My 21 years

A month ago, I turned 21. I still can’t believe that I’m a young adult now, and I’m out of my teenage years. Actually, I haven’t even notice that I’m no longer a teen until during my birthday. I have been busy for the past two years, that’s why I missed living life.

Two months ago, I was sadden by the fact that I’m getting old. But i realized it’s for the best. I might be getting old, biologically speaking, but i feel so youthful.

People are getting too anxious of aging. I guess everyone must embrace it because as the saying goes “Aging is like a fine wine, it get’s better with time.”

faye

I believed that as a person grows older, he or she encounters new experiences which will mold them into a better man. The past year was full of ups and downs. I lived independently in a place far from home, I kind of broke up with somebody (well, technically, we were never in a relationship or commitment), I met and made new friends, I joined a national quiz show (we ranked 3rd!), I lose a friend, I graduated and I passed the licensure exam.

It’s probably too late but 21 years needed some time for reflection. And here’s a list of what I’ve learned:

  1. Let God be your sailor. Nothing can go wrong in God’s plan and time.

I have to admit that I am not a religious person. Back then, I had doubts on my faith. But it all changed when I was in grave fear. I started talking to God again. And I felt his presence.

  1. You can only depend on yourself. Don’t count on others, at the end of the day you can rely to yourself alone.

Group projects or studies? Just big jokes. People will disappoint you and they will not do what you ask them for. People will turn down your favors, so just do it yourself.

  1. Save yourself from toxic people. You don’t need people who poison your lives. Let go of those that give you all the blame, those that are too haughty, those who cannot let their pride down, those who always play the ‘victim’, those who lie and cheat, those who make fun of you, those that make the atmosphere heavy, those who pull you down and those who don’t appreciate you. You don’t need them.

I had this friend. She was my first girl best friend. But it was over now. It’s because of her pride. We had this misunderstanding that I don’t wanna talk to her because I was studying for my exam, and she was done studying and she kept telling me gossips and asked me to watch a movie with her. I got fed up and told her that I don’t want to because I’m still studying with a topic. And suddenly she stopped talking to me. I approached her and talked to her about things I did during the weekend. Just to expressed that nothing’s wrong. But she won’t talk to me. She never approach me. I mean, does she expect me to approach and talk to her, all the time? And the best part was she told others her own version, she was blaming me that I stopped talking to her. She’s always playing the victim. Can’t she see, that’s why people, other than me, stopped talking and hanging out with her is because she’s toxic. Okay, I’ll play the bad guy. Just to clear it out, I stopped talking to her for NO REASON at all. Really, just believe her. She’s lonely.

  1. Save something for yourself. You don’t need to give it all for someone. You deserve to be loved.

I used to give my eveything to someone. And it caused me pain that he didn’t appreciate my efforts and how much I loved him. I depended on the idea of love alone. I depended my happiness on him. But I realize that we are responsible for our happiness and we must leave a room for ourself.

  1. You can cry. It is okay. Sometimes, life will knocked you hard to the point that you don’t want to get out of bed, because you’ve had enough. Let it out, you don’t need to hold it in. Stop pretending that everthing’s fine. But I tell you at this point, you will be fine, soon. Believe me.
  2. Never stop learning. Meet new people, study a new language, read books, travel and embrace different culture and traditions. Be active and don’t just sit around and watch 24/7.
  3. You can’t please everyone, so hold your head high and be yourself. It’s okay to be different. Just because people are into to bandwagon, it doesn’t mean that you have to. Be yourself.

Some people call me names, even my mother does. She labeled me as “anti-social”. Others call me “nerd”. Maybe because of my “I love being on my own” nature. I’m not anti-social or a nerd. I just don’t like socializing and I don’t like parties. I’m an introvert. I’d rather watch my favorite vloggers, Jhouse vlogs, cook or bake, read books, do my journal or just talk to my cousins. I don’t really have much friends, because my interests are quite peculiar for others. But I’m contented because I’m just being me without pretending to be someone else.

  1. Nothing comes easy. One must work hard to get fruitful results. A person who can read this had a lot of training back then when he or she is still learning to pronounce each syllables. It took hardwork to understand each words. Thus allowing him or her to comprehesively read a text.

