Sunday, 30 December 2007


RockYou FXText

Saturday, 29 December 2007

THE FOOD KNOCKED

Our employer once asked me if we have customary food served for Christmas and I readily told her about 'pinikpikan'. Not to give her the wrong impression that its all for Filipinos, I immediately told her about us from the 'montania'(mountain) and also queso de bola, puto bongbong and other food for the season. I was thinking, what is expected of me to say about traditional food? Of course, I'll tell her what I was accustomed to. My mom with her pancit, macaroni salad and other stuff, true we're never out of these on all occasions but its not really considered as traditional in it's very sense.

Lukie enjoying his Pandoro breakfast

Here, the Italians have their traditional Christmas cakes Pandoro and Panettone flushed by dessert wine after the main dish which is suppose to be fish. For us, we don't really eat it for dessert. We prefer it for breakfast because of it's more bread like taste. Pandoro, which we like better, is plain and softer while Panettone has dried fruits, orange rinds and sometimes chocolates and nuts. Few days before Christmas, you'll see almost all people going home with boxes of these with wine in it as give aways from their bosses.

As we speak of food, I mentioned on my last post that till the 27th of December, I haven't cook any of our meal. Thanks to our friends and neighbors who brought us their specialties on Christmas day. Kuya George who gave us 'pinapaitan' and 'kilaweng pusit'. Lorna with 'dinuguan', 'ginataang hipon', 'patatim', 'puto' and 'crema d' frutta'. Then Manang Neneth came with her tray of Cassava cake. Ingredients for such recipies are not easy to find here, Kuya George's kins had to butcher 'kambing' just for the 'papa-it' and fresh blood for dinuguan is not allowed in the market.

Then my nephew Roldan had his 3rd birthday on the 26th. I stayed home with sick Dylan. My husband went back to work so my sister Ica came to get Lukie for his cousin's big day. Again, more food when my son came back home.




Once more, GAZIE to Kuya George, Lorna and Ate Neneth. Belated happy 3rd birthday to Roldan and a million thanks to all who who sent their presents to Baby D and Lukie.


If its easier to have friends than owning a car then I've also proven that ITS BETTER TO HAVE FRIENDS THAN TO COOK hehehe....

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

OUR CHRISTMAS SPENT

The plan was to attend the midnight mass and have the Noche Buena at my friend Lorna's house. They've got three kids and it was always fun for my boys to be spending time with them. We were suppose to see Tito Joel who stole Santa's costume (joke Jo' hehehe) that made Tita Lorna so pretty that night. Then the most awaited opening of gifts that Lukie had been anticipating would be later that night when we get back home(if they are still awake).


tito joel and tita lorna
Another plan for the next day was to have a simple Christmas lunch at home with my sister Noeda's family. Then maybe in the afternoon, we'll head over to Jing's house for his husband Jojo's Christmas birthday.
All remained as mere plans. Dylan had Scarlet Fever which is an epidemic here. He got it from his brother's Christmas party at school. "Strong Igorot boy", I call him as even with fever and all, he still goes with his walking around the house, dancing when there's music and his messing up with the Christmas tree.
It was a surprise for me when he slurped his anti-biotic at first take. He will be on meds for ten days though rashes have already faded. We're now nursing a cough that makes him vomit at times and his lost of appetite. I was trying to reach his pediatrician this morning to ask why his fever came back after four days of not having it. He was still on holiday leave that started last week and from his answering machine, he referred us back to the doctor who saw Dylan last Sunday.('Igorot' boy is dancing with this music(CLICK HERE:) as I was encoding this entry).
Our Christmas eve still turned Ok if not better as we intimately celebrate it together - just us! We ordered pizza as we don't feel like cooking which Lukie enjoyed more than a fancy dinner. We popped a bottle of wine for the grown ups after and ate some nuts, fresh fruits and chocolates.

My sister Ica, who divides her days off between me and my other sister Noeda, joined us as we hear ALVIN and the CHIPMUNKS fill our home with their Christmas songs.

On my next post, read why until now, 27th of December, I HAVE NOT yet cooked any of our meal...

