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Archive for the ‘Celebrating Christmas’ Category


Reading was set aside for a while. I could not concentrate reading even at night aside from perusing a few poems by Mary Oliver….again!

There are deliveries almost every day for the three of us (Josef, Jovy  and me) brought about by the Lazada sale last December 12.  They have sales every month like 10-10-20, 11-11-20 etc. And since this is also their Christmas sale for the year, there seems to be many shoppers online. Lazada Philippines consists of several sellers of electronic accessories, appliances, toys, groceries, fashion accessories, home and living, health and beauty accessories too, You name it, they have it, all at a much lower price than in department stores with minimum charges for delivery. I have completed my gifts shopping at Lazada. There is one more item that I am waiting for, an electric kettle I ordered two days ago for our use. Lazada is a very popular online destination in Southeast Asia. “The online shopping group boasts one of the largest catalogues of items in the Philippines, with items from different  reliable brands, and are grouped into categories that are being sold in the website and the app”.

Yesterday, I prepared Embutido, a Pilipino meatloaf which  is also a regular fare for our Noche Buena.  Pair it with pancit or any pasta dish, some favorite sweets and  other desserts  and you’re good to go. I made 16 rolls in all. It can keep for long in the ref  without losing its flavor, just freeze it.

This afternoon, I wrapped all the gifts for the family. Jovy helped me with the bigger item for Nissa and Obet. Good thing SM East Ortigas gave me extra wrappers because half portions of the Christmas wrappers I have here got wet during the flood last month.

Last night was a very inspiring 2nd day celebration of  Simbang Gabi.  Fr. Paul, one of my favorite priests at St. Paul was the mass presider. Looking forward tonight for the 3rd celebration.

Take care guys, Covid is still enjoying its worldwide romping around.

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Most Catholics here in our country waited last night with so much anticipation on the start of our celebration of Simbang Gabi (mass at night) and Misa de Gallo  (dawn or rooster mass) early this morning. Simbang Gabi as we usually call it is a nine-day novena before Christmas.  It is a lovely tradition we observe every year. I miss going out at night to attend it this time of pandemic.  Almost every church go online though. Attendance is still limited when you attend personally at the church, receive communion and participate in the prayers and participate in the singing. That is the limitation of attending masses online but you can choose which church and service you want to listen to.

I think, those in-charge of  tracking this Covid pandemic only allows 30% capacity of these celebrations in churches. There is even a directive now starting today that wearing face shields and face masks are mandatory. It used to be where face shields are only seen in malls because they are required by the establishments when you enter. Now, once you leave your house and go to a public place, you have to wear face shields as well with the face masks.

My goodness gracious, they are blind to the fact that most people wear both when they go out. And we’ve been doing it for almost ten months now. Some government officials break their own rules. The present chief of the Phil. National Police even had his mañanita birthday celebration at the height of ECQ some months ago. Are they doing anything? I bet…waiting for available vaccine which is even reported to have been purchased from china.

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Little surprises that make me smile:

  • Long chats with friends abroad through messenger. Listening and hearing their voices – just great
  • A cup of hot green tea on an early morning.
  • Oreo kissing my toes and being just silent besides me.
  • Nates’ shouts of “hello Nonna” over the phone
  • Seeing a new bloom in the garden
  • Getting in touch with neighbors to say hi
  • Finding  a new author with a good book
  • Reading, reading until your vision blurs because you are sleepy
  • Afternoon shuteye
  • Hearing the church bells for dawn masses
  • Watching videos on different recipes one could prepare for Noche Buena
  • Surprise visits from friends
  • Surprise phone calls
  • Lovely and inspiring posts from WordPress friends and fellow bloggers
  • Beautiful comments on your blog
  • Attending Simbang Gabi and watching priest friends with their uplifting homilies online
  • WAITING FOR CHRIST’ BIRTH
  • Being excited for the celebration of Christmas 2019
  • The early morning cold breeze
  • Listening to Christmas music (more…)

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Last night was the start of our yearly Simbang Gabi or Dawn mass.  Back in the days, it used to be called Rooster Mass because  4am or 5am were usually when the rooster in your neighborhood crows.  Simbang Gabi is a beautiful nine-day novena masses in Thanksgiving for all the blessing one received in the year. It’s traditional for us Filipino Catholics. I think it is only in the Philippines where you could find this. Times has changed, nowadays these Simbang Gabi are celebrated early, usually the night before the next day to give way for those who want to attend the novena after office.  They are also brought to some malls where they are celebrated at noon and most offices also hold these masses during lunch break.

I was overjoyed seeing the Pope opening the Simbang Gabi tradition. The mass readings were read in Tagalog  but there was a translator in English. Even the songs were sung in Tagalog  by the Filipino community. I’d like to think we are special because they have adapted one of the lovely traditions in our Catholic life.

Although our country is now in the brink of…..how do you put it….the ship is sinking fast because of these non-performing powers that be in our government, I still have high hopes that this will end eventually and we will rise up again. It may just take one brave soul to start it, right now though, we are at the mercy of one man who holds everything from the Supreme Court to the Legislative Branch to our National Police down to the barangay level. I need not elaborate, perhaps you also read them online.