Graduating with flying colors and passing the licensure exam took a lot of hardwork, tears and prayers. Discipline, sleepless nights, obesity (I ate too much during those days and I stopped working out cause I was really busy), sacrifices and pimples, are all worth it.

  1. Conquer your fear and defeat your worries. Nothing good happens when you worry and fear. You’re just gonna stress yourself out. Remember that if you believe in it, it will happen.

“Fear can defeat life”

If you fear and worry about the future, you may as well stop living your life. It immobilizes you. Defeat this negativity and have faith.

  1. “Above all, don’t lose hope.” -Life of Pi

I won’t be a hypocrite, but I once lose my hope of graduating on time. It was one of the hardest times of being a student. The deadline was coming and we don’t have any research thesis yet. But thanks to my great friend, Ron, he insisted that we finish what we started and that we should graduate on time. It was a happy ending because our study got the highest mark during the research defense. And we graduated on time.

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Titas of the Philippines

Tita is a term used to describe an old lady or even a young one that lives in old conservative ways. Although tita may seems like she’s the old killer of joy, you may learn a lot of things from her.

  1. Tita always carries the basic medicines. Including Paracetamol, Medicol and Vicks. That’s why her bag smells like mint herbs. When someone suddenly feel ill, he or she can rely on a tita.
  2. Tita don’t party hard. They are invited to a night party but they don’t stay late. She is the first person to bid goodbye. She always reason out that she is tired and she’s got a lot of things to do.
  3. She always use her bag during picture taking just to hide those fats. They used that side body position or that hand-on-hip-bend-body-sideward-sometimes-with-peace-sign pose. Do it tita’s way!
  4. Freebies and save! “Save P25.00” or “Get 1 free toothbrush” just name it and tita will grab it. Titas are responsible and think of what’s needed from wanted.
  5. She dresses conservative. She doesn’t wear minis. Swimming outing? No swimsuit, just shirt and shorts.
  6. Chismis (Gossips). She usually goes out with her amigas for their “friday session” which is full of catching up and gossips. She and her fellow titas gosh over the dancing/singing birthday boys in Tabehoudai (buffet restaurant), titas just wanna have fun haha!
  7.  A tita may only be the single person among her amigas. They always tease her about “di ka na nadidiligan” (it’s a dirty joke, btw, in the Philippines) and they always set her up with their brothers or cousins. They are supportive with her love and sex life. Oh titas! Hahaha
  8. Leftovers from dinner? Never a problem. Tita has a great way of not wasting such blessings. Packed lunch, anyone?
  9. After dinner? Cake? Milkshake? Nope. Probably coffee or tea.
  10. She is an old-fashioned lady. She is responsible and independent. She is not needy. She don’t need a man. She desperately want a man. Just kidding. But she is strong. She believe that everything’s set in God’s plan and time.
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Dating a Premed Student

premed

Being a premed student is quite.. I can’t find the right words to describe our life. It’s challenging but at the same time you like the challenge so much that learning becomes fun. Competing is normal because in med school, everyone’s smart.

I’ve been dating a premed student. Take note, I’m using the word dating. I kind of sound like an auntie or those old hags without love life and looking for a sex life. Okay let’s stop that now, since sex is not part of my dating life.

Early dating stage is so much fun. And when I say fun, I meant real FUN. Everyday’s exciting. But dating a premed student-well it’s too overwhelming.

Since we’re both in the field of med, studying is part of our daily lives. Our program requires hours of studying. And since we’re both interns in the same hospital, our schedule is quite tight.