Saturday, 22 December 2007

IL MIO MIGLIORE AMICO


Last Friday was Lukie's Christmas party at school. It was one of those days where he ate his breakfast quickly and groomed himself with out a fuss. Mama, Papa and Dylan will finally watch him sing and hear the poem he memorized by heart.
Big brother was extra sweet with Dylan during the party and was so proud to have his little brother. "Baby Dylan!", made me smile hearing it from all Lukie's classmates. Everybody in his class knew Dylan and"BABY" has to be attached to it.

During the party, I can't help to notice how inseparable my first born and his 'migliore amico'(best friend), Alessandro. They've been going around the room copying what one does. It was so heartwarming seeing them so carefree and blissful.
I suddenly miss 'mia migliore amica'(my best-friend) - Brenda. We've been friends since high school, took the same course and reviewed for our board exam together. We knew each other's ups and downs, laugh and cried together and had also witnessed how one goes gaga over his crush. If there is such thing as soul-mate in friendship then that defines us. She made me her brides maid when she got married and also her alibi to her escapades when she goes for nightlife as bewitched by her naughty cousins.

His husband once told me not to call Brenda for those jaunts as she's married now. He said my friend has her own life and me being around is not doing any good with their marriage. I was about to shout, "WHAAATT????", but my great pal is making faces behind his husband pleading for me to shush. Huhh! I just came from my long months of stay in Davao City, how could I be around all the time? OK, her wife is my friend, not him, so I concurred to his make believe horrid accusation(LOL). Anyways, she's a mother of three now and works as a school nurse. Which reminds me, I haven't sent her Christmas card for three years now. Bad friend I am!By the way, I didn't do his husband's request, I stayed around my friends life!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

FATHER CHRISTMAS

'Babbo Natale' (Santa Claus) visited our place Cavallino last December 2. It was the first time our community hosted the event in the newly built business complex the town inaugurated recently. Never mind the business part as the kids enjoyed Santa's stopover anyway.

We came a bit late because I totally forgot about it . Hadn't my sister called, we would be missing the fun. Two jokers kept the kids entertained while waiting for Santa Claus to show up. They played with them as they run around screaming and had hurt one of Lukie's friend - Carlo. This was the sweet friend who approached us when we first arrived and have led Lukie to join the other kids. Carlo stumbled during the game and this had set Lukie into his bad mood.

Then Babbo Natale appeared with this modernistic ride of his. A policeman was driving it while Santa rode behind him. My nephew, Roldan, is owning Rudolf's replacement with his cutie pose.


When it was time for the pictures with Santa, every one flocked on the stage wanting to be the first to sit on his lap. No one bothered to form a line. So with the mommies and dads holding their babies and of course I was one of them. Boogie said I looked like a chubby kid in the crowd as I took Lukie for his turn. Not that I look young but with the Italian's height, I am the shorty Mama hehehe! Funny cause when asked who's to be the first to be cuddled by Babbo, the kids hesitated. A 12 year old boy bravely did and everyone followed after.

We still have have to get the developed prints from the official photographer who is one of the organizers.

I was reminded when I was a little girl in the small town of Tublay. I thought Santa Claus only exists in America and only goes to houses with chimneys. I once hanged a sock on our window before we went to spend Christmas at my fathers farm. When we came back, my letter to Babbo Natale was still there and I didn't have any of the things I asked. Oh, I don't mind if he owes me that much from that time on. I knew now why he didn't drop by at Tublay with Lukie's writings on what he wants Santa to bring on Christmas day. I must have filled my list back then!

Mommy Raggold posted her Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Today) . She included the True Story of Santa Claus (HERE:) where Saint Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

WE ARE NOT WHAT WE OWN


Guess everyone is almost done with their Christmas shopping and most of the gifts are now neatly placed under the Christmas tree. Some, including me, haven't started yet and merely thinking what to buy weighs me down.

A have read this article a week ago at Sun Star, A Shopping List For Samaritans , and had somehow concerned why with only a week to go before Christmas, I had only wrapped 3 gifts that are now resting under my sister's tree. The piece of Sir Mondax started, "WE'RE not what we have, and some people out there badly need what we don’t need to have, can’t, or won’t have to use, at least for this yuletide. Christmas will be merrier if their needs are in our shopping list, they who should spend the holidays in a hospital but don’t have the means to be there. "

Last October, I received an email and thought its one of those spams or chain letters being forwarded. Cold run through me when I learned it was about a college batch-mate, Perla, and her battle with breast cancer. I blogged about her here: A Stranger's Email. I tried posting her letter here: A Batch-mate And Her Battle With Cancer with high hopes that former classmates would know and could extend some help to Perla. "Sa laki na ng nabayad ko sa two times na operation at sa six session ng chemotherapy ko, hindi ko na talaga alam kung saan ako kukuha ng pambayad ko sa aking RADIATION." she said.

