Tuesday, 30 December 2008

TREADMILL (Christmas Story 3)

She was trying to "help" his husband think on what to get her for Christmas here: GANDA'S TAG FROM WILL. It was in "desperation" why she had to write what she wanted because many times she caught him browsing the net(eBay)for a laptop. She was confident his better half would want her organize her writings and he would be willing to give her - her own personal computer. So, the "treadmill" was her way of disapproving subtly with out declaring war(lol). "Heck, we don't need another computer!" her mind spoke.

They have a store room underground and the wife asked the husband for the keys that weren't on it's usual place. He beseeched what his wife needed from the room and volunteered to get it for her. Huh? Strange! Volunteered? Strange! Then the third time she needed something from downstairs, he gave her the keys. "Oh mheeen, where's the love?...hahaha... where's the enthusiast of getting things for me?", again, the wife's mind spoke.

Worst than a child, he seriously "demanded" to open his present when its more than a week before Christmas. "Why?", the wife asked and he replied, "Nakita mon ti gift ko(you already saw my gift)!".... Huh?... "When? Why? Where?" she asked in protest.

"Makikita dita matam!"(it shows in your eyes), the husband "accused her" with out the benefit nor reasonable to what ever doubt there is(hahaha). And she swore, she's not guilty and firmly stood her stand, "I haven't seen what ever that is!".

There goes the surprise, he gave it away hahaha... The wife thought, if its a treadmill, it would be too bulky in the storeroom and she would have surely seen it. If its a laptop, the store room would be a dangerous keeping place for such an expensive thing because its damp and full of junk. "Hmmmnnn, we put all the bikes down there during winter and only me who doesn't have a bike. Ahah, SO ITS A BIKE!", she guessed. But, the husband said no and the wife never went in the store room to "investigate"(lol).

Christmas Eve. Everyone opened their gifts except the wife. The husband said she'll have to wait for Christmas morning. "DARE!" the wife answered. "... And you will never get "lucky" in a million years!", she annoyingly added. Bribing never fails to work, the husband stormed the cold and went to get her wife's gift.

When the kids went to sleep and the couple were sipping their wine, the wife wore her new jewelries from Fossil and her "other" presents. The bike was still next to the Christmas tree while they were talking:

SHE: I thought its a treadmill.

HE: It would be too big for our small house and the kids will ruin it knowing how they're fond of pressing "buttons".

SHE: Yeah and I prefer the bike. I can just imagine our rides and picnics on summer..... I thought its a laptop.

HE: Dream on honey!

Then they kissed the dawn away...


Before 2008 will finally go to the "archives", I'll sweep my "utang" away. Have to answer 3 questions from Teacher Julie's GreenBucks.

WQ 29:
Are you happy?

Some people travel and go far places just to search for happiness. Take Liz the author of Eat, Pray, Love, she went as far as Italy, India and Indonesia. And one, among the many things she wrote that I totally agree with, she said that happiness is a "state of mind" that you yourself make. I'm just very thankful I don't need to "cross over" just to be happy.

Monotonous and equally obvious as it may seem, I will always write that my family (Boogs, Lukie, Dylan, my Dad, my brothers and sisters, my nephews and nieces, my father in law, Mama Becca and Beng) would be enough to give me that "state of feeling", needless of making it as a "state of mind". So YES, I am happy!

WQ 30:
What are the Christmas traditions you and your family practice?

Nothing big but recently, we're making it official, a traditional photo shoot for that "frame-able" family portrait on Christmas eve. (How vain and lame hahaha...) Another is ordering pizza and fries for Noche Buena (that would already be a GIFT for a cooking mama).

Last one would be - just the four of us on Christmas eve. Its the second year we've done this and the kids enjoyed our full attention. Its the second year we didn't go to some invites or us inviting people. Its more intimate and relaxing. We could get to dance with Lukie and Dylan with their favorite CD - the Chipmunks.

WQ 31:
How was your Christmas?

It was fun and full of surprises. WQ Question 30 is all about it for the Christmas eve aside from opening our gifts from family, cousins and friends. Then on Christmas morning, the kids opened their presents form Santa. And later, my sister's family and some neighbors came for lunch.

