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Posts Tagged ‘Awaiting Christmas 2016’


Greetings of peace.

Finally completed the 9 novena masses for Simbang Gabi. What a joy! What a blessing!

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I would like to wish you all a blessed, happy and merry Christmas. It’s that time of year again when we share the joys that the season brings – time to be merry, time to make friends with those you have hurt and who have hurt you before, time to feel the joy of His coming.  He is the reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Here’s hoping for a bountiful 2017 to all of you. I am grateful for your presence and I am glad to meet those new followers to my blog. Let us make this community a truly happy one.

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Whoa! I am reminded of this song every time Christmas comes.  Giving gifts  will always be a part of the Christmas celebration  and no matter how simple or how small your gifts are, they are appreciated.

♫♫♪What can I give you this Christmas?
Something sparkling to go with your eyes
I’ll give you the light of the Yuletide star
From the cold December skies

What can I give you this Christmas?
Something soft like the sound of your name
I’ll give you the hush of the falling snow
As it settles to the ground”♪♫♪

Are you still excited receiving snail mails during the Christmas season? Do you feel that sudden leap of the heart when the doorbell rings and the postman delivers them?   The lovely tradition of sending and receiving Christmas greeting cards has slowly been replaced by  more advanced  means like canvase-cards, video calls, Skype, Viber, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. It is far easier to get in touch with friends and loved one nowadays via social media. Gone (or almost gone) are those Christmas greeting cards lovingly chosen for their amazing and beautiful messages and  for their colorful designs. Hallmark cards are always the best when it comes to buying a good greeting card for all occasions. They have that lovely messages that fit every known celebration be it Christmas, birthday, christening and what not.  They always have several designs meant to entice  us to buy.  Nowadays though, I noticed that the shelves in some bookstores only allot a small space for this .

I still enjoy and I am still excited receiving snail mails be it during Christmas or on ordinary days when I  get lucky to get one instead of bills on utilities that I  have to pay.  My brother who lives in Tulsa religiously send us Christmas  greeting cards every year, a picture of the family so you can practically compare how the kids have grown from the previous years. A friend who now lives in Canada still send me occasional letters with Christmas greetings, a sort of summary on what they did and where they went for vacation during the year. It is always nice to hear from them even if we regularly communicate via phone calls and through the free sites like Viber. As long as one has an internet connection, it is so easy to get in touch. One could not replace their physical presence though.

What can I give you this Christmas? My special thoughts and prayers go to all of you my online friends.  May your Christmas celebration be a blessed and a happy one.

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Lately, I promised myself to write everyday just like when I participated in WordPress’  Post A Day writing challenge back in 2011 but always, always I get distracted by other things.  There is always something that is ought to be done, there is always something that prevents me from sitting long enough to write a blog post, there is always something better and more urgent to do than blogging.

Josef and I had our twice a month visit at the wet market early this morning.  We make it a point to go there early so we could catch fresher produce.  It is easier to navigate the place when there are  few early risers like us.  One thing that I love about my suki (favorite vendors)  is that they give you discounts especially when you buy by the kilo.  My son knows where we buy meat, poultry, fish and vegetables. It is always a thrill to discover new things at the  wet market. Compared to prices in supermarkets, items are a lot cheaper and fresher.  Come to think of it, they give Christmas gifts too. My fish suki gives me a bottle of fish sauce every year, my other suki gives t-shirt.  Some of them give coin purses that are so handy to use when marketing.  Josef laughs at me when I smile bringing home  these gifts. Simple though they may be, but we always say, it’s the thought that counts.

It’s the third night of Simbang Gabi. 

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.

Emmanuel means God is with us. The gospel today talks about the presence of God in our lives.  It is the presence of God which will complete us, not power, not wealth, not possessions.  We seek God’s presence, we knock so we could be heard and we do this through prayers.  We see  Jesus though in the Holy Eucharist.

emmanuel-god-with-us

May you all be blessed.  Have a nice weekend.

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It’s a little windy outside but just perfect for the second night of Simbang Gabi. The Gospel speaks of the genealogy of Jesus.  There is really no perfect family.  The flaws are there, glaring at you at times  but you learn to accept them in your life.  We often make mistakes but our families  are  there to support us. We often encounter failures but our families are there to lift us up.   Most of the time we are unlovable but still our families love us.

Family and genetics play a big role on how are lives are shaped. When we speak of families, it’s not just the family we were born  to but also those friends who consider us as their own.   They say that blood is thicker than water but it is not always the case. There are times when our closest friends act as our families too.  The beauty of a positive family relationship lies  in the   way we were taught by our elders,  how respect  is inculcated in each one of us. The way we think, act, and feel are greatly influenced by our family.

Nabuhay ang Diyos para maging anak tayo ng Diyos. This is one emphasis I learned from the mass tonight.  God was born for us so we could be children of God.  It may be hard to understand. As baptized Christians, we are now a part of  the genealogy of  Christ.

I’ve checked my dashboard lately and I only have 28% left of my allowed space. Sigh 😦  Maybe I shouldn’t be posting more pictures so I can utilize it well.  Most of my latest photos posted here are downsized  from their original higher  resolutions. This is my 1,890th post by the way and I am glad I’ve reached  a total of 443,307 as I write this.   It is hard to build a number of visits when you are not blogging every day.  and it is also quite hard to think of  varied subjects to write about.  I value every comment and like you post on my blog.   I also consider them as blessings to my blogging journey.  I am  also glad to have found more  online friends lately.  You may visit my new blog if you have time and consider following it too. It’s called Dreams Never End. It is a little different from this one because almost  every post is accompanied by a photo.

Salamat.

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Just attended the first Simbang Gabi at our village chapel. What a beautiful celebration of the mass.  Simbang Gabi which means  “Night Mass”,  Misa de Gallo in Spanish or “Rooster’s Mass”, or Misa de Aguinaldo, “Gift Mass”  is a novena of dawn Masses from December 16-24  which is  Christmas Eve.  It’s a lovely and unique celebration of attending masses which is normally held at dawn  but the Church allows it to be celebrated a little earlier the night before like tonight.  We witnessed the lighting of the Christmas tree inside the chapel and the lighting of the  Christmas Belen  before the mass started.

Christmas celebration in our country is replete with these  age-old traditions which we inherited from our ancestors.  Dawn masses are usually held at 4am  and start on December 16.  We wait for the nine days till Christmas day.  You are blessed if you complete the nine novena masses because they say that you can ask and pray for certain favors  and they will be given to you.

It’s actually almost nine days to go before Christmas. what is more fitting in honoring the Christ Child by offering this novena. Sometimes in the frenzy of preparing for Christmas, we simply forget what it means, the birth of our Saviour.  We are more focused on the material side of  celebrating Christmas –  giving gifts, preparing for Noche Buena feast, parties here and there, office parties everywhere and  lots and lots of Christmas decor in our homes and on the streets.

But what is Christmas without all these? Here’s a beautiful meditation on Jesus’ nativity from Pope Benedict XVI.

“In the birth of Jesus,
God comes to us and
asks us to receive
Him, so that He can
be born in our lives
and transform them,
and our world, by the
power of his love.

The
Christmas liturgy also
invites us to
contemplate Christ’s
birth against the
backdrop of his
paschal mystery.
Christmas points
beyond itself, to the
redemption won for
us on the Cross and
the glory of the
Resurrection.”

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