Malou, Perla's friend was the one who is circulating the letter. I really don't know these two ladies and can't remember if I ever bump into them at the campus of our old school, PCEC back in Baguio. I sent two emails to Malou and it was sad to hear from her that no one responded. The irony is, she even posted the letter on the "friendster group", BSN Batch '95 PCEC where most of the members are nurses working abroad looking well with their pictures posted online.

Last Thursday, I phoned up Perla to confirm her contact numbers and bank account. She was pleased to hear that I've known about her plea from the letter she wrote. I almost swallowed my words and was holding back my sobs when I heard her daughter talking while her mother was on the phone. Perla said she had to move her October Radiation therapy to this month for the lack of funds. She had been receiving the treatment for two weeks but had stopped for 2 days now because she can no longer pay.

With all these, Perla's voice was full of life. I was more emotional when she's the patient here. She was even excited to hear on my where abouts and said she remembers me when I told her my name.

I really felt her strength to hold on to her dear life saying , "4 years old palang yung anak ko ayaw ko siyang iwan at ayaw kong mawalan siya ng ina"(My daughter is only four years old and I don't want her to grow up with out a mother). We ended up our talk with the "unspoken" words of, "KEEP ON FIGHTING!"

As Ma'am CHERYL L. DAYTEC-YAƑGOT said, "...Sometimes, we turn a blind eye to the scenes because we want to get on with our lives and because we feel that our individual efforts are so insignificant that they could not overturn the prevailing misery. We seek the comforts of our homes, feast on our tables, thank the Good Lord for our good lives and ask Him to insulate us from the blight of deprivation..." which I am sometimes guilty of. Made me think, there is more on to this life than just being thankful with what we have. There's more on to blogging and talk about our family, our decors or the gifts we wrapped. And, Its not because of Christmas that we have to give back with all the blessings we are receiving. Its, "WE ARE NOT WHAT WE HAVE/OWN" as the A Shopping List For Samaritans started and ended.

You can send your help to this account # 318 3122 976 Account name:PERLA SARMIENTO, METRO BANK VISAYAS BRANCH QUEZON CITY.....Her cellphone # 0920 438 2342. Maybe instead of giving your husband two gifts this Christmas, spare the other one for Perla.

PHOTO CREDIT: Mother And Daughter

LINKS TO THIS POST: A Shopping List For Samaritans and SMORGASBORD OF RANDOM THOUGHTS

Friday, 14 December 2007

MY FIRST PAY

All our "first's" (hmmnnn....eekkk!!!)

So much for being sentimental, I'm very much guilty if it were a crime hahaha...I just love "FIRST'S" and sometimes in exaggeration, I mark it like its some huge archival event.(lol)

my husband's first note on a tissue paper hehehe

I didn't know it's that fast how payperpost would approve postings and pay you so quick. Last Wednesday, 12th of December, I received my first pay through my PayPal account after a day of entering my entry: PAYPERPOST DREAM HOLIDAY . I should have blogged about it earlier but "sleepy head" had been hitting me lately.

I still need to work on reading more and learning how payperpost works. I had just known, I would be needing an impressive blog traffic for open opportunities or available ads to blog about. It says I will be needing my aunts, cousins and bribed friends to visit more. Coffee anyone?hehehe....

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

PAYPERPOST DREAM HOLIDAY



Three of my "Must Clicks": Tina, Jane, and Bill, had been encouraging me to sign up for payperpost specially Tina who accomplished her Mac challenge. Who wouldn't be lured with the idea of being paid while doing what you love in the comfort of being in your pajamas? I did! I was thinking, I might be writing for the CHECK and forget why I started this blog.

