29 December 2011

Girl Tells Santa She Wants Dad Home From Iraq

A heartwarming true Christmas story to share with loved ones.
Video credit goes to CBS News Channel.

22 December 2011

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie trailer

Nearly 5 years after it was announced that The Hobbit was getting the silver screen treatment, we finally have a sneak preview through this movie trailer.

20 December 2011

Simbang Gabi at Johnsonville

We were a bit early...

We are so happy that the Filipino Chaplaincy has scheduled a number of the Simbang Gabi sessions at Johnsonville.  We are at least able to attend 3 of the masses (as I still have work at this time and we would not have been able to make it to the mass if it were elsewhere).
Mary and Joseph must still be on their way to Bethlehem

Simbang Gabi (literal translation: Night Mass) is a devotional nine-day series of masses which starts on 16 December and culminates on 24 December, the Misa de Gallo.  Simbang Gabi is a popular Christmas custom in the Philippines and is held early in the morning (around  5:00).  We usually wax nostalgic when we speak of Simbang Gabi because it is quite a memorable and happy experience.  Imagine waking up very early in the morning (that's the hard part!) and walk / drive the streets when the sun is barely up, then we sing favourite songs and carols in the mass, and when we leave the Church, the sun has just risen and we are ready for some hot pan de sal,  puto bombong, bibingka, and coffee!

11 December 2011

The OFW Project

We as Filipinos have always associated our families as being close-knit, providing a sense of togetherness which makes other cultures that promote independence a very radical mode of thinking indeed.  But there is a change happening to our society, and it is the direct effect of the deployment of our workforce to other countries.  Our OFWs - or Overseas Filipino Workers - are a blessing to the country in general because their remittances are a boon to the economy.  And to their families, a better standard of living as a result of the monetary compensation.

But are the families really better off?  We now have a large population of children who long for their mother or father (or both) and wish they are around to guide them, and be with them on Family Day at school.  We have parents whose child (usually the eldest) is working abroad to support the siblings through school.

05 December 2011

Johnsonville Christmas Parade 2011 1 of 2

There is something especially different with this year's parade. There is a Nativity float! Yay!

We missed the Ghostbusters this year.  Slimer must be in the middle of mishief.  The parade is lots of fun for the young and the young-at-heart.  Really good to have something like this to usher in the Christmas season. And as they say, a photo is worth a thousand words so here's a number of them (in 2 parts!)

 La la la la la la, la la la la la.....

01 December 2011

Sleeping under the stars again

It's been years since I last slept in a tent, under a night sky full of twinkling stars.  The last time I did so was 3 years ago back in the Philippines.  So when opportunity presented itself (a cloudless sky with only a slight breeze), I decided to have a taste of the outdoors once again.  And it's great that my son decided to join me in this journey as well!

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