, slower than an aging turtle on the move. I could not even see those photos attached to several blogs that I follow and to think that is not enough, my old PC is acting up again.I am grateful though that I haven’t lost all those people who visit my blog. I have now reached a total of 375,260 hits as of this writing. I know, for some bloggers, this would not matter much but it’s okay, at least I know that even if most of them are not my followers, they visit my blog and read what I write. For a blogger, that means you’re not alone in cyberspace ranting or sharing your dreams. I treasure so many online friends here who also share their thoughts with me, they are the reason why this blog still exists.

Life has become such that a day won’t be complete without visiting at least one social media or reading news online.  It makes me a little sad that for some people, texting is more acceptable than actual conversation and updating your wall on Facebook about the daily happenings in your life is more the “in” thing to do than calling or conversing with your loved ones. I know, I know, you would say, it can’t be helped because getting in touch  with them through this medium is faster and easier too. We are enslaved by time and that’s a fact. We worry that a day won’t be enough to do all the things we want to do. I know, sometimes I am guilty of this.

Josef and I usually linger at the dining table updating each other about anything under the sun. We talk about politics and he keeps asking me why I don’t blog about it.  I told him I might not be able to control myself and say things I’ll regret later. We talk about sports, basketball especially since we are both excited for the championship win between our alma mater, University of  Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University. We talk about his training at JP Morgan Chase and how different it is from his previous work. Oh yes, we talk about Christmas past and how we will celebrate it this year. With Nate around, it would surely be a blast no matter how simple it is.

I welcome December with so much anticipation and hope for better days ahead. My little sparrows are back, greeting me each morning with their lovely songs. What more could I ask for?

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