Christmas: A season for benevolence

The sights and sounds of Christmas relives the child in you . A season for spreading good Yuletide cheers and tidings.

Since time immemorial, Christmas has been an integral part of the Philippines society, a season for spreading good Yuletide cheers and tidings and rekindle the rich tradition and spell bonding magic of Christmas nothing elsewhere in the world but at home.

I remembered a quote from one of my personal favorite writer of all time Marjorie Holmes as it goes, “At Christmas, all roads lead home.” Truly,  Christmas season resounds and renounce the essence of this celebration. Just hearing the word home it gives off a sense of nostalgia and brings back memories and feelings of belonging, the familiar scent of  cozy and humble house and  the warmth of family’s affection.

The sights and sounds of Christmas relives the child in you bringing back the memories that lingers in the every corner of the house. Ambling into the ancestral house of which housed generations of my blood line, I can sense the deep tradition that had been past into ours , the tradition that continues to run and lives all this time.

Being raised in a family who upholds the value of customary and tradition, I am a living testimony and witness of this legacy in our clan. Looking through some old photographs , I see the joy that had been encapsulated in joyous moment in picture throughout eternity.

A Christmas scenario at my house is filled with laughter, stories and love centered in the celebration of the true essence of the nativity of Christ more than just commercial aspect that is a paradox to the real celebration of this season.

The act of benevolence and  beneficence for the  marginalized member of our society, whose Christmas is just another celebration to cry and remorse. In our family we value Christmas and putting much emphasis on it and we want also the less fortunate to experience the joy and happiness. The joy is found in the genuine gesture act of kindness towards our fellow human kind is the true meaning of Christmas, living the practices of Christ and seeing happiness in its purest form and substance.

How about you , what Christmas tradition would you like to leave in this world?

A Christmas Story

Dear Dad,

It’s been quiet a long time since the day you flew abroad to give us a better life. Sad as it may but your children are patiently waiting for your arrival soon. If only we had a lot of money then we would never let you work there.

How are you dad? How’s your work? Are you having good time there? I’m hoping that you always take your medicine. Your loved ones are always worrying about your health condition. We’re praying that He’s always guiding you in your journey there.

Dad, we really miss you. We miss the days when we went to church together every Sunday, having chocolate drinks and your favorite putu maya ( cooked sticky rice) after hearing the mass. Mum couldn’t be happier recalling those memorable days. I know time will come, we will do it again. I’m starting saving some pennies now Dad, so that you’ll no longer work abroad and support us. I’m no longer the boy you used to carry on your back. I’m now a fully grown man. I am now and you’ll be amazed!

Dad, it’s already Christmas and I can feel the cold breeze kissing my face. I can feel you Dad. I can feel your love and how much you miss us. I can feel your sadness and solitary this Christmas because you’re far away from us. But don’t worry dad, we are here for you. We love you very much and no words can express how excited we are for your plans of coming back. We may not see you physically but we feel you emotionally. Don’t be sad Dad. Please, flash a big smile for us.

Your youngest son and I have already made a beautiful Christmas tree decorated with toys and little gifts. Your eldest has also ornamented it with twinkling colorful series lights twirled around the Christmas tree. Even if you’re not around, we’ll never celebrate “Blue Christmas.” You told us before that Christmas was about happiness and joy, remember? I put my gift for you under the Christmas tree and I’m hoping that you’ll like it. Dad, I’m praying that you’ll be happy in your Christmas there. Smile and be thankful for the blessings that showered our family this year.

Mum and sister are at the kitchen at this moment cooking your favorite Filipino-style spaghetti, pancit ( noodles mixed with spices topped with meat, vegetables and sea foods)and our favorite stuffed milkfish for Noche Buena. How about you there dad? What have you prepared for Noche Buena? Have you cooked your favorite spaghetti too? I also helped them preparing Fruit Salad dad and mom recalled his sweet memories with you when you were still younger. She told me that she fell in love because you’re good at making fruit salad. Is it true? Maybe, I’ll do the same for the one I want to love too.

How happy we would be if you were with us now. How happy we would be if we’re the ones who roasted the pig and there’s little brother wiping oil from time to time watching it for a reddish crispy skin. I long for those days dad. I miss the days when you taught me how to slice and mince spices to be put inside the slaughtered pig body. Now, it’s only uncle and his friend who will prepare for it.

In a little while, I will prepare the quezo de bola ( cheeze ball) and the various round fruits mother freshly bought in the market just this morning. I can still remember what you said that it brought good luck in business and good fortune in life. I’m praying it’s true so that if we’d win the lottery, mother and you could go to Boracay to relax. You dreamt of it dad, right?