knowandlove

  1. Sanitize. Before and after meals. Before and after toilet. Or if he’s as OC as me, sanitize after touching public objects. Sanitize after holding cash. Because money makes you dirty. Literally and literary speaking. His bag always contain an alcohol or wipes or both. It’s like he’s saying: I’m gonna protect you from all microbes. There are times he will clean your hands with his wipes. Or maybe he’ll teach you the proper way of hand washing.
  2. He knows how to listen. He talks to different kinds of patients and watchers in the hospital. He listens to numerous complaints about pain. So stop being a shit and bickering. He won’t answer back, because he’s done with all complains. He’s tired and he knows how to handle a sick person.
  3. He never waste time. Trust me, premed students are the masters in managing time. They live independently so they make their own breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. They go to the grocery. They wash their clothes. They go to 8, 16 and 24 hrs hospital duties. They study for infinite exams. Be sensitive enough to know their priorities and schedule. Don’t be that needy boyfriend or girlfriend getting mad for not receiving any text messages. Damn it.
  4. He’s sexy. Don’t think dirty or naughty. He’s sexy in a way that he’s really intelligent and clean. And when he’s doing his duties, talking to patients and handling babies really well, it’s just too breathtaking. You’re not the mother but take note, you feel so proud. And you’re like, “hey I’m dating that awesome guy over there”. In my case, I think he’s very sexy whenever he’s better than me at something. Because it challenges me to become better and beat him. Yet, he ends up being better (ugghhh frustrations). But non-competitively speaking, I think he looks really sexy whenever he washes his face, whenever he handles difficult patients and whenever he takes care toxic situations.
  5. He’s open minded. You can tell him anything. Your period, your poop, your urine or whatsoever. Don’t worry you won’t gross him out. He’ll even take a photo of your poop if it’s abnormal and compare it to Bristol stool chart and explain to you what’s up with you and your body. Come on, he had handled a lot of patients, so you are the best so far. And the best part you can watch medical or horror/thriller/zombie/vampire or saw series. Something with cadavers or dead bodies. He will criticize and point out what’s wrong in the movie. Why zombie apocalypse is or isn’t possible. The type of incision in thriller movies. And the reason why Edward Cullen might not be the father of Renesmee because he’s dead he can no longer produce sperm. You just got DOCTORED.
  6. He needs rest. During his day off don’t ask him for a heavy date. I know it’s fun to go to the amusement park or to the zoo but remember he’s always working and studying late. Be understanding. Give him time to sleep. Cook for him, I’m sure he’ll appreciate that.
  7. He will talk about work. You will hear endless talks about how was his day. You will hear about those infectious patients that he handled or those dying patients in the ICU. He will tell you about those unusual poop sample or the outbreak of bacterial infection in the nursery. Listen and be open-minded. And he might crack a medical joke or pick up lines, so if you’re not in the medical field, you might think he’s losing a screw. Be understanding, man. Too much pressure here. LOL.
  8. He’s a doctor in the making. He might not know everything but he will try to fix you. Tell him what’s wrong and what you feel. With the signs and symptoms that you’ve enumerated he will give you an advice and might prescribe you to take a specific medicine. Free consultation! And remember, if you two work out, he will be your family doctor and he will be handling your babies. Awww. Medical Certificate and illegal valid reasons signed by real doctor so you can rest your laziness. Haha! Goals.
  9. Dating, more like, peer studying. I know you’ve been looking forward for romantic dates, but believe me, that will happen for like, once in a blue moon. A premed student must study hard, or else he/she will fail. There is no such thing as saved by luck in med school. So prepare for dates with books. And fast dates of course, around 15 mins-2 hours max. But if that blue moon suddenly passed by, he’ll give you a hell of a date. Once a person enter med school, they already dropped hundreds or parties and socialization so be prepared when you go on real dates with him. He will take you to museums, eat plenty of dishes, or sometimes you’ll ride the most terrifying ride ever, in my case that’s Boomerang, wishing that you’ll still live after that. Literal hell of a ride. But later on, you’ll realize it’s fine, as long as you are with him. You’re safe.
  10. You will be his dummy. Practical exam on anatomy and physiology? Or phlebotomy? You are the volunteer. I mean you must volunteer. Remember, for the learning of your significant other, doctor in the making. So yeah hold those pains, he knows what he’s doing, or he doesn’t? Haha I’m just kidding, trust him and don’t doubt. And apply it in the relationship.
  11. Drop any expectations. You’re not dating a random guy. You’re dating a guy who can stay awake for 30 hours or more than that. Don’t expect for random surprises. You’ll be surprise if you wake up and there’s a pancake on your bed and there’s a note from him. That means he wasted time just to cook for you. Don’t be an asshole. Appreciate such move. Premed students are busy as New York city, so yeah, don’t expect such mushy romantic gesture. Again stop being needy. The world doesn’t not revolve around you. You’re fortunate enough that you’re dating someone.
  12. Flashcards and quiz. You must support him and any way you can. You can ask him questions and flash those study cards. They’re multi-tasking so you can do this before bed (if you know what I mean, nope, not sex. I mean before bed rituals)or while eating ice cream.
  13. No love letters. Okay, they have no time to write you one. Maybe they can leave you notes but not those long love letters. Anyway, it’s not like you’ll understand their handwriting. I’m not saying all doctors have ugly penmanship but you see, they are better with the “talking” due to long hours of patient consultation and check up. So yeah, leave them with the talking.
  14. Motivators. Since they need to study, it will motivate you to study too. You don’t want to be the dumb significant other, right? And their daily jog might motivate you to get fit too. You don’t want to feel intimidated at all.
  15. He’s totally in love with you. Obviously he’s in to you that’s why even with his tight schedule, he still gave space for you. Even if you share space with household chores. It’s enough to know that you’re with him. And he’s trying to work things out with you. What’s important is at the end of the day you take pride on dating a premed student.
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The downsides of riding a Jeepney

