One of the greatest gifts that a person can receive this Christmas (and for every Christmas for that matter) is the gift of laughter. And each year, this is one precious gift that I receive from my family.
Every year at Christmas Eve since their childhood days, my nieces and nephews would group up and do a presentation at Nengkoy’s house. Each group would got to compete for a prize money. I am always one of the judges along with Nengkoy and my elder sister. And since my nieces and nephews got their funny bones from their grandmother Nengkoy, all their presentations always turns out to be something so hilarious!
These year though majority of my nephews and nieces are now professionals and some has even gone married, each one of them still never failed to give the family some very good laugh. All these glee and hilarity really adds up to the joyful and happy spirit of Christmas every single year at Nengkoy’s house.
With the poor showing and popularity of my blog which I tweet every time I post a writing, I have admitted a long time ago that my blog has been a part of surplus of internet space. My tweets in particular are a waste of Tweeter space. It deserves a room inside a black hole at the edge of the universe.
But of all Tweets! From the mass and heaps of tweets about John Splithoff and his bouncy song Show Me, one of the tweets he happen to have liked was MINE!
And as soon as I was notified about Splithoff’s liking my tweet, I cartwheeled, I somersaulted and I raised my fist out into the air and shouted OMG! John Splithoff doesn’t know how elated I am when I saw the red-colored heart on my boring, flat and uninteresting Tweeter account.
Thanks John! I promise that my Spotify account will be on a repeat-single-song mode (if it has that) so as to listen to Show Me for the whole 30-minute duration of my treadmill walk at my gym tonight.
Theory in quantum mechanics has mathematically proven that an alternate universe subsists. That similar us’s actually exists in those universes. And if I would be given the choice, I would still want my mother to be my mother in that alternate universe. Nengkoy no doubt has been such an awesome mother and she has turned 80 years old last March 3.
I was too happy to write a blog then. And now that the elation has receded a bit, let me blow a shower of kisses and greet an awesome Happy Birthday to Nengkoy!
The Western Wall (which others call The Wailing Wall) has been regarded by the Jews as the sole remnant of the Holy Temple. It is considered to be the closest accessible site to the holiest spot in Judaism known as the Foundation Stone which lies on the Temple Mount. Because of these, the Western Wall has become a place of pilgrimage among the Jews around the world.
Since it is the holiest accessible site, the Western Wall would be the site where Jewish believers would lament about the obliteration of the temple as well as the site where they would pray for intentions. As a tradition, people would write a note on a piece of paper about their intentions, their petitions, their requests, wishes, longings and yearnings. And insert the paper into the crevices of the walls for the heavenly beings to grant such wishes, requests and appeals.
Though a non-Jewish, I have been gifted by the heavens to set foot, see, smell and feel the massive and majestic walls of the Western Wall. Some perhaps must be envious that a pathetic underachiever like me was granted the rare chance to pray and ask for anything that I need and want to the Holy God of the Jewish world.
But honestly, I failed to write any petition neither did I fail to even murmur on the stones about any wish. It is because I was too overjoyed and too thankful to ask for anything at that moment. The mere fact that I was blessed to be in the Holy Land is already a massive and colossal gift from the heavens. I was so thrilled and delighted I could no longer ask for anything else at that moment.
Prior to leaving Manila (with a connecting flight in Hongkong) for an exciting adventure, I have been told by few friends on how stringent the security is prior to entering the Holy Land of Israel. I was told that prior to being allowed entry inside the state, questions asked at the immigration could be very stern, firm and exacting. Thus, prior to leaving my apartment in Manila, I internalize and assumed the thoughts of a beauty pageant contestant. Armed with a smile like that of a docile idiot, I guess talking about hope, happiness and world peace would be the best answers for the Israeli immigration officer to allow me in.
But what surprised me about the exceptional and unique airport experience I had on travelling to Israel was the time when I and my sister (whom I am travelling with) needs to get our El Al (Israeli Airlines) boarding pass at the Hongkong Airport.