I digress.

We were talking about Simbang Gabi, right? There are many churches now and several congregations too that televise the celebration of the nine-day novena masses. They end the day before Christmas day.

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Cold December is definitely here.

I went out for a while to sweep the street fronting our house and the sidewalk near one of the village gates which is just at the end of lane at the side of the house, there was this cold wind blowing softly.  Not so used though to the cold especially when you are just in t-shirts and shorts.

But I just love the cooler nights. Imagine this, drinking  a  hot cup of  salabat  (ginger tea) while you are reading early at night or watching a nice film on I Want on your tab…what a perfect way to unwind.  Or maybe munching on those crispy peanuts which you bought earlier when you went to mass….heaven.

One of my friends here whose blog Saved By Words  is definitely worth a read recommended an author a few days ago. Elizabeth is all praises for the author. Luckily, I found three of his books online. Allen Eskens is a lawyer and a mystery writer. I am looking forward to read his first book called The Life We Bury. I am excited when I discover new authors on my list. Always  looking out for someone new since most of the first offerings are such engrossing read.

It is December 10 now in our neck of the woods. The Christmas clock say: It’s  14 days,  16 hours and 33 minutes until Christmas.

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So I am finally counting, it’s forty three days to go before the big day.

Do you know the meaning  and the symbolism behind the song Twelve Days of Christmas? 

Some of us are not probably aware of it. It is another one of those lovely melodies we play during the Christmas season, right? The 12 days of Christmas is the period that in Christian theology marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 6 (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings’ Day). 

In our Catholic calendar, the Feast of the Three Kings was moved every first Sunday of the year, not usually January 6 as we previously knew.  So it ends on Sunday, January 5, 2020. Here is the true meaning of the twelve days of Christmas. CHRISTmas with Christ in it.

(Got  this from a post of a friend on FB). I posted something similar two years ago. Just a gentle reminder why we are celebrating Christmas. 

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This song was playing in my head early this morning. Today is the third day of Christmas.

♫♫♪♫On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.♪♪♫♪

(Photo culled from the net)

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And before the day starts, I  want to greet you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!  And Christmas clock says it is 18 hours, 53 minutes.

Thank you for another year of journeying with me.

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It’s a wet, wet Sunday morning.  It’s been raining since I woke and it looks like it’s gonna rain come Christmas day. A bed weather indeed.

It is the fourth Sunday of Advent.  So what season comes next after Advent? You’re right, it’s Christmas.

Last night I attended the 8th Simbang Gabi and it is also an anticipated mass for today. I was praying the rosary before the evening mass when my bracelet rosary chain broke and the swarovski stones were scattered on the floor. The elasticized chain gave up on me  after so many years of continued use.  I normally wear it when I go out.  Good thing I still have four more rosary bracelets made of different materials and were gifts from close friends.  I make rosaries as gifts but I also receive several ones from friends as pasalubong  (souvenirs) from abroad  mostly from Vatican, Siena, Spain and from the Holy Land.  I even have a  ring rosary sent by a friend from Italy.

I went out for a while to buy some fruits from the village store. Local fruits are more expensive than the imported ones, the latter mostly from China.  Mangoes, papaya, melons,  pomelo –  they have it all there.  Pears and apples are plenty so with imported oranges.

And the Christmas clock says, it’s one day, fourteen hours to go before Christmas 🙂

 

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Remembering Christmas past.

This would be the first time that we won’t be complete on the 24th which is Christmas Eve. Josef still has to report to  work on the 24th but it is a special holiday here.  Nissa, Obet and Nate are coming over though but they won’t spend the night here because Christmas day happens to be Tuesday and they will spend  it with my son-in-law’s family. The following day is a regular work day.

In the past we would be busy preparing for Noche Buena  right after the evening mass and wait for 12 am  (Christmas day) to partake of the food on the table and open the gifts afterwards. We would always sleep late and wake up early again to attend Christmas Day mass.

I was looking at some of the photos I uploaded at  Photobucket and found  some Christmas photos.

We didn’t put up this Christmas tree this year because we have Oreo now.  He would play with anything he could reach and those Christmas balls would be added attraction to him. It’s a seven-foot tree. I don’t miss it much though because it is a little hard to dismantle it afterwards and clean all those decor before returning them back to their boxes. It is always exciting of course to put up a tree. Sadly,  we have never experienced having a real tree because we simply don’t have them here.  Even stores except for S & R and probably Landers now don’t sell real pines.  Next year, I’d like to decorate a small  one that would fit a side table.

And I’m in a quandary to take out or even display the gifts for the family this early. Oreo might play with them too. He played with my indoor plants last night 😦

This morning, I went to the wet market to buy some fresh ingredients for my pasta. I was thrilled when two of my sukis gave me a pretty small utility bag and a big bottle of patis (fish sauce). Such generous gestures. I receive gifts from them both every year.

Christmas clock says it’s two days, fifteen hours to go before Christmas.

 

 

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