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Archive for the ‘Christmas 2010’ Category


Here’s an album of the  pictures I’ve previously taken  months ago and used some of them for the popular quotes from well-known and best-read writers of all time. I enjoyed  adding these lovely quotes and posting them randomly on my networking sites.

 

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I owe my blog so many new posts.  They’ve been playing round and round my head but I just could not sit down for long to start one.  Things have been hectic since Christmas 2010.  Can you believe that?  Oh yeah, my social life is picking up!  So I’ll just satisfy myself with posting quotes in the meantime.  Here’s another one for the record.  I did a few shots of   the  melted  wax from the prosperity candles I lighted before the new year.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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I actually got two because I love lighting scented candles during this season.  There is something so nice about watching the flicker of candles and thinking about the years past, a few minutes short of year 2011.

Here’s how it is done:

At exactly 11:30 pm on December 31, light all the candles. Each candle symbolizes various aspects of life like peace, wealth, health, love etc.  Put them off by 12 midnight.  Arrange from shortest to tallest.   The shortest candle will represent the greatest blessing that the new year will bring to you followed by the rest in succession.

I had fun doing this, much like having different kinds of fruits on the table for prosperity or wearing what have you’s for New Year for good luck. But it’s only God who shapes our life and how we respond to it is what matters.  And here’s the results of both sets of candles,  from the shortest to the longest one.

Shortest – PINK for love and health – Wow, needs more love, and good health is what I’ve been praying for.

BLUE  for peace.  I guess every one of us needs peace in our lives.

ORANGE for brightness – We all need light and enlightened mind in making major decisions, right?

GREEN for money – Who doesn’t need money, but it just seemed to be fourth on the list.

VIOLET for material wealth –  Ah!  It’s second to the last  on the set

YELLOW for good spirits –

I was quite surprised that the two sets of candles practically yielded the same results except that the first one had yellow as next to the longest followed by the color violet.  Love and peace, health and happiness, aren’t these things what we always wish for?

 


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This is a little uncanny!  I looked at my last post a year ago and what do you know, I quoted same and exact words from John Burroughs while greeting everyone a happy year 2010.  I made my New year greetings early this morning and this is what I wrote on the picture that I took last December 25.

Compared to the bustle and clutter of 2009, this year has been a little subdued.   It was a year full of quiet musings and deep introspections.   I’ve gone on a few short trips, just testing how I can endure the long ride after chemotherapy.  Time was when, my life was divided into pre-surgery, recuperation and chemotherapy.  I thank God for giving me the strength to carry on despite the pain.   Hard knocks of life really make us a little stronger and enduring.

Hubby and I went back to Caleruega for an overnight stay last February 11, 2010 and as I have said in my previous blogs, that trip was  a  litmus test for me after six grueling sessions of chemotherapy.  If there is one place that I’ve blogged more than anything, it’s Caleruega.  It has become a sort of sanctuary for me.   And I thought, if I could survive that trip, then I am well.  I did and I am so much thankful for it.

Next came our Visita Iglesia last  April 01.  We did the rounds of at least seven churches in six towns in Laguna.   Every year, we make it a point to visit some churches during Holy Week .We traveled  via the scenic route from Binangonan, Cardona, Morong, Baras and Pillila, Rizal to the towns of Mabitac, Siniloan, Famy, Pangil, Pakil and Paete.  Laguna is famous for century-old churches.    It was a little tiring for me, what with so many people around and mostly under the heat of the sun.   I did okay, another plus for endurance, don’t you think?  Anyway, I thought that if I could spend the whole day outside without complaining of over-fatigue, everything would be okay and it was.   Hubby and I were also able to attend a Lenten retreat which made the celebration of Lent all the more meaningful.  God is so good!                                           


Finally had our small grotto blessed last April 11, 2010.  It was my promise to Mama Mary that I would have her image enshrined at our garden when I go out of the hospital.  Our garden was destroyed by typhoon Ondoy so we had to replenish everything planted there.   The grotto has a small pond and we have Koi fish swimming there now.  I am still not much into gardening except for an hour or two spent watering the plants every morning.

I was rushed to the hospital last May 01, 2010 because of  an acute UTI and my urologist found out that a kidney stone was lodged somewhere in my urinary tract prompting  him to insert a DJ stent for three months.  It was  a quick but an expensive procedure.   I have to make another visit to Dr. Ang’s clinic  ( he is my surgical oncologist) and he assured me that I could spend the Christmas holidays without the pressure of having another colonoscopy since he scheduled it early next year.  Hooray!

