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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas 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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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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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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I thought it would be easy to buy a gift for Nate now that he is turning three (next Sunday) but I was in a quandary what to buy for him, a choice between books, toys or something he can wear. I was like a top toy on a slow spin while choosing what to buy for him that I know he would like. He loves toys but those race cars would only stay good for a few days then it would just be the remote control that is functioning. He loves caps and bonnets and face mask toys for kids. Make them all represent his favorite characters this side of the planet.  Last year, his favorite was Mickey Mouse, he even had a Mickey Mouse designed cake on his second birthday then Nissa bought him a big  Micky Mouse stuff toy (bigger than he was) for Christmas. Next thing I learned he loved Spider Man then  it was Minion toys.  He has two favorites though,  two small plastic robots that he plays with when he is here. No harm with breaking except perhaps an arm twisted too much because he makes them fight each other. Next thing you know, he will probably be asking for an astronaut suit because being an astronaut is his dream at the moment. He was happy with the F1 racer suit that Nissa bought for him to wear last Halloween.

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Sorry, I got lost there somewhere. After a few rounds of going here and there inside the children’s section of the department store, I finally found it.  I know he would love this , he can use it when they travel. It’s unfortunate though that he can’t  use it  yet when they go up to Baguio tomorrow for a three-day trip. Maybe, he would be able to experience pony-riding again and enjoy  a boat ride at Burnham Park. The cool weather there is just perfect for activities outdoors.

I was supposed to buy some Christmas gifts too for the family but I can’t stand Sunday when there are so many shoppers in all corners of the mall. I ended up buying  a birthday gift and a Christmas gift just for him. It’s one item off my list.

Celebrating birthdays and Christmas, the heart is glad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, I know a lot of you would probably react and say “it’s too early yet”. I know, I know. Yesterday before my son left for work he asked me to listen to the new downloads on his tab saying that I would surely like it and adding that it’s my favorite album of all time. I was surprised. He downloaded the whole album of Gunter Kallmann’s  Christmas Sing In. Around this time every year, I would bring out the various CDs and play them randomly and one of them is the album Christmas Sing In. As if that was not enough, son said, “listen to this Ma”. We smiled, remembering those days when they were younger and we would listen to the Jackson Five belting out ♫♪Santa Claus Is Coming To Town♪♫.

Did you ever believe in Santa Claus? Did you let your kids believe that he comes on Christmas Eve bearing gifts that they asked and prayed for? I don’t remember my kids ever having asked Santa about what gifts to receive for Christmas although they each had a picture with Santa Claus, a perfect capture of smiling kids on Santa’s knee.  Those were the days when parents and their kids line up at one section of the mall  to wait for their turn to be pictured with Santa. I wonder if they still do that these days. Since I resigned from work more than fifteen years ago, my check list on buying Christmas gifts has dramatically narrowed down to just family and close friends. I do my Christmas shopping early depending of course on available budget and finding gifts for family and friends that they will truly appreciate. It’s not the cost that counts really, but the thoughtful gestures behind the gifts.

I remember our Christmas celebration last year with Nate’s infectious smiles while  embracing a Mickey Mouse toy which was larger than he was.  Back then, Mickey Mouse was his favorite. Now he is into Minions and large Lego blocks. I wonder what will be next when he celebrates his third birthday come November.

I bought a food magazine on home-cooked Pinoy classics. Chanced upon it when I went grocery-shopping. I would love to try those luscious local fruit pies (at least one on their list), recipes using coconut, and locally famous desserts. One can always buy them here (Cainta is famous for kakanin) but the challenge of course lies in learning how to cook them in one’s own kitchen. I would love to try the good old-fashioned Bibingka wrapped in banana leaves, topped with grated coconut, a little amount of sugar and butter and those cheesy Ube-Cassava cakes…heaven.

Oh, I am listening to the remastered Christmas album of Johnny Mathis. I think of Dad when I listen to this, he used to have an LP (a long-playing record) way back then.  It makes me smile and a little thoughtful listening to the catchy and lovely Christmas songs in the album.

I know, it’s that time of year again!

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