I have to include, Lukie enjoyed when we played Lucky 9 and Monkey-monkey after all our guests went home. Another great way to teach him Math hehehe...

Saturday, 27 December 2008

LUKIE'S GIFT(Christmas Story 2)

Christmas morning. Lukie wasn't as enthusiastic as he did during our gift opening on Christmas eve. I haven't seen "this look"(picture below) he had last night.

Flash back.......just after Halloween, Lukie asked me to prepare for Christmas. He told me that Santa might be very busy and can't see our home if we don't decorate early. He came from school the next day and had his request granted. From then on every grace before meals he adds, "....... for the love of Christmas........ the house is ready....... Santa is coming".

Then my son made his Christmas list and also did his brother's. Its all up for Santa now to decide if Lukie had been "naughty or nice".

Back to Christmas morning.....I was puzzled why my son's excitement wasn't showing at all, so I asked:

MAMA: "Lukie, why aren't you excited with your gifts? Open it honey!" ......

LUKIE: (looked at me seriously and said in Italian) "Mama, I know what's inside it. I wrote the list, remember?".

Friday, 26 December 2008

DYLAN'S SHOW(Christmas Story 1)

Christmas Lunch 2008. As we were all seated and about to feast on the food before us, with my sister's family and some neighbors joining our banquet, Dylan stood on one of the chairs and sang... "Appyyyy bitdey ehhh yooo.......!"

Happy Birthday my son intoned dauntlessly. He belt out his song lost in the magic of his 2 years old innocence. Then everyone laughed and we said "bravoo!!!".

True enough, Dylan was right! We should have joined him in his singing. Its Jesus Christ's birthday - the reason for all these holiday cheers. We thought we knew but how many of us sang Happy Birthday amidst all these gifts, food and this event gathering or reuniting our families?

Wednesday, 24 December 2008


Myspace Comments, Christmas Comments at WishAFriend.com

Monday, 22 December 2008


Tips? I'm not good in giving one so I'll just share our Christmas decors made out of scratch. I hope its frugal enough to answer the question hehehe...

Since real live tree for a Christmas tree is NOT frequently used here, "reusing" our 6 years old artificial one is I believe economical itself. (I would prefer a real fir tree though. But transporting it from an hour travel with the boat, I'd stick with my fake ornamented evergreen).

When we first bought our Christmas tree, silver and blue were the theme color of our decors using Lukie's excess tokens during his baptism. Its a mini basket with a little baby figurine that was made in the Philippines. I just added silver ribbons to go with it.

I changed our motif into gold and red two years ago giving in to my husband's comment that the blue and silver is more of "for adults". He suggested that it would be more exciting for the kids seeing bright and bold colors(Yeah, more catchy for Dylan who runs away like a thief with the red balls).

Only the Christmas lights and the Christmas balls were bought, the ribbons were recycled. Its a gold fish net that was used to wrap a big gift before. I just cut it and made it into bows. The angel came from the hotel where my husband works. They change Christmas decors yearly so we're happy with their "hand me downs".

Out in our terrace I used real tree branches I had cut from outside. I just bought gold and red strips and made bows and flowers out of it. the blue balls were from my old blings.

Our windows too, adorned with "true" branches and old ornaments from the hotel.

Lastly, my gift wrappers. I bought a plain red paper, the cheapest in IKEA costing only 1.40 euros (10 meters long and 1 meter in width). Then a simple white ribbon(10m) for 99 cents and gold costing 2 euros more. It wrapped 3/4 of the gifts I sent to our friends and relatives. I also asked some stores where I bought some of our give aways to wrap it or they give me the wrapper and I'll do it at home.

Friday, 19 December 2008


The group's name is "coolness" itself 'aight'? Been clicking around their YouTube videos and they're really good. My favorite is their "Teen Sensation Medly".

Maybe I need to upload Boog's videos soon. His "singing powers" might make us rich hahaha!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


Lukie gave us his Christmas present. Its not wrapped, its huge but not tangible and I think, its the best gift a parent would ever ask for.

