Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve Celebration

Welcoming the New Year involves a frenzy of activities; there's the preparation, family and friends gathering, midnight mass, fireworks/firecracker activities, and "media noche" (midnight meal). The "media noche" has become a tradition in our family. Together as a family we countdown the last few minutes until midnight strikes to 2011. I always miss this family gathering whenever I'm out of the country. Nothing beats celebrating the New Year with your loved ones.


As the New Year strikes, many have already plotted down their resolutions for the coming year. The New Year is a symbol of hope as we start a clean slate. The use of symbolism to bring goodluck is a common tradition in our country. We have a lot of traditions to ensure that the upcoming year is a good one. For kids, parents would tell them to jump up and down so as to become taller . There's also the blowing of a hand-made trumpet, the banging of anything made of metal as long as it creates a lot of noise, or the full-blast music so as to drive away the evil spirits. The preparation of 12 kinds of circular fruits or the wearing of polka-dot so as to bring abundance and wealth. Although these traditions may really have nothing to do with the outcome of the coming year, but it's something fun and an affirmation to everyone's most common hopes, dreams, and resolutions for 2011.

Hope everyone had a safe New Years Eve!

Reflections


Don't you feel that 2010 has passed by so swiftly or is it just me? Today is the last day of the year, many have been reflecting their ups and downs in 2010 while looking forward and setting goals for the coming year, 2011. 

Looking back on the year that is about to say goodbye is a good way to assess what has been achieved, what needs to be improved, or what must be avoided. There's an old adage in my country, "ang taong hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggagalingan ay walang patutunguhan" (a person who does not look back where he comes from will have no where to go). This saying also applies to looking back into the past. But as 2010 is already about to pass, let all the past be bygones after a thorough reflection so you can fully embrace the new year with all your heart and mind.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Shine

Do you ever have a last song syndrome? I sometimes do and it usually depends on the mood I am in. My most recent last song syndrome is Fireworks by Katy Perry. I love the lyrics and the message that the song imparts. I call it a pick-me-up song on days that do not go well. It's my go-to-song in my Ipod when I am down, when I am unmotivated, and when all I need is a push to just go on and keep on believing on my skills, dreams, goals, and ambitions. I am sharing some of the the lyrics from the song for all who need inspiration. 
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
Cause there's a spark in you


You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July


Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what your worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed
So you can open one that leads you to the perfect road

Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know


The above photo is my submission for Mortal Muses: 9 Muses Musing for their SHINY photo assignment. Do check out Mortal Muses, there are so many inspiring photos there. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Deck the Tree

"Christmas time is here again" so goes The Beatles song. The advent of Christmas is welcomed by preparations days ahead; sometimes it begins mid or late November. Shopping malls will start to featurethe Christmas decorations as their main display. Neighborhoods will light up their shimmering series bulbs. Churches will prepare advent candles and wreaths. Homes will deck their halls with traditional and memorable ornaments. 


All of these ornaments which adorn family homes, streets, and buildings add festivity to the joyous occasion. The Christmas balls, the ribbons, the candles, the tree topper, etc. each hold memories and are most likely part of a family tradition. Ours has been the Christmas tree. We have a (not real) tree for three years now ever since our old one is damaged from a flood that hit our neighborhood. The first year, it is adorned in gold; it is silver and gold on the second year; then, this year it's purple, gold, and silver. I don't know what color I'll fancy next year , but one thing is certain - our Christmas tree is a yearly work in progress. Every time I put up the tree, I have memories of our Christmas past. I have fond memories of my sister helping me at one point or another to put up the tree, gathering around the Christmas tree for photo taking, piling gifts under the Christmas tree, and many many more. I don't tire of putting up and taking down the Christmas tree and the ornaments. I find joy decking up our humble tree for the season. 

On a side note, Mortal Muses is musing about Ornaments today, head on over there for wonderful stories. 

