Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Celebration and Happy New Year!

Well, it has been quite a Christmas. Like our other past Christmases, this was not lacking in drama.

For Christmas Eve, I made my peach-mango ref cake to bring to our Noche Buena with my grandparents. Leo picked me up at around 930 am for our 10am mass at St. James. Afterwhich, we went to their house where we saw Papa's (hah! I should get used to calling Leo's parents "Papa and Mama". After all, their recent gifts to me was tagged, "From Papa and Mama". Hah! I'm part of the family!) new toys. Papa wanted to buy a flatscreen TV but instead, he bought an LCD projector. Other than that, he bought a folding piano off VENTA5. He was really enjoying his new toys!

I also prepared the ham/cheese bread sticks that Mama asked me to make for the Christmas reunion. We watched dvd's after that.

By 3 pm, we went back to the house where I picked up the gifts that I'm bringing to Makati. We had Domino's for merienda and we left for Makati at around 6 pm. We thought we were early but apparently, we were the last ones to arrive.

It was fun seeing my family again--especially my niece and nephew. Chloe has grown to be very friendly and she's smiling a lot! She can make you laugh by just her smile. However, Miguel has reached the cranky stage wherein strangers make him uneasy and everytime he's not within the proximity of his parents, he breaks out into loud cries.

However, my cousin was late. Lolo did not want to start dinner without him. Apparently, I learned (I live in the same house but I'm always the last one to know!) that cousin and his mother had a disagreement which caused my cousin to leave the house. Christmas Eve was the first time I've seen him in a week! Lolo wanted them to make up but I don't know what happened then. It was just so sad as Lolo was quite upset.

After dinner, we opened presents where I got a nice digital camera from my mom and stepdad (Nikon Funpix!) and a bag from my dad and stepmom. My aunt gave me another bag while my brother and his wife gave me a wallclock (yahoo! Just what I needed). My sister and and her husband gave me a nice pair of earrings.

A few minutes later, Leo and I said our goodbyes where we then proceeded to my sister-in-law's house at BF. We ate (again) and stayed there until 1 am where I saw Leo's nephews opened their gifts finding their PSP's (from their Lolo). Take note, both of them got their OWN PSP!

The next day, I woke up at freaking 6 am (damn my body clock!) and I could not go back to sleep. I went downstairs to get some breakfast and I was quite surprised to find my dad there. Apparently, he was supposed to bring Mamu and Atay to Pampanga. My aunt came down and she was very upset as her car was not tuned properly to make the long drive to Pampanga. She sat on the stairway and started crying (I don't know if due to her car or because of her son). My dad and I tried our best to comfort her but I had to leave when Leo arrived. I just gave her a hug and a pack of tissues.

Leo and I went to church to hear Christmas Day mass and we went to their house where I cooked the ham and cheese sticks that I prepared the previous day, then we waited for the gang to arrive.

It was fun spending time with his family and relatives. I got to know his cousins better and I found out what a funny lot they are. One of his cousins is also getting married next month and we exchanged notes. I'll also be taking down notes during her wedding to see which aspects I can adapt for my wedding.

They also liked the ham and cheese thingee that I cooked. I'm trying to find the Pancit Molo recipe that an aunt gave me way way back. It seems it's one of their favourite dishes but no one knows how to cook it. So I guess I have to learn how to cook it (pogi points!).

Anyway, it's the last working day for the year and I can't wait for the long weekend. I'll be probably spending it with Leo's family again, not that I mind.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2006

And So This Is Christmas

It's been an odd Christmas of sorts.

Personally, I'm really feeling that Christmas is just around the corner--with the help of the "The Nativity Story". However, there are too many negative things happening around me that prevents me from fully enjoying the holidays.

First of all, there's this person that has been giving me grief for the past three months. I'm seriously thinking of giving up and going elsewhere. I don't think I can survive this fight anymore. I have to leave before my reputation gets slashed into pieces. Though how much pep talk I give myself, I don't think staying will be for the best of my well-being. We'll see.

Other people have been giving me the cold shoulder for reasons that I really can't understand. I try to ignore it and let whatever it is they're feeling pass, but it can get quite difficult to do.

It's been quite challenging. I'm glad my Christmas shopping is done. At least it's one less grief for me.

I haven't really been attending the Simbang Gabi but I've been attending the masses the past four days. The priests officiating the masses at work are the Salesian Priests of Don Bosco. They're quite a happy and jolly bunch. Fr. Francis Gustilo is my favourite as he used to say mass at my hometown since I was a kid. I told him that I still remembered one of his homilies--about the camel and the needle's eye. I don't know why that stuck to me, but it did. I thought of asking him to officiate our wedding but I already asked two other priests--Fr. Eligio and Fr. Eliseo Santos.

I met Fr. Eli and Fr. Elis at work. We usually have First Friday Masses and other Special Celebration Masses and they usually officiate (they're related by the way. They're 7 siblings and 3 of them are priests. The other one died at East Timor). Their homilies are very touching but I'm leaning more on getting Fr. Elis. I always cry when I confess to him and he has always said the right words to give me comfort. Again, they're both very busy and they told me to remind them of my schedule. I won't mind if they're both available, but I hope at least one is available on my wedding.