jeeps

Public Utility Jeepney or PUJ is a common means of public transportation here in the Philippines. It is a vehicle that is designed to accommodate 16 – 20 persons depending on the length of the Jeepney. (People are referring it as jeep, maybe because the fare is cheap?) Jeeps are seen wherever part of the Philippines you go. A specific jeep has a specific route. You will know the route of the jeep because it is written on the side of the jeep itself. It is not air conditioned but you will not feel the heat since there are large windows except of course if you are stuck in a traffic. In riding a jeep, you have to wait for the jeep and then ride it. While inside you have to pay on the driver the amount necessary. The fare is dependent on the distance from where you had ridden the jeep until the place you are going to. If you want the jeep to stop, you just have to tell the driver ‘para’. It is so simple right? However, as a person who is using this system every day, I have encountered lots of problems. Here are they:
1.    THE DEAF DRIVER. This is the most common problem I have been encountering for a while. In this case, you already said para yet the driver didn’t halt driving. So you continuously say the magic word para over and over again until every passenger is telling the driver to stop. Tadah! When the jeep has stopped you have to walk to reach your destination or worse you just have to ride a jeep again. If there would be a driver hiring, there must be a hearing test because most of the drivers are deaf. I wonder if it’s in their resume that you have to be a little deaf to be a jeep driver. Or maybe they are too focus driving. Whatever, I just hate this when this happen.
2.    THE INCONSISTENT FARE. Everyday you travel the same route, same destination, and the one day there’s this one annoying driver that won’t give you a change or demand for more payment. So f*ck*ng annoying. For some this is not that much of a problem but for people like me who has exact amount of money every day, every peso counts. I hate this when this happen because I have to borrow some change from a classmate. I wonder why that does not happen a lot. And there are some drivers that don’t give students fare discount. To calm myself down after I lost a “case” from that driver, I memorize its plate number and report it to the agency that manages PUJ. Hahaha, who’s laughing now?
3.    THE GREEDY DRIVER. This is what I hate the most. In every jeep, there is a limit of how many passengers it can accommodate. What jeep drivers often do is that they will let you ride their jeep and when you are inside you don’t have a place to sit because it’s already full. Then, the driver will start the vehicle so that you can’t turn back and go down. So you have no choice but to ask other passengers to move a little so you can sit. You thought you had sat but unconsciously you are squatting the whole time. And they don’t even care. One of the reasons why Philippines doesn’t progress at all. The sad part is you have to pay the same amount you pay when you are sitting comfortably. So unfair isn’t it? I understand they have to earn money but they must also think about their passengers. Even if the driver knows that the jeep is already full he will still stop on every street. He will stop if he sees a person. He will stop even though nobody’s interested in riding. How slutty right? They can’t get enough, and this is how you get STI, being too greedy.
4.    THE VERY PATIENT DRIVER. These drivers are the types that you wanna hit with a glass full of coins. When you are in a deep hurry but you can’t go because he is still waiting for it to be filled with passengers. They don’t care if you’re late or you’re dying, they need passengers, they need money. Come on, you should become a politician; anyway you’re in the Philippines, easy money if you’re a politician. Who would even care as long as it’s for your own good? So my solution is I don’t pay as I sit, I pay before I reach my destination, so if he’s still waiting for more, I don’t deserve to wait. I don’t deserve to be late. I’ll leave and look for another jeepney.
