Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

Although I have been coughing since the start of the Advent season, yet my weak constitution has not dampened my Christmas spirit. I deck the house with yuletide decors and lights. The children have come home and my house is set for love, laughter and cheers. The carolers have come, gifts are exchanged and food on the table are plentiful. Aside from serving my homecoming children with healthy food like fish (dalag), papaya, young coconut, guyabano, vegetables etc, I also pamper them their decadent favorites like pizza and pasta meal, pineapple pie, cakes, various chocolate candies, rich local delicacies and so on and so forth.

On December 24th, my family and I hosted a Christmas Eve party. Because the church had scheduled the Christmas mass at eight o'clock in the evening which was an hour earlier than the previous year, I therefore also requested my guests, friends and relatives to come earlier for dinner. Thankfully they all came at around 6:00 PM, we henceforth commenced eating at about 6:20.

"Glitters" was this year's party theme. My friends came with glittering clothes and accessories. Conchita Co won the most shinning outfit, while Nelly Ma won the most creative award. They both received the same prizes. Actually the prize was a simple Christmas token which I bought very recently last November from the Seattle Farmers Market. It is a digital necklace of twinkling Christmas lights. I worn one myself that evening and everybody liked the unique trinket. The winners for their effort, were simply happy to take home their prizes. Hehehe.

After dinner, chit chats and the many picture takings, the party wrapped up at 7:30 PM. Most of the guests were also attending the evening mass. Thankfully my maids took care of cleaning up. How can I ever function without my helpers!

Christmas is a gift in its entirely. We rejoice and we are cheerful. God wants us to be happy. It is a homecoming, the center of which is Christ the Lord!!! Thank you for coming to us dear Jesus. Keep us in your love.

Below are pictures of the Christmas eve party:

 My friends and I
 The party
 The kids and their moms
 The guys like to sit together
 Family homecoming
 The ladies group together
 The young ones
 Group picture
 Most creative award
 The winners

Sunday, December 14, 2014

An Open Letter to God this Christmas....

Dear God,
I have not really asked for specific Christmas gift in all my life, even when I was a kid. Most of my prayers every Christmas is for a general blessings of good health and happiness. God, you know, even when I was very young and even until now, how much I try to be pleasing to you. In my life, I have not done anything significant; but in your generosity, you have gifted me plenty and more abundantly. Although un-deserving,  my cup has been filled with your great love. One of the many great gifts you have given me are my twins Martha and Marion. Medically, I was not supposed to have a fourth child, yet instead of one, you gave me two healthy babies. You kept us mother and daughters safe and well protected, all during the dangerous periods of pregnancy and delivery. You have blessed me with daughters, my Lord. Thank you for these gifts of persons and of lives, and for the many more blessings that you have given me and my husband Lucas.

This Christmas season, while I look at the baby Jesus in the manger, I whisper. " All I want for Christmas is........" then I realize that I am praying for a gift.  I am praying wholeheartedly for a present this Christmas!!! Lord, I pray that you preserve the gifts that you have given me. My daughter Martha Lauren Tan is right now taking medicine for her kidney/bladder or whatever is ailing her physical diagnosis. Please make her whole in body, mind and soul. I pray that nothing is significantly wrong with her organs. Make her heal and make her strong! Let her medicine work well for her, that she becomes healthy again. Lord, please preserve and bless this gift of person that you have given me. With faith in my heart.....Please grant me this prayer that I ask of thee my God!

Yours truly for always,

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bad Weather

Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby lashes at the Visayas region and Southern Luzon including Manila these many days. I am extremely worried, for Tom lives in Cebu City (Visayas) and Emil, Martha and Marion in Metro Manila. I follow a lot of tracking systems including those of CNN, and it seems that from the start, the CNN weather report has shown that the typhoon is not going to spare populous Metro Manila. I am so concerned because I know that my second home in Manila, despite several repairs, continue to have a leaking gutter and broken downspouts which are located on the third floor at the back of the house. I am so afraid that the gutter might give way once the typhoon gushes out. But now that the typhoon has passed by, I am relieved that there has been no report of damages at my second home, yet I still have to see it for myself though. Sometime next year, I need to do some repairing or renovation again.

During the approach of the typhoon, many people including myself resort to prayers and indeed our prayers have been heard. If you know, December 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the blessed Mother does not abandon those who call on her Son. Thank you O Lord, my God for honoring your most blessed mother. We are spared of many lives and danger during her feast day.

However here in Cotabato, in Central Mindanao, it has been so so warm. The weather is so extreme. I think it has not rained for almost two weeks now. When the weather gets so hot, I also get sick. I remember I used to get sick during summer time when I was a child. At present, I am currently ill. I have colds and cough, sore throat and slight fever. I have been sick for 3 days now. I medicate myself and hope to get better tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Visiting my Children and Grandchildren

First, Lucas and I, together with Marion visited Roy in Kings County, Washington, USA:

 In Seattle with Roy and Marion
 Mother and son
 Roy and Lucas
 Halloween Night
At Roy's office 

Next, Lucas and I visited Tom and Angel and grandchildren in Cebu, Philippines:

 Night out with Tom and Angel and the grand kids at Lantaw sa Busay
 Yuri and Dylan
 Buying Kiamoy with Yuri
 Angkong and the grandkids taking snacks.
Swimming at the condominium amenities

Then, with Emil, Martha and Marion in Metro Manila, Philippines:

Eating at a Japanese restaurant with Emil, Martha and Marion
Cooking show...
In Manila, going to the mall....