Yesterday was our son's 'Colloqui Individuali'. Its a one on one talk with the teacher(s) and they will evaluate your child's performance at school. Though I've been having this twice a year since Lukie entered day care, this year is different because he is in Grade I. Unlike in the Philippines where Kinder pupils could already read "ba-be-bi-bo-bu", Italy starts their formal education only at first grade. 'Scoula Materna' or the 3 years prior to elementary is purely "play school".

I had my 30 minutes turn with Lukie's Teacher Orietta(class adviser) and Cintia, pretty and young Math teacher. I haven't sat yet, they already congratulated me for having an "eccezionalmente intelligente e ben educato figlio" (exceptionally intelligent and well mannered son). "Hurayy!"(my mind shouted in glee).

Teacher Orietta continued to "lift my chair" saying they could see I'm giving 'tanti tempo'(much or more time) in teaching my son and they asked me how am I doing it. Then I corrected her, "Noooo, that's not true!... (I'll elaborate this further on my next post).

Always with the word 'bravissimo' (excellent), she told me Lukie works so precise with everything, writes legibly and neatly and thinks first before he does what is instructed to him or to the class. She gestured how my son puts his index finger on his temple before he would say, "ahhh yes, okey!".

In Italian, I like what teacher Orietta said about Lukie having a "wider range of thinking and intelligence" than any of the other kids in his class.

Lukie's class adviser also assumed we let Lukie use the computer liberally and I said, "Yes! Plus, he plays video games". (more on this on my next post)

I was waiting for the bomb to drop and it ain't coming so I asked the teacher if my son is always serious. A loud "NOT AT ALL!" from Cintia, the Math teacher as she shares that my son smiles most of the time, laughs easily and plays and gets along with everyone. "Another huraay!"(from my mind in glee).

That's an improvement if not an achievement for Lukie because it had been the negative comment from her teachers in 'Scoula Materna' along with how much he eats during lunch. These teachers just told me that my son is eating well. If he doesn't, then he eats big pieces of bread to compensate his less intake.

Still not quitting, I asked if my son is being too perfectionist. This is true because every deatail of his school works or assignments, he does and copies it perfectly, specially if asked to copy a drawing or a picture. Another relieving words from Maestra orietta in Italian, "At this moment its the best thing for Lukie to do or be, only during adult life that "perfectionism" is an issue for argument". Hmmnn?

"Sperriamo che Lukie e sempre cosi!"(We hope Lukie stays the same), My son's teachers wished him well.

Teacher pretty Cintia made 'pahabol' too, "Ooohh, anche bravo in canestro sai!" (He is also 'bravo' in playing basketball).

"Aysus, talaga nga Pilipino ti anak ta mo!" I told my husband and we LAUGHED OUT LOUD with pride for what was all said for the the day.

Friday, 12 December 2008


It happened to me many times. Picking up a book just to have something to read and I'll end up treasuring every word it spoke. Another clincher that sometimes, best things breeze in when you least expected it. Its not only true with books, or gifts, or food(does this need to be on the list) but also with people that comes along.

This Year It Will Be Different by Maeve Binchy - is a compilation of 15 short stories all in Christmas setting. Each tells NOT the usual "so good to be true" on how this season is anticipated, spent and viewed. A realistic characterization of contemporary individuals that will make you say, "Hmmnn, I know him/her!"

There's one story in this book about a wife who made her Christmas different by not doing the usual preparations for the holiday. She did not decorate the house, did not bake the traditional goodies to be feasted on and declared a "strike" on "domesticity".

She got tired of enslaving herself from her 3 grown up children and her husband so she decided to join them. When she goes home from work, she avoided the kitchen and sat in front of the TV like everybody does. "Mom aren't you going to do supper?" were the question on her family's faces, yet she ignored and continued to enjoy her "protest".

Her family realized how they took her for granted and started to work and help in any way they can. The mother still glued to the tube while the rest were always having "family meeting" in the kitchen. Eavesdropping at times, she knew her points were being taken.

