2018 Reflection and 2019 Aspiration

We have now reached the time of the year when we start to reflect on the year that was.  The compilations are starting to come out for the best songs, movies, Facebook and Instagram posts, fashion and all other bests for the year. 

It is also the time for reflection on a personal level: new people we met, new food we have tasted, amazing new sites we’ve visited, new skills we’ve learned, virtues we’ve acquired or maintained as well as the surprising circumstances we have encountered along the way.  It is also the time when we reflect how we’ve been as a human being and what we want to be in the next year.

As for me, I guess all I can do is be the best person that I can be to those who need me.  And to those who don’t need me, just wait and see because sometime next year you would realize that you do crave and long for me.  Hahaha!  I may not have a new set of resolutions but I will definitely do my very best to stay out of the treacherous waters that would be swirling around next year. 

It is the end of the year and it feels like a lot of people are tired and need a break.  I hope that next year would be more peaceful, meaningful and fruitful for everybody.  Let us hope for the best! 

happy new yeaar from sweet nengkoy! 

happy new year! welcome 2019!

Happy New Year and lots of love from me and my mother, Nengkoy!

Yumaman sana tayong lahat!

Christmas 2018 at Nengkoy’s

photo taken by rachelle (nengkoy’s executive housekeeper)

Like any other Christian family, my family every year is at the heart of Christmas.  2018 Christmas celebration is no different from the yearly revelry that occurs at Nengkoy’s abode.  This year though is a little different because there is a little additional member of the family, my 8-month old grandnephew Arziolo.

And as usual, I am the designated person to take photos of the party.  There were so much photos I took last Christmas Eve that I was able to create a short video out from it.  Enjoy watching… 

From Nengkoy and my whole family, let me again greet everybody a very Merry Christmas!  And since this post covers a YouTube video, let me express how vloggers would invite viewers by saying: “Hi guys!!! Don’t forget to press the like button and subscribe in this channel!”  Hahaha!

Mag bayral sana…

Seeing the Lady of Guadalupe Cloak on My Birthday

Last year on my birthday, I went to the Love Valley in Cappadocia, Turkey, and surprisingly met an angel in disguise.  This year on my birthday, I went to Mexico City and saw the cloak of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin.

My birthday this year was really special because I got to visit the Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe! The basilica that houses the very popular cloak in which the image of our Lady of Guadalupe has been miraculously been impressed and printed so as to authenticate Virgin Mary’s apparitions in the area. 

seeing this was for me a miracle already

amen!

My birthday this year fell on a Saturday yet there was a Holy Mass service held in the basilica when I arrived.  This gave me the opportunity to hear a Mexican Holy Mass and say humongous thanks to the Lady of Guadalupe for the rare travel gift of experiencing the amazing city of Mexico.

The modern Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe is vast and massive complex.  It is the most visited Marian shrine in Mexico because it houses the cloak containing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It is interesting to know that the new basilica was only completed in 1974.  The old basilica (finished in 1709) on the other hand is just adjacent to it but is already sinking.  Its floor has got some deep slope and its façade has evidently tilted.  It looks like it will dangerously fall and crumble anytime.  

notice how tilted the old church is?

selfie with the Lady! 

My prayer to the Lady of Guadalupe was all about my being thankful that I got to experience Mexico.  I did not asked for any miracle because my seeing and marveling over the beauty and holiness of the cloak during my birthday has been one major miracle for me already.

Santa Maria! Salamat!

First Filipino Christmas of Arziolo

It’s September and Finding Tom basically said everything I want to say about Christmas here in the Philippines.  Watch this…. 

To add to what Tom Finding said in his video, I would like to say that Christmas in the Philippines is also for the children.  Though it is also for the children, I however, could no longer recall when was the last time I bought a Christmas present intended for a child. 

In fact, my youngest twin nephews are in their freshman year in college while my youngest niece is in her senior high.  Though it has always been a blast, there has been no baby around Nengkoy’s house for the past eons of years during Christmas.

But Christmas this year would be a little more special because of this kid…

cuteness overload of Arziolo

Looking forward to seeing the first Christmas celebration of my first grandnephew, Arziolo.

Mas mukhang  eksayted ako kesa sa batang yan!

My Christian Warrior

nengkoy & joe

I grew up in a Catholic family.  My father was Catholic when he converted to being a Born Again Christian back in the late 80s.  Ironically, his conversion happened in the Islamic country of Saudi Arabia where he was based as an overseas worker.

When my father retired and decided to stay for good in the Philippines with my family, he was one active member of his church.  He even attempted to convert every one of us in the family.

Too bad for him, he started with me.  I actually commend my father for trying.  His strategy to start with me was so genius.  He knew that if I will be converted, it would be very easy for the rest of the members of my family to become Born Again Christians.

Up until the last days of my father, he never stopped in convincing and converting me.  I guess he knew that I am really the one who needs to be saved from the fires of hell. Hahaha! I can still remember the funny and humorous intellectual debate we had about how to be a true Christian while he was in the hospital.

It has been years and my father has gone to heaven.  He may have failed to convert me, yet I am pretty sure that in spirit, he still looks after me, Nengkoy and the rest of my growing family. He has always been my Christian Warrior.

I guess my father’s failure to convert me is really not a failure after all.  Because a true Christian Warrior will simply let you be the seeker of your own Truth.  And that is one of the multitude of impacts and contributions of my father to me.

Happy Father’s Day Tatay!  You got one proud son here…

Amishyu!

Obtained Charms For The Year Of The Dog

It’s Chinese New Year this coming Friday.  To somehow get ready for the upcoming Chinese New Year, I and the 80-year old Nengkoy went to the world’s oldest Chinatown!  Yeah, established in 1594, the Chinese-filled, Chinese-looking and Chinese-smelling Chinatown in Manila is the oldest.

And guess what?  I have been on numerous times to Hong Kong, Taiwan and some portions of mainland China, but this is my first time to visit and traverse the street of Ongpin, the heart and center of Manila’s Chinatown.

my sister say that i look like the owner of the store in this photo. BILI NA! hahaha!

nengkoy while we traverse the old Ongpin Street

will i get rich if i buy and wear all these?

Me, Nengkoy and my sisters proceeded to Chinatown not to greet the folks Kung Hei Fat Choi nor get there to immerse ourselves on some exotic Chinese food.  We went there to optimize the potentials of our good fortune in the coming Year of the Dog.  Believe it or not, we bought ourselves some oriental good luck charms and amulets.

It was such a fun experience when we reached and entered a store that sells various charms and amulets.  A variety of glossy gleaming rocks and a cornucopia of gemstones, trinkets and ornaments that believed to dispel bad luck and will attract fortune, good health, peace of mind and even auspicious love life are all seem present in that store.

I got myself these…

i’m ready to get rich!

The ritual of cleansing the purchased charms and putting a spell on it (as if switching on the potency of the trinkets) before it was handed over to us seem to enhance some authenticity to the powers of our chosen charms.  It also adds up fun and amazement to the rare adventure we had at Ongpin Street.

Some would say that we may have made a fool of ourselves and we let ourselves be duped, tricked or conned by the sellers of these Chinese ornaments.  But I have always believed that there must be something in these knickknacks that seem to influence human fate and providence.  Nothing will be lost anyway if I am to practice or believe in these age-old Chinese tradition.  Yet, what if it works?  Hahaha!

But seriously, ,may it be effective or not, I know deep within my sensibilities that hard work, perseverance, Intelligence of the mind and the brightness of the heart are still the keys to good life and sought after fortune.

Kung Hey Pat Tsoy!