5.    THE RACER DRIVER. This is obvious. I have been complaining on how I get late because of the listed above. Well this kind of driver will not let me down if I don’t wanna be late but this might send you right away to heaven. We don’t like that of course, we have lot of things to do in this world and we don’t wanna be killed by the racer driver. I have experienced an accident while riding a jeep. The jeep was running so fast then there was like a hump and then the jeep went upside down. Thankfully there is no one who is seriously hurt. What are they even racing for? The toilet? Diarrhea stuff? Or the position to the government?
6.    THE SMELLY SEATMATE. This one is really no fun. You have to sit beside a person who stinks. The worst part is the jeep is full so you’re really close and you don’t have a choice but to resist that tormenting smell. You can’t cover your nose because it will be too offending. You can’t complain since you’re in a public vehicle. I think the best solution is when you smell that fishy odor, throw a deodorant right through him or her. Remember, we have the right to access clean air.
7.    THE NOISY CLIQUE. If you want silence, jeep is not the place for you. Most of the time those who ride the jeep is in group and you expect them to have conversation. However, sometimes they are so loud. They will laugh so loud as if they are the only one in the jeep. Sometimes there are some that talks about things that shouldn’t be in public. It’s really irritating when group of girls laugh so hard when they’re talking about their boyfriends and crushes. Landi eh. And it’s irksome when they shout and uggghhh, all you wanna do is to knock them out but you can’t. So your brain just shrinks due to their pointless stupid convo.
8.    THE FOREVER ALONE.This is not a bad thing actually. You are the only passenger in the jeep, you don’t have any seatmate and nobody is talking. However, this might be dangerous. The driver might drive you on different route and murder you then sell your organs. No, just kidding, but there’s quite a warning with that. Ladies are not advised to ride a jeep when they are the only passenger. But to those “pretentious” I-can-be-alone-cause-I’m-independent, then ride at your own risk.
9.    YOU ARE A PASSER. This will happen a lot when your favorite spot is near where the driver is. You will have to pass the fare of the other passengers to the driver then if there is a change you will also have to pass it back to the passenger. This is not much a big deal for some but if you want to rest this is not the best for you. This can also be tiring you know. And what more is you might touch the hand of the driver, which is probably dirty. And touch the hands of the passengers and touch money. Ewww. Bacteria, virus, parasite and all dirt in the word that you can name. Even those politicians. You don’t wanna be a passer. Believe me; I majored in passing fare and change.
10.    THE GREEDY PASSENGERS. This is when you don’t have any place to sit but they still won’t move their asses so you will have a place. They might move but they will just shake their bodies as if that will change something. I don’t like this; they will just look at you while you are miserably looking for a place to sit to. Now you just have to go back and exit the jeep.
11.    THE HOTEL JEEP. Couples there, couples anywhere. I seriously hate seeing two people being too clingy in a public vehicle. They run their hands around each other or they run their nose or face on to each other. It’s disgusting. And the way they tease each other, it’s so annoying, not that I’m single but it’s really gross. Uggghhh. Get a room!
There are more downsides if you think about it. These are just some of the common things that actually happen inside the jeep. I just wanna have my own car so that I will not get to experience these things or so. While there are reasons why you shouldn’t ride a jeep, there are also lots of reasons why you should ride and one of them is you have no choice. You will have good experiences in these vehicles but bad experiences come at you more often. This post is not meant for destroying or detracting our PUJ, this is just a normal practice of freedom of speech and merely just a pure opinion accompanied by observations.

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Christmas in the Philippines

Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas! How are you all? It’s been awhile since my last post. I was really busy at the university. We had our exams before Christmas break. Studying was a struggle since the Christmas spirit was already in the air. Our last day of exam was Dec. 21. It was really a bliss the moment we finished the exams. Total freedom.