One day as Christmas day draws nearer, the family asked the mother to come home hours later and maybe go out for a drink after work. How her "drama" paid off, her children and husband will prepare her a grand dinner that never in her life she imagined to ever take place, or so, she amused herself.

Excited to finally get home after a toast for success in the bar with a friend, the house was all lit and her family led her to the kitchen eyes closed. Taaadahhh!!! She opened her eyes and there's her surprise, a A NEW TV in the kitchen Ohmygoshhh!

For the ending of the story, get a copy of the book......

Hehehe kadi...The conclusion was a realization by the mother that changes come one step at a time. Transformation doesn't happen overnight and she also understood that she contributed to why her husband and children depended everything on her. She made them to.... So at the same night, there she was, the mother, preparing an instant supper of can goods and other quickie stuff.

I hope I recounted the story as it is. I sent my copy to my father in law. I might have missed some parts as I have read it more than two months ago.. 'Scusa' for any inaccuracy...


Dylan's 2nd Birthday. Good health and a happy childhood to you our precious little "D".

Sunday, 7 December 2008


Teacher Julie of GreenBucks started to gave us the mood of Christmas 2 weeks ago with her 28th question. Means I'm 2 weeks behind and blame that on the "fast days" that speedily passes by. Like its Monday - you ate and slept then you woke up and its Sunday. Whatever... Now back to the weekly question:

What special Christmas memories do you still cherish as the years pass by?

Every single Christmas for me is special. To be surrounded with the warmth of my family alone is enough for me to cherish, what ever day it is. I'm always thankful that at this point of my life, I have Boogie, Lukie and Dylan to spend this season of joy. And of course, to join me in celebrating Big J's birthday - No matter how simple it is and even chaotic at times when my kids are sick.

Below are some of my earlier memories of Christmas that might have made me fondle Christmas like a child. A child at heart who wants to pass it to her little boys - the wonders of believing in something magical and extra ordinary.

1. When I get home from school and my Mama had hung all the Christmas decors. I'm simply happy and relieved that this day of the year "finally came".

2. We go carolling and I remember when I was around 7 years old, the older kids would put me and my sister up front. Some houses would ignore and would not "PAY" hahaha. But because me and my sister are among the carollers, these houses were kind to give us an amount. "Wey, anak nun Danny"(Its Danny's(my dad) kids)", Uncle Polon once said who came out from his house to knock his sisters door. His sister didn't want to open up and we were running out of Christmas songs. Then we were "paid" 6 pesos after she had known it was us hahaha...

3. When we were kids, the whole clan (my father's siblings and their children) goes to ASIN (swimming pool or hot springs known in Baguio) and overnight at the beach on New Year's eve or Christmas at the beach and Asin on New Years Day.

4. Midnight Mass in Acop Tublay when I was younger. Then in our place in Ambassador when I was already in college. We used to organize the reenactment of Jesus Christ's birth before the mass. Me and my sisters sing for the choir and I play the guitar.

5. My Mama and Dad cooking for our Noche Buena.

6. 24th of December is probably the only night of the year we could stay up late.

7. Bonfires at home when we don't go out of town.

8. Once, my Dad held a Christmas party in his farm in Babatan. This place has no electricity and all the people there are simple farmers. We had 'bin-nunot'(I don't know how to translate it hehehe) or exchange gifts with everyone. I remember, the one who got my name gave me a hen. I was disappointed cause I gave a T-shirt in exchange for a chicken.

That hen lived and gave us so many eggs and native chickens for 'pinikpikan'. Looking back at it now, no gift could be better than that.

9. Then the T-shirt I gave with a print, "World's greatest lover!", to Uncle Dimas (everyone is an uncle in my hometown, even if you're not related), he wears it in every occasion I have seen him. From Canaos to school closing programs, campaigns during election time and even 'barangay' meetings he attends to. I gave that T-shirt when I was still in elementary. And last 2004, when I went home to the Philippines with Lukie, I saw him wearing it at my sister's wedding.

How about that to remind you of what you gave for Christmas? He wears it not for the proclamation of him being "The world's greatest lover" but because its the only t-shirt he has and could wear for any "special day".

10 ...and many-many more

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