It's His Birthday Too

My family is a dog lover. In fact, we had two dogs for 10 years who died four years ago; they died a year apart from each other. It was not easy to deal with the death of our dogs (Dax - a Shitzu mutt and Rodeo - a Pomeranian mutt). We had to put Dax to sleep because she had mammary tumor and the veterinarian declared that she was too old to deal with a surgical operation. It was best to just let her go and had her rest. My sister who was there all through out the ordeal watched the procedures and all until Dax closed her eyes. She cried for days; in fact everyone in the family were saddened with the loss. Our only consolation, to put our minds and hearts at rest was, we think it was the best for Dax and I bet she would be happy now. Rodeo died a year after that; it was a sudden death. The day before his death, he was in his usual self; he did not show any signs of illness or bodily discomfort. He was a brave scout till his last breath. The following morning my father found him dead. We had to bury him on a nearby ground where Dax was also laid.

Two years ago, a girl (my sister) cried for empathy from my parents so she would be allowed to pet another dog. My parents were very stern into not having any dog in the family. It was a pain to deal with the death of our dogs. My parents; especially my father, did not want us to go through it again. After much coercion using tears by my sister, my parents had to give in. It was a perfect timing because a co-worker of mine had a litter of pups. We visited the litter and were dead-set to have a boy, but all the boys were promised. We chose a girl and arranged to pick her up a few days after. On the day that we picked up the promised pup, my sister was still hoping that one of the boys would be available. Fortunately, a healthy and chubby ball of white fur passed by my sister's feet; the mom of my co-worker saw the pup and announced that the pup was available for taking. My sister scooped him up and had never let him out of her sight since that night. 

And so now we have Bok. He was born on a Christmas morning and such is all the more reason for us to celebrate Christmas. Bok is the youngest in our family. Everybody adores him and who will not?; especially when he looks into you with his big black eyes. 


Happy Birthday to our button-eyes, Bok. 
Thank you for bringing such joy to our family.
Thank you for teaching us unconditional love.
Thank you for making us laugh.
Thank you for taking away any pains, misery, angst, and tiredness 
that we bring home each and every day.
Thank you for simply being adorable!
We love you and happy birthday! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

A few hours from now it's gonna be Christmas Day in my side of the world. Gifts are already wrapped and the "Noche Buena" (Christmas Eve meal) is ready for partaking. We are just waiting for the clock to strike 2 hours before midnight so we can attend the Christmas Eve mass. The air is already full of anticipation where everyone from all walks of life come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus. 


May each one of you be in the company of your loved ones or dear friends. 
May it be a joyous occasion full of love and happiness. 
A warm embrace to all wherever you maybe. 
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let There Be Light

"Then God commanded, let there be light - and light appeared." from the Book of Genesis Chapter 1 verse 3. 

I am like a moth drawn to LIGHT and it is one of the many reasons why I set up our Christmas tree every time I am home for the holidays. I like the glitters and the shimmering lights. I like how it adds festivity and helps boost the holiday spirit. 

I arrived home earlier this evening to a pitch black neighborhood. It was not a welcome sight and it made me all the more appreciate the wonderful gift of LIGHT. Thank goodness the black out didn't last all through out the night and when there was light, it sure made me one happy camper. 

You will also find many inspiring blogs and photo submissions about LIGHT in Mortal Muses: 9 Muses Musing. There's a daily word prompt for the photo assignment and there are lots of giveaways. Visit Mortal Muses now.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Guest Musing at Mortal Muses

I am ecstatic to finally see my hometown being featured at Mortal Muses: Where I Live Musing. I appreciate and still remain in awe to the beauty of the places I have visited outside Cebu and in foreign countries; however, I am proud of my hometown. The place has helped mold me to be who I am today, and wherever I may be, Cebu will always be in my heart. I love Cebu. 

Please visit Mortal Muses and see the beautiful places from all over the world. 

Sunday, December 05, 2010

LifeStyle Shoot: Just Because - Kris

A couple of weeks ago, I had a fun shoot opportunity for one fine teenager, Kris. She was very shy at first but had eventually warmed up in front the camera. When she smiles, her eyes glows and makes her so pretty. I wanted to capture not just her pretty smile, but everything about her. She's still young; on her early teens and she's into books, backpacks, sneakers, and shorts. The photo shoot was all about her: vibrant, full of energy, fresh, and  youthful. I had a great time getting to know this pretty and intelligent girl as she revealed her wacky self and serious moods.

Enjoy the photos Kris, till then on your senior year!



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