Loving as you are, grandmother said that she’d be spending Noche Buena with us tonight. And you know what she got dad? She brought us her specialty, her sumptuous puto bumbong ( (steamed glutinous rice cooked in bamboo shoots, flavored with brown sugar and grated coconut). Don’t you miss her? She’s been missing you and she’d including you in her prayers every day and every night.

Dad, it’ll be 12:00 A.M later and every family is going celebrate their Noche Buenas in their respective houses. And I can see my friends playing, smiling and laughing with their mother and father. I would be jealous seeing their family complete but I know it’s not worth it. I never lose you right? I know we’ll make best memories when you get back. Will we? How excited I am for that moment to happen soon. I’ll look for my younger siblings when they light up the fireworks we bought for them just like the way you taught me when I was a little child. You would scare me of “Watusi” and “piccolo” before dad but I’m no longer now. I’m strong now Dad. I am now.

God knows how much I love you Dad and I know you love us too. I’m hoping that by next Christmas you’ll be right our sides. I believe it’s never too late dad. I know our family will be complete when we celebrate Noche Buena soon. You may not be around but in my heart you are. May you celebrate the best Christmas abroad and I’m wishing you the best of love and happiness. I’m praying that we may emulate the simplicity of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in our hearts and continue to abide faith in God’s goodness and compassion.

Below is my simple Christmas art that represents you, me and our family. I hope you will like it dad. It may not be that good but I did that from the bottom of my heart. I love you so much Dad. I love you my Hero! A very merry Christmas to you.

Lovingly yours,

Son

Shopping Spree in Sugbo

From its the rich historical heritage sites,  relics and edifices, vibrant and colorful culture and the compelling culinary cuisine, sun worshiper haven and serene resorts. All is under this island of Cebu whatever your adventure is. But who said , shopping is not part of it.

Well statistically speaking the metropolis has a boosting a number of more than a dozen of shopping malls sprouting like mushrooms all over the city and its counting so expect a bunch of it in a few year time.  Thus, making a versatile tourist destination for everyone all around the globe.

Rolling from splurging and extravagant shopping centers down the hoarding and haggling ones Cebu is an ultimate choice for an adventurist shopper, a value for money and price conscious one.

Doing it the local way

Want to have a taste of how local do their shopping. experience it yourself to save some pennies from your wallet but be on guard as well your wallet since it is a public place.

Filipinos in a general statement are thrifty and practical market but never compromise the luxury and fun of shopping. Displayed in a wide array of selections in a fancy and attractive manner, one will see the it enticing. Since it is all being laid down attractively, products ranging from the dry goods down to the ready to wear clothes are available in the bustling places of Tabo sa banay , Carbon market and this seasonal nocturnal flair along the infamous Colon Street called Night Market in Colon , which usually run from dusk to the wee hours in the morning say 1 in morning especially Friday.

Now, if going to adventures shopping places isn’t your cup of tea . Then they try to go to the middle class shopping centers you may want to check out around the city. Disclaimer: These establishments are classified according to my discretion only.  These are places that have a prominent location and reputation among it’s patrons. Most of its market are ranging in the Classes C and D based on the socio-economic status. These places are situation along the heart of the city Colon street. Starting the roll call with Unitop, Novo , 138 Mall, Colonade , Super Metro , Gaisano malls, APM mall and many others.

At this juncture, let us take our shopping adventure to a higher level with the definition of class , sophistication and splurging.  Again disclaimer: These establishments are classified according to my discretion only. Cebu had been blessed to be a home of high end shopping malls that offers a wonderful shopping experience for everyone be it a local shopping goer or an international tourist. Majority of it’s target market are those who belongs in the Upper class A to middle class C. Topping the list are the most environment friendly mall so far in the metropolis is the Ayala Center Cebu and the largest shopping mall chain in the country , SM City Cebu.

Consequently followed by Rustan’s every own  Shopwise, Cebu proud roots Robinsons mall Cebu which are both erected in the uptown heart of Cebu separated by the Fuente rotunda. Park mall , J Center mall , S& R Cebu and many others with is loacted in prime locations and accessible by all means of transport.

And the city is also gearing for some new malls opening in the distant future to name some is the new business venture by SM chain malls, the second SM mall and the biggest as of the date writing is SM by the Sea located in South Road Properties (SRP)

If going to Cebu without all the basic amenities in life , worry no more Cebu will give you more reason not. So shopping spree is more fun in Cebu. Yet again let me reprimand you a quotation it goes, Money is a good servant but a bad master.  Spend your wealth right !

Until then .