My life is slowly but surely getting back to normal.  Reading has taken a backseat though because I easily get tired while my eyes are focused on the small prints.  I remember the days when I could finish a book in a day, two or three days at the most for a long novel.  One of the joys of recuperating is having relaxed days, just concentrating on getting back your strength, never doing any taxing job.  I feel guilty though that I could not do heavy household chores although around this time, I could easily tag along doing the weekly marketing without complaints.

June 05, 2010 was Bank of the Philippines Island’s Family Day.  My daughter persuaded me to come but I was afraid to take any ride so I ended up just relaxing. I found a former office mate, such a perfect time to catch up on each other’s lives.

The month of July found me attending our  second grand reunion at the UST Library aptly called Balik-Aklatan 2. Ten years ago, we had our first reunion and this is the second time we had it. It’s nice to be back and see old friends and new faces . The three years I spent here were the best years of my teenage life. My love of books started during my stay here and I greatly appreciate what the experience taught me  – responsibility at an early age, juggling work with studies, meeting lots of friends and colleagues and most of all learning to appreciate good books.  I  was able to view the library exhibit’s  Lumina  Pandit which is in preparation for the  Quadricentennial  celebration of the University.

Remembering the good old days – that’s what the reunion was all about.   Hubby and I  had an overnight trip to Bataan middle of September.   We heard mass at Balanga Cathedral and met some new friends.  Awesome place, friendly people.  I want to go back there one of these days, if time permits.  September also started my journey as one of the three administrators of a Catholic page at Facebook.  Fr. Louie, OP calls it my online apostolate.  It is such a joy to be able to help and inspire other people.   Membership at the site is steadily increasing.  What a wonder, God is pointing the way for me to interact with people.  Last September 25, I was able to touch the image of La Naval when my good friend Lovell invited me to join them in praying the rosary when they transferred our Lady of La Naval in an enclosed room in preparation for the October Feast Day.  Awesome moments for me, seeing her up close! Last November 29, I met an online friend for the first time after exchanging notes and blogging at Multiply.  Bong is such a very gracious lady and we had a blast with her hubby, my daughter and my husband.

A few days ago, my daughter, his boyfriend and I went home to attend the barangay fiesta at our place. Though it was only a short vacation, I enjoyed it.  We’ve been able to visit some relatives and spent lunch at Maxine’s  facing the famous Hundred Islands.  I took lots of pictures of course.

At the marina, facing the lighthouse ….

The famous tourist attraction, The Hundred Islands in Lucap, Alaminos City

Somewhere along SCTEX , facing the Arayat Mountains in Pampanga

It’s been a good year so far and before it ends, I want to greet all of you HAPPY NEW YEAR.  May the coming year be fruitful, blessed and happy for all of us.

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Here’s a wish and a hope for a Blessed Christmas to all my WordPress readers!  Thank you for visiting my site.

 

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I am re-posting this message here – my Christmas message at our AFCC (Apostles Filipino Catholic Community) site

A BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL!

by Apostles Filipino Catholic Community on Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 11:42am

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. today in the town of David, a savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger”.  Luke 2: 9-12

 

What fitting way to describe the coming of our Savior  in  these verses from Luke.  For the past several days, since the start of the Advent season, we have prepared for Christ’s coming.  Just like a family with a very important guest, we are excited about it.  Christmas has been and always will be an awaited season in our lives.  More than anything, Christmas is about families. Christmas is about friendship.  Christmas is about forgiveness and repentance.  Christmas is about reaching out and inspiring others. Christmas is about sharing.  But to sum it all up, Christmas is about LoveJesus’ great love for all of us.  I found these very inspiring meaning of what Christmas truly means and I quote:

“C is for Christ who came as a babe…living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away, rising He justified freely forever … One day he’s coming, Oh glorious day!

H is for hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time (Titus 1:2)

R is for righteousness that has been revealed by God, that is by faith from first to last. (Romans 1:17)

I is for Immanuel (God with us-John 1)

S is for shepherds of whom Jesus Christ is the Chief Shepherd…the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. (Psalm 23)

T is for the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that are hidden in Christ. (Colossians 2:3)

M is for magi who came to worship Jesus for He is truly worthy. (Matthew 2)

A is for angels who sang, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)

S is for the star that led to the bright Morning Star…Jesus Himself. (Revelation 22:16)”

It’s been almost four months now since the day I was appointed  admin of AFCC  (and I thank Fr. Louie for the trust) and  I must admit these are the happiest months so far, interacting with all of you, posting comments, videos, reflections, inspirational links, Daily Gospel readings, quotes, and occasional blogs from my  personal site.  It is a continuous learning curve for me and a journey that goes beyond the ordinary.  I  am inspired to share what little I know of what makes one closer to God.  And believe me, I am also learning a lot from all of you!