So how do Filipinos celebrate Christmas?
To tell you the truth, I have no idea. Maybe because we’re no longer practicing some old Christmas traditions. But, what I am going to share to you in this entry are my experiences and knowledge about Christmas in the Philippines.

The Philippines celebrates the longest Christmas season in the world. Carols start at September. Kids, and some adults would gather and sing Christmas carols to different houses in exchange or expectation for money or treats. The season would last until
Epiphany.

The day after my exam, I went Christmas shopping with my sister. The malls are full of last minute Christmas shoppers. I bought gifts for my cousins, parents and friends. It’s really hard to budget and prioritize if you don’t have money. Huhuhu.

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My mom has been collecting Santa Claus' items.

As a kid, growing up in a middle class family, I never believed in Santa not even in tooth fairies. It’s because I was raised in a private Catholic school where they taught that the real essence of Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior. The Santa Claus tradition here in the Philippines is practiced among wealthy families. Actually, that Santa Claus tradition is quite rare and new in this country. And my mother is quite fond with this fat man since she’s been collecting Santa Claus items.

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The Santa Claus Tradition, annually practiced by my dad and his friends in their hometown every December 25.

My dad and his friends have this tradition for 28years. Most of them are in costumes and would ride trucks and vehicles. One of them will dress as Santa Claus. Then they will throw candies along the highway. It was really fun. The children and adults will wait for them and race for the candies being thrown away. It was one of the awaited events every Christmas afternoon at my father’s town.

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Christmas lights hanging around the trees. How magnificent!

Decorating streets and houses during Christmas is common. But it is more seen in wealthy families. A regular Filipino family would have a Christmas tree, lights and a Christmas lantern, or parol. Parol is a lit lantern which comes in various sizes, shapes, designs, styles and colors. It is one of the most iconic symbols of Christmas here in the Philippines. They are more common in my city. There’s even a Giant Lantern Festival: Ligligang Parol, where different towns join the festival and present their giant parols which will be lit along their chosen music for 5 minutes. The dancing lights must synchronized with the songs played. The best lantern would win the title and the specified amount. However I don’t really appreciate this festival, I just don’t get the difference among lanterns so I don’t usually watch the festival.

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An example of Christmas lantern or Parol.

Christmas parties is the most common activity worldwide. So I won’t discuss further. Monito monita is practiced before Christmas parties. It is a way of exchanging gifts held weekly where participants assign categories of what kind of gift should be given to the receiver. For example, something red, one should give something red to the person he or she picked. I don’t join this activity, it’s too costly and impractical. And I’m the lame gift giver ever so, yeah, whatever.

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The church decorated with Christmas lights and Christmas laterns, Parol, every December. This makes the Christmas spirit to be more felt by the church goers.

Simbang Gabi. It is a series of nine nights or dawns of mass before Christmas. Traditionally it starts Dec. 16 and ends at Dec. 24. It is believed that if someone completed the Simbang gabi, his or her wish would come true. Well I haven’t prove it yet because I don’t attend regularly. And whenever I attend, I’m always late. But awhile ago, Christmas eve’s mass, I came early. We came even before the mass started. Well because my dad attend the mass only during Christmas eve that’s why he doesn’t want to be late.

Our Christmas Eve’s mass or preferably called as Misa de Gallo consists of the nativity or the Panunuluyan. Nativity is a short play where actors re-enact Jesus birth. From Mary’s conception to finding shelter to Jesus birth. Humbly saying, I played Mary, mother of Christ, two times in my entire life. It was really a pleasure to play the role. And a pressure because I’m not that good straight A’s religious girl. It’s not the religion that counts, it’s the faith.

Outside the church there are numerous Christmas vendors. Popcorn, cotton candy, Puto Bumbong, bibingka, and ice cream. And they were the reasons why kids attend the mass. They would start whining about the food outside. Such distractions.

Noche Buena. Christmas eve’s dinner. I think other countries practiced this tradition. The family would prepare food and eat all together on the dinner table. So it’s nothing new to us. I was raised celebrating Christmas and practicing this tradition annually.