So what convinced me after all this time? Its "2008 CHRISTMAS VACATION IN THE PHILIPPINES"! We were suppose to go home this year for the holidays but we hesitated when we learned that for our FARE ALONE, it would cost us 4,000 euros or 208,000 in pesos. Wheeww! Pocket money is not even included and its Christmas. With only my husband working, that's too much and a luxury for us.

My children's grandparents on both side of the family, are not growing any younger and we want them to hug and enjoy our kids while they can. We can't afford that for now and I believe with payperpost I can help my husband raise some amount while I am home taking care of our babies.

My blogging for payperpost is with a goal after all and I'm still in the right track that this blog is for my Dylan and Lukie. A Noche Buena with the big family and memories of their grannies spoiling them I hope to recount next year.

With this post alone, I will be receiving 20 dollars through my PayPal account. This will make my husband happy as my time on the computer will help him save for our "Dream Christmas Vacation 2008". Isn't that a nice story to tell?



Saturday, 8 December 2007

DYLAN JAMES' FIRST BIRTHDAY


Friday, 30 November 2007

Sunset or Sunrise Photo Tag

MegaMom tagged me with Show me your sunset or sunrise. Rules are: It has to be a picture I took, where and how it made me feel.

I'm sorry to break the first rule as I'm posting my husband's Sunset photos. He has so many exquisite 'Tramonto del sole'(sunset)shots and I would like to share them. Besides, I'm not good with taking scenery and landscape pictures. But(sounding defensive), my husband would agree that I'm better in taking my children's portraits.

As to how it makes me feel, I simply love it! Its so enchanting how it is reminding me to stop, slow down, look, enjoy and appreciate what is around me. It also brings back a lot of my childhood memories - some found HERE:


These are all taken here in Cavallino Treporti, a part of Venice Italy except with this photo above which is taken at the very heart of Venice called San Marco. What's amazing with our sundowns here is that, the colors do vary to what the weather and season is. When its gloomy or mostly during winter, it would look this gray:
During summer's clear sky, when everyone is out with their boats and on to the beach, it would be a rich color of gold, yellow and orange.
My husband prefers it when there are clouds. Its more dramatic as WELL(Baguio Artist) describes it!


Then the corny me would say:
When the sun finally sank in,
down to the water as it may seem.
The night is then set to fall,
yield to rest, we must all.

More photos of Venice Sunset here at my husband - Boogie's Blog

Now I'm passing the tag to Matsay, Miss Buguias , Jane , Nikki , Hannah, Layad and REYNA ELENA . Please holler this blog if you did the tag. Thanks!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

THAT CHRISTMAS TREE

Our rug rat Dylan is having his first birthday next month. Before I forget his funny little mischief adventures, I thought of writing a continuation to this post found HERE: (Baby "D", The Explorer).
Still the ongoing curiosity and exploring makes Dylan busy and he rules our home now. Our little tot never gets tired of walking around the house and storms the bathroom when he sees his chance - "the open door", that had clogged the toilet bowl last week. A part of which I am to blame because of "poor judgement" that the ball he dropped was small anyway so I flushed it instead. I had to put on my gloves to "retrieve" this ball which trapped the tissues that won't allow the water to drain(ewww?!!).

Rattles, teethers etc... and electric outlets don't amuse him anymore. Dylan's toddler "missions" are into POWER BUTTONS for now. You will just be caught unguarded when the computer is suddenly switching off or the printer icon pops out on the monitor. Lukie would often shout, "DYYLANNN!!!", when he is enjoying his TV show and his little brother changed the channel or had pushed the OFF button.
Did I say he already knew the "law of gravity"? Books, papers, blocks, toys etc...are all over the floor and you are to fix it for him to mess again.
Aside from pushing buttons, Christmas tree is Dylan's new discovery. He pulls everything hanging on it. A must not to say "NO" for a learning toddler who is trying to taste, feel and see everything he gets hold of except for harmful or dangerous things. When I consciously don't apply re-directing or diverting his attention away from the decoration, I tell him NO.

I know its not right to stop him from his exploring and my husband doesn't understand me sometimes with this. He may even be right when he says my kids might grow hating Christmas trees. But, I want something beautiful standing up there spared from messing up for a change. I can get tired too hanging back what my son took off.