All passengers of the El AI flight were gathered and escorted to W1 desk where the boarding pass will be issued. But prior to the issuance, I then have encountered the rarest airport experience I had. All of us passengers would first have to line-up so that we would have to be interrogated one-by-one by an Israeli airport security (I suppose). The questions were so plenty, we have not even landed to Israel!
Tons of questions were thrown at me and my sister – how are we related, who packed our luggage, when did we packed it, do we know someone in Israel, what are we gonna do in Israel, if we live together in one house, is the lock of our luggage is key operated or of a number combination, are the luggage keys complicated or plain and simple, etc. It was so plenty, I never had the chance to incorporate hope, happiness and world peace in my answers.
To add more rarity to the experience, we were then ordered to show then surrender our luggage keys to the solicitous interrogating officer. He gently explained that our luggage would have to be opened and rigorously inspected (because someone in transit might have planted a bomb inside) before it be towed inside the plane. Thinking of rather being safe than sorry, we of course issued our respective keys and were told to claim the same at the gate prior to boarding. We were then pointed to proceed to the W1 desk for the issuance of our respective boarding passes.
The only usual thing I experienced inside Hongkong airport was the grumpy face and cantankerous attitude of the Hongkonese issuing our boarding pass. While asking this Hongkongnese to make sure that I and my sister be seated together preferably at the aisle, I was actually thinking of rather answering the countless questions of the calm and mild Israeli security than that of talking to the rude and impolite Hongkonese airport staff.
When we arrived in Ben Guiron Airport in Tel Aviv, we again were barraged with multiple questions at the immigration desk before we were allowed inside Israel. I was actually not irritated nor upset. I in fact appreciated the rigorous (yet smooth) security measures that the Israeli Security carries out. Knowing how crazy the world – the universe rather – that we live in right now, these safety efforts and security measures would really be something worth appreciating.
Gusto ko pa naman sabihin yung… “byuti wid a hart” Hahaha!
Two glances and a pinch is what made my day today. These very simple acts are the movements I made that totally made my day different from the rest of the days that has passed. I know that such is a silly thought for such an old soul like me. But today I was feeling like I’m in my first few weeks of high school, shivering and shuddering because of an absurd chance of mingling with a person of infatuation.
The Christmas Season has passed, a new year is on a roll and last year’s events and highlights are now officially a memory. But today is some kind of a different highlight. I received two short glances from the person I have been thinking, wishing and praying for and that I got to give a light pinch to that person’s arm before I walked away.
Walking away, I felt the electric current in my right hand. The lucky hand that pinched the arm of my object of infatuation. And as I walked away, I felt my left hand being so jealous of my right hand. And while I walk away, I can feel my lips curving into a happy shape known by all as ‘smile’.
While the electricity in my right hand starts to wane as I walk away, I wanted to let everyone near me to hear me shouting, “Hello, all of you! It’s a beautiful day! A perfect day! A day of possibility!”
Mountain trekkers know that waterfalls are at their scenic best when there has been rainfall. That is absolutely what I saw and experienced in Aurora Province on the day I conquered the exhilarating green forest of barrio San Luis which nestles the beautiful Ditumabo Falls.
The first gait I made to accomplish this adventure, I simply let my cares drop like fallen trees. I did not expect anything to gain with this specific venture. I was merely trying to endure what needs to be endured during the whole time I was walking up the mountain. Nevertheless, while pacing my initial strides, I was already feeling the freshness of the air kissing my cheeks, similar to how the cool streams of water kiss the thirsty lips of earth.
But as I further my trekking, I eventually felt the flowing of nature’s peace inside my being just like how sunshine flows into the leaves and branches of a tree. And as I further went up the trail, I was feeling the fresh energy of the whole forest. I felt no pain, I felt no fatigue. It was sheer delight and pleasantness.
And when we reached our destination, the sight of the dream-like forest mist, the look of the inviting jade-colored pool and the magnificent appearance of the robust stream of the waterfall, resulted to a total feeling of intense joy and happiness!