Lechon or roasted pig, Leche flan or caramel custard, Queso de Bola or Ball of Cheese, Hamon or sweetened ham and Ube or purple yam are some of the usual dishes on the Filipino’s Noche Buena table. The Ube is usually prepared by the men in the family by melting yam and adding sugar and milk and mixing the sticky mixture in a hot temperature. While Leche flan is prepared by the ladies. Lechon is usually ordered from a local seller or if there’s enough time and skills the family would roast it by themselves. My family doesn’t get Lechon because it’s too costly and it can cause high blood pressure. Well we’re not a fan of stroke phenomenon during Christmas. We aloso don’t buy Queso de Bola because we like our cheese in rectangles. It’s easier to cut with that shape, the cheese won’t roll over. And also the last time I had Queso de Bola, it tasted like soap. And that was the history of no Ball of Cheese on the Christmas table. We get the Hamon for free.

My mother’s company annually gives hamon and other grocery items such as our rectangle cheeses.

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Our incomplete Christmas eve's table. The baby back ribs are not prepared yet at this time.

For Noche Buena this year, my mother prepared Charlie chan spaghetti, tiramisu, baby back ribs, hamon, and toasted hot dogs. My dad bought leche flan and ube. We don’t do a large Noche Buena since we’re only four in the family and we don’t have any visitors for Christmas so it’s only for us. Anyway there are other treats on the table such as Pringles, chocolats, aloe vera, orange and jelly juices, fruits and sweets.
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Typically, I stay ‘til 3 am. Well it’s no difference during school days since I have to study. But my Christmas eve is filled with Christmas-related activities and not just read medical books. I’m not that nerd. Although I read Sherlock Holmes. Christmas eve won’t be complete without watching Christmas movies. My favorites are Home Alone and Eloise at Christmas Time. Anyway StarMovies would play Home Alone 1 & 2 at Christmas eve so it’s no problemo. Also, I listen to Christmas songs. My playlists are from Libera Christmas Albums. They have great angelic voices and well, I must admit, they really look handsome. I think one of my Christmas wish list is a boy friend from the Libera. Maybe older than me. Oh no, not Mr. Prizeman. Hahaha lol.
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At midnight we send our Christmas greetings to our friends and relatives. We call them or chat them. Sometimes we do video chat. And boast our food on the table. Hahaha. Lol. Then we open our Christmas gifts and wrap the other gifts we received so we can
recycle them and give them to other people we forgot in our list.
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Christmas Day is also known as Pasko here in the Philippines. Filipinos would visit their relatives and pay their respect through Pagmamano. When we were younger, we termed it as “Bless po.” It was like asking for blessings, ahem, not just for mney. Lol. Anyway blessing is a blessing. The elders, especially the godparents give Ang Pao. Ang Pao is a red envelope which consists MONEY. Okay, lol, now that’s rude. What I love about Christmas Ang Pao is that the money within is a crisp bill/s fresh from the bank. And the money given is called Aguinaldo. When you’re a young adult, like me, it is shameful to ask for Aguinaldo. You’re lucky if they give you voluntarily, which usually happens to my case. *open arms to welcome the blessings* haha lol.

My sister, mother and I visits my grandma’s place. While my dad goes to his town to do their tradition. The day consists of long chats with the relatives and lunch and dinner. I usually play with my cousins and hang out with them around the town. And you know, visit my seminarian crush. Haha just kidding, I’m done with him, am I not? Lol.

At the end of the day, my family would go home. We will talk about our day while having dinner. Dad would show us the excess candies from the Santa Claus parade. Usually these candies would last til the whole year, if forgotten. Because my mom would put them on containers and we forget about them. And that was the history of the ghost of Christmas candies-unknowingly if the candies are still edible. Who cares? They’re candies!
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Before I go to bed, every Christmas night, I often think of how fast the time went by. That Christmas is already over. And I start getting afraid of aging. But soon, I will realize that it’s a part of God’s gift. Some people don’t grow old because they die young. So still I’m lucky to grow old but still looking young. *sigh* Lol. But really, we must be thankful for all the blessings we have and remember that the real meaning of Christmas is the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.

And also, start to forgive and spread the love. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

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