So why put up that Christmas tree after all? Maybe my kids will understand me someday that I tried to let them feel the spirit of Christmas or had showed them that Christmas do exist... And, they will know that my nagging them over a tree is better than no Christmas at all.






Tuesday, 20 November 2007

THE FUNERAL

Post 25: Lolo Ramon's Story

"A big spider was carefully knitting it's web. Up, side and down it goes with passion and elegance as it inter tweeds it’s white thread in coming up with it’s masterpiece. A day of labor, it was done. The spider built it’s home like a crown above my father’s casket. A web that awed if not puzzled the people who came for my Papa’s wake". Daddy remembers.

"People kept on coming saying they came as far as Tinoc Ifugao, Nueva Viscaya down from Pangasinan. People who wept more than us telling how grateful they were for your lolo’s help and how their lives were touched and changed by him."

"One chanted during the ‘Day-eng or 'Ba'dew'(Igorot chant) that Ramon was the only mayor he knew who had a house with the ground (soil ) as the flooring, walls and post so black made by the smoke from the ‘pugon’(where to cook with fire woods) and a roof partially ‘kugon’(kind of grass) and rusted ‘si-sim’(galvanize iron). A pauper, you are indeed but a man with a rich soul, his song ended."

"It was a funeral Ambassador Tublay witnessed with so many people from different places. Others camped and slept outside and some were accommodated by our neighbors to be with us during Papa's last days. Their company alone was so heartwarming. Most of them brought foods, kamote, rice, pig to butcher and anything we would all share during the wake. "

Another man’s ‘Day-eng ‘, This is not to mourn your death but the celebration of how you lived life. A life full of giving with no expectations for anything in return.

"Aaahh' the spider web", Daddy continues.The ‘mambunong’(pagan priest) said in his ‘mad-mad’(prayer), 'Panswerti-an adi na, Idawdawat mo ay Ramon di pansangbua-an di an-an’ak mo. Sya san inka ipatawed in dae da' (This is a sign of good luck. Ramon, you are giving your children something meant for a ritual (‘sangbu’or a ritual with a pig to butcher for receiving good luck). This is the inheritance you want them to have)."

Then another ‘Day-eng’ was sang. This crown above you shining so proud are your children and children’s children. ‘Matagu- tago da et dae’day mangibangun sin ngadan mo.’(They will live and raise your name).

"Papa now laid to rest. It was our tribe’s tradition to bury our dead underground and just the soil to cover the coffin. But the people insisted, he was not a common Igorot. He deserved a tomb - a monument . We had followed the tradition yet welcomed his people’s request. We buried Papa in the ground and above was a white huge rectangle cement with a cross and there it simply said – ‘A FATHER’.(The cement was taken off during the 80's because of some Igorot beliefs and a Canao was held after doing so.)

I asked Daddy on my recent overseas call, "Sipa ngay e naala yu ni pagka-noble nen lolo (So what did you get from lolo’s nobleness)? Then he kept quiet for a while. I thought the telephone line was going crazy so I said, "Hello dad! Can you hear me?"..." Yes, you’re clear !", he answered and he told me these, "Nothing I guess if we speak of material wealth. Look, you have to go far leaving home and you have to work hard just to go on".

Then I tried to redirect him to my original question because I know he will be nostalgic again and he said...."I guess aside from ‘dayaw’(honor), it had kept our feet on the ground. Your lolo taught us to understand others, seeing the kindness in them - forgiving and staying good as much as possible. He made us work for the enrichment of what matters most – THE SOUL - and that’s where the real happiness is. If you seek and long for more than that, there will never be peace and contentment"... and the line went off leaving me digesting what Daddy had just said.

GOLD AND RED


HAPPY DECORATING EVERYONE !!!

I still can feel it now how I felt when I get home from school seeing all the Christmas decors my mother just hanged. She used to do it the day we go to school after the All Soul's Day break. I'm always blown away with all these colorful things giving life to the room. There's that aura of everything positive and as a kid, incoming gifts would be the reason to be happy. How about you, do you remember how it feels?
I had put up the Christmas tree 2 days ago, I'm not yet done as we're switching to gold and red. Last year was gold and blue after 2 years of silver and blue. Did I just say those colors like some dumb blond chick(mother hen) in a movie?

Looks corny but I can't keep these star and heart back to the store room. Gifts last year from friends.

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