My wish for you this Christmas is this, may the blessings of the Lord ‘s birth be with you on Christmas  Day  and throughout your lifetime.  Maligayang Pasko po sa inyong lahat!  Ihanda natin ang ating sarili sa pagtanggap sa  Kanya.  Let’s make room for Jesus in our lives.

 

 

Arlene


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The nights are long and the crisp early morning air makes me want to go back to bed. I am an early riser  and  5am is already late for me.  When you wake up early, you have the privilege of enjoying the silence, you have the chance to get in touch with yourself through prayers, simple affirmations that there is always a loving God by your side.  This is one of those mornings that I am essentially grateful, loving every thought that sometimes makes me smile and laugh and think of the days past.  And I say,they’ve been good.

Yesterday, hubby and I were invited to attend the thanksgiving mass of one of our new-found friends.  It was Fr. Jhoen’s first Sacerdotal Ordination Anniversary and he celebrated it with us  at the EDSA Shrine.  What a very touching and lovely homily.  And I like how he affirmed his commitment and vows:

“Take O Lord and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will.  All that I am and all that I possess You  have given me.  I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will.  Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more.  Dear Jesus, THANK YOU  for the grace of Priesthood.  Today, I renew my YES. Only YES, always YES. Amen”

I told him we will visit him in Mariveles if we ever swing  by Bataan again and he said he will look forward to that.  He has just been transferred from Balanga Cathedral last November.

We passed by National Bookstore before we proceeded to the EDSA Shrine, just browsing without any thought of buying  anything.  Lucky, lucky me, I saw another book of my favorite author, Richard Paul Evans. He is on online friend at Facebook and over the years, I’ve followed every publication of his books, it’s just unfortunate that most of them were destroyed by the flood last year.  I only have a copy of his book Grace and this new find. You won’t know how happy I was having found something, a story very fitting for Christmas.  The Christmas List was published last year. I get frustrated when I could not find any book by RPE since every year he churns out lovely and intriguing titles.  It’s a nice surprise though to be able to find one when you least expect it.

I received an e-mail  from one of my close friends that she is coming home for a family reunion by January.  She wants us to meet, (the four of us), the student librarians who’ve kept in touch all these years since our college days.  Grace is like a big sister to me. She was the one I was closest to when we were at the UST Library more than thirty years ago.  She is now based in Canada. Sr. Thea is a Franciscan nun working with the Mangyans in Mindoro and Precy is a successful businesswoman.  This is an even a nicer surprise.  What more can one ask?

It’s the start of  Simbang Gabi tonight here in our place.  Wouldn’t want to miss it since I can’t attend the dawn masses  which are usually held at 4am.  Nine  nights of novena then voila, it’s Christmas!

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And still counting…..

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I am in the middle of reading Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breatnach, a day book of comfort and joy, 366 messages and essays that touch on so many subjects that uplift the soul.  And here is her list of the 12 Christmas gifts patterned after the famous song Twelve Days of Christmas.  It’s too good not to share.

  1. On the first day of Christmas, I gave my true loves: The Gift of Undivided Attention.
  2. On the second day of Christmas, I gave to my true loves:  The Gift of Enthusiasm.
  3. On the third day of Christmas, I gave my true loves: The Gift of Creative Energy.
  4. On the fourth day of Christmas, I gave my true loves: The Gift of Simple Seasonal Pleasures.
  5. On the fifth day of Christmas, I gave my true loves:  The Gift of  Tenderness.
  6. On the sixth day of Christmas, I gave my true loves: The Gift of Good Cheer.
  7. On the seventh day of Christmas, I gave my true loves: The Gift of Beauty.
  8. On the eight-day of Christmas, I gave my true loves: The Gift of Communication.
  9. On  the ninth day of Christmas, I gave my true loves:  The Gift of Surprise.
  10. On the tenth day of Christmas, I gave my true loves: The Gift of Wonder.
  11. On the eleventh day of Christmas, I gave my true loves:  The Gift of Peaceful Surroundings.
  12. On the twelfth day of Christmas, I gave my true loves: The Gift of Joy.

Come to think of it, you can never buy them in any store or shopping mall, because they are gifts from God.  Peace of mind, happy smiles, contented hearts – they make gift-giving truly wonderful.

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