Nevertheless, it has been quite a year for me. A year full of blessings. Though how much I gripe and complain, I have been very blessed this year. Let me count the ways:

1. Leo and I finally decided to get married
2. I got a promotion/transfer
3. I was able to enhance my learning and broaden my horizons
4. I saw my high school friends more than once this year
5. Two people who mean so much to me finally made peace with each other
6. I finally "acknowledged" the mother of my stepsister (hey, if I could talk to my stepfather, why not her?)

And many others. Okay, Leo just called me to say that he's on his way to fetch me. I'll continue this list some other time :)

Merry Christmas!!!

It Feels Like Christmas

Yesterday was the start of my holidays. I took the day off yesterday and was supposed to spend it shopping. Instead, I spent the morning at the gym and passed by the office as they asked for my help for the novena mass. Apparently, their singers were on leave and I was the only one near the vicinity.

After lunch, I hitched a ride with Fr. Francis Gustilo to Don Bosco where I had lunch at Amici. Afterwards, I met up with my friend Kay at Waltermart where we ran into Leo's mom. Then, Kay invited me to watch the Nativity Story with her. I was not exactly sold to the idea but not finding anything else to do, I agreed.

After almost two hours, I'm so glad I agreed to watch it with her. Movies like that should be shown during Christmas to remind everyone why we are celebrating Christmas in the first place. We celebrate Christmas because Jesus was born. God's Son who will save mankind.

The movie portrayed Mary as a young girl--around 15 years old. She was so obedient and willing to do God's will even if it will give her hardships. She had so much faith that at the risk of being stoned to death, she agreed to bear the Saviour.

As for Joseph, now I know why he's the patron saint for those seeking husbands. Joseph is a very good man. He puts the needs of his family above his own and he was kind and merciful enough to claim the baby as his and not let Mary be stoned to death. There should be more men like Joseph and I'm so glad that my husband-to-be embodies the qualities of Joseph.

The best part of the movie which caused Kay and I to break down in tears was when Christ was born. The sheperds were approaching the family at the stable and they had this look of awe on their faces. One of them crept near and almost touched the babe but pulled back the last second, fearing that the mother might not like a stranger touching her baby. But Mary smiled and offered Jesus to him simply saying, "He is for all mankind." We kept on crying when the three wise men came and gave their offerings.

Christmas is not the Simbang Gabi nor the presents that we give. It is not the Christmas songs or the cold weather. Christmas is the birth of our Saviour

Now it really feels like Christmas.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Always Something There To Remind Me

I have a bad case of LSS. I was looking through some CDs here in the office and I saw that song. Suddenly, it just doesn't want to stop playing in my head.

Anyway, it's been two weeks since my birthday. There wasn't a big celebration or anything. Leo and I went to the bazaar in the morning where my mom called me in my cell and I got to talk to her and my stepfather. After finding some nice buys at the St. james bazaar, Leo and I then proceeded to Spirals at Philippine Plaza where I had the best buffet I ever had in my entire life. It certainly beats Circles in food, atmosphere AND price. Imagine, they had a cheese and wine buffet! Yum yum! And two chocolate fountains too! Gosh, am starting to get hungry again just thinking about that yummy food.

After partaking of that sumptuous fare, we then proceeded to the Mall of Asia. It was our first time there and I was looking forward to it after hearing so much about it from my friends. Unfortunately though, just spending 10 minutes there made me want to leave. We made the mistake of going there during a Sunday. There were so many people around and I felt claustrophobic even if it was a very big humongous place. Am not returning there during a weekend!

We capped the day by hearing mass again at St. James. It has been a blessed 30th year and am looking forward to my 31st year. It will no doubt be memorable for me as I'm going to get married! (happy happy joy joy!).

This is the first time in years that I'm still in the office near Christmas. I used to be on leave starting on the 15th. It's just I decided to take my block leave last November (when I had that nervous breakdown and I had to recuperate). Things were supposed to be quiet and slow but there are a couple of audits waiting for us on January and February so we're trying to catch up.

Yesterday, my college friends I met up at Greenbelt 3. We don't see much of each other as we did before thus this meeting was really fun where we caught up with each other's lives. We got a little corner at Pasha and after talking and eating for 3 hours, we caught the late afternoon screening of Tenacious D. There were some funny parts in the movie but there were also parts where I was dozing off.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Birthday Plans

Well, am celebrating my 3 decades and 1 year of existence in this earthly realm tomorrow. I don't know if it's something worth celebrating but Leo and I have some plans.

Due to my tight schedule tomorrow, am having dinner at home with my family tonight. Hopefully they'll sleep over as I miss my niece and nephew. Tomorrow, Leo and I will hear mass first thing in the morning and then to the St. James bazaar (we actually already went this morning but we're not yet done with our shopping. I have to be here at work in the afternoon and he has to go to school), then have lunch at Spirals (heard good things about this restaurant in Westin Philippine Plaza). After lunch, we're watching "Happy Feet" at I-Max. If we have time, we can go back to bazaar.

That's it. Hope this coming year will be better than this one.
Got this from Allan's blog:

You are The Star

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.