My husband and I raised our children to become independent.........the fruits of our labor. 
I pray, O Lord, where ever they may be, please take care of all of them. Thank you!

Friday, November 28, 2014

With High School Buddies in Bohol

After the 3D2N reunion at Shangri-la Hotel, Cebu; my bosom buddies Imelda, Anita, Corazon (and Cora's husband Boy) and I went to Bohol for a side trip. I had been to Bohol two to three times already with my family in the past, yet this time I accommodated my friends specially Imelda and Anita for old time sake to be with them in this journey. The trip to Bohol was booked by Corazon entirely and understandably it was a budget fare. When we arrived Bohol, I was disappointed that we stayed in Tacbilaran town, as I was all expecting to be at the Beach where most tourists were billeted. However I appreciated the kind hospitality of the lodging house and enjoyed the countryside's simple yet clean accommodation. But I had been to Bohol before and I knew the beach was the foremost tourist destination, and so I began inquiring about going to the seaside. However the innkeepers (including the van driver) were hesitant to accommodate. It was a good thing I was persistent for I so wanted to celebrate my birthday on November 10, 2014 with my friends by eating seafood dinner with a real seaside ambiance. My inquiry was made fruitful, for at last they consented to extend our tour to the beach with additional fare. So after a whole day tour of the Chocolate Hills, Tarsiers Conservation Forest, Loboc River, Baclayon Church and the Assumption Dauis Church, upon my insistent and persistent despite being so tired, we were finally brought to the Alona public beach. Actually, I had been to a more beautiful beach strip before where the white sand was fine and the water pristine. I wanted to go there but I did not know where it was located. The driver though for unknown reason was not accommodating enough, he was beginning to be irritated with me. It was getting dark, so I settled to go to Alona public beach instead. My friends and I were not disappointed though, the local beach was teeming with inns and restaurants and foreign tourists were aplenty specially the divers. So we picked a restaurant along the stretch and chose some fresh seafood to be cooked. At sunset, we ate rice, crabs, shrimps and fish on the beach shore. My bare feet played freely with the fine white sand. That dinner was for me personally the highlight of the day. Hehehe.......!

 We called ourselves the Scorpians: Anita, Heddy and Imelda

With Cora and her husband Boy Taeza

At the Cholcolate Hills, Bohol

 Dauis, Our Lady of Assumption Church in repair after the earthquake last year.

At Alona Beach, Bohol

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Class Reunion at Shangri-la Mactan

Reunion of CCI Class'68 took place at Shangri-la, Mactan, Cebu this year on November 7 to 9, 2014. We were 26 attendees this year, much bigger than last year Tagaytay's get together which was 17; and the Puerto Princesa, Palawan in 2012 which had 23 attendance in all. This time we were (in random) Imelda Bugayong, Corazon Taeza, Anita Go. Rosalinda Ko, Wee Eng Ong, Hermie, Remedios Fornillos, Heddy Tan, Roberto Atienza, Ricky Lim, Manuel Haw, Joe Lim, Ernesto Lim, William Lee, Benjie Tan, Robert Yap, Roberto Co, Ramon Yee Fon, Quan Minton, Samto Uy, Vicente Uy, Geraldo Tan, Alfredo Uy, Ignacio Lu, Alberto Lim and Manuel Yap.
Sadly, my camera was left in my hotel room most of the time, so I was able to take few pictures only on the first day tour of Shangri-la Hotel. It was a momentous gathering of childhood friends. We were all rowdy and excited like high school kids.
As I keep on saying always....even though we are all senior citizens now, yet when we get together, we don't feel a day older because the spirit does not age at all. So happy seeing all of you guys....until the next time again!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

More of Virginia

Our gregarious hosts Domingo and Jackie brought us to places in Virginia Beach:

To the beach

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier with Jackie

At the Hermitage Light Show

Myself, Terry, June, Jackie, Domingo, Marion and Roy

Fields of changing colored bulbs - one of the many light displays.

Eating delicious dimsum

Shopping! Here Lucas sat down beside the Santa Clause manikin. Make a wish Lucas, hahaha.

Clowning at the Halloween Shop

Domingo took us sailing at Lynn Haven.

Family get together with Domingo's kids Christopher and Jon.

Early thanksgiving dinner with family members.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Trip to Virginia

My husband Lucas, children Roy and Marion and I went to Virginia to visit my brother-in-law Dr. Domingo C. Tan and his wife, Jackie. During our stay, Virginia Beach was all green and sunny, it felt like summer than autumn. We had a most relaxing time lazying around Domingo's estate. To date, it was the most beautiful private home I have ever been and seen. This was my 5th time to visit since 1986. Domingo and Jackie were very gregarious hosts. We enjoyed our stay and vacation. 

Dr. Domingo and his parrot
Domingo, Jackie, Marion, Heddy, Roy and the big dog Maggie.

Brothers Lucas and Domingo
Lucas at the frontage of the house

Me at the right-side entrance of the house with Jackie's sport car.

With Marion at the terrace

At the terrace over looking the lawn, the pool, the open fire place, the dock and the gazebo.

 From the terrace over looking people at the Japanese garden and koi pond.

Posing at the koi pond

The Tan brothers enjoying their drinks at the open fire place.

 At Domingo's private dock.

A view of his estate from the river.