Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Photographs and Memories

Today my in-laws and I went to my hubby's grandmother's apartment to get stuffs because she was transferred to an assisted home. We were to pick-up things that she can't use anymore. While I was looking through the things in the cabinets, I found several albums full of pictures, mostly old pictures and pictures in frames. The pictures were amazing! I even found an album of my in-laws wedding and I can't wait to show it to my husband. He said he has not seen them in years. Looking at the pictures made me smile especially those of my hubby when he was still a kid wearing that sheepish grin!lol

Photographs are one of the very effective ways of capturing each treasured memory. They can stay with us in good shape as long as we take very good care of them. For instance, I still have my mother's pictures when she was still so young and they are still clear enough to be able to know who she was with in those pictures. Each photograph that we take and keep is a story of our lives and our moments with our loved ones. They are the captions of not only the special events in our lives but the everyday events as well that are just as good. Photographs really do have sentimental values for the events that happen in our lives because such events are unique in their own way and they just happen once.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Nature's Wrath

The Midwest series of storms and torrential rains have left serious flooding. Major rivers have long reached their crests and overflowing already causing the flood. The flooding also affected as far north as Minnesota and Wisconsin where some houses were literally flushed away. Parts of Indiana and Illinois are flooded that's affecting both residential and agricultural fields. The plantation of produce have been delayed because of the series of storms that swamped the fields. In Iowa, there's up to 100 blocks downtown that's affected by the flooding which was due to a broken levee on the Cedar River. Thousands of people are evacuated from their homes. Hospitals and establishments in Iowa's second-largest city the Cedar Rapids, are flooded that people use boats in rescue missions.

Not only were there storms and flooding in the Midwest but a series of tornadoes as well. It has destroyed fields and people's houses that left them homeless. Still in Iowa, a tornado killed four young boys during their boy scouts camp. One boy who survived said "It's probably the longest 8 seconds in my life", when interviewed about what happened when the tornado hit the area.

After all of the nature's rage, prices of produce that are common in the Midwest such as corn and soybeans, are expected to go higher as they already are.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

When we say or hear someone saying about Friday the 13th, one thing immediately comes to mind, bad luck. Both Friday and the number 13 have been considered unlucky. Friday, being the day when Jesus Christ was crucified and 13, the number of people in the Last Supper of Jesus Christ. Thus Friday the 13th is considered bad luck in a lot of countries around the world such as Austria, Germany, Estonia, Finland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Republic of Ireland, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Philippines, and in most English, French, and Portuguese-speaking countries.

Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th. It derived from Greek words, Paraskevi and dekatreis, meaning Friday and thirteen respectively. While phobia means fear. Friday the 13th is a very widespread superstition. In tall buildings, the 13th floor is ommitted. In a dinner, 13 people seating by the table must be avoided because it is said that the first person who leaves the table will die within a year. It is also common among us not to travel on Friday the 13th because chances are there will be mishap or accidents. In contrast, my trip to the US last year was of all days, Friday the 13th! It was during a peak season and that day was the only day available for us to book. It was quite a journey for me since I was not only traveling to another city but I was actually traveling to another country. Moreover, the fact that it was Friday the 13th, I couldn't help but be afraid. However, prayer is still the best practice, not only when we travel but in everything that we do.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

110th Philippine Independence

Every 12th of June, Independence Day is celebrated in the Philippines and anywhere in the world where there are Filipino communities. The declaration of the Philippine Independence was on June 12, 1898 which was proclaimed by General Emilio Aguinaldo after he and his forces fought and defeated the Spaniards who colonized the Philippines for a century. The highlights of the event were the display of the Philippine flag and the playing of the Philippine National Anthem. The said ceremony was held in the balcony of the General's residence.

In the Philippines, every town and city celebrates Philippine Independence Day with programs which include parade and cultural shows. In our city, there will be a gathering in the city's park. Every program starts with prayer and the raising of the Philippine flag accompanied by the singing of the Philippine National Anthem.

Filipino communities around the world celebrates this day. In the Northeast USA, particularly in New York, they held the annual parade and cultural show featuring Filipino celebrities last Sunday. The parade featured colorful and meaningful floats with beautiful ladies as part of the event's beauty pageant. They also had a street fair displaying Filipino foods and things that are Philippine made. On the other hand, in the west coast, Filipinos celebrated Independence Day in San Francisco Civic Center. The event is called "Fiesta Filipina". Filipino foods and merchandise were also showcased. There was also an entertainment show with Filipino celebrities.

In Europe, particularly in Holland, celebrated this year's Philippine Independence Day full of arts and music. This is showcasing the artworks and music by Filipino artists. The event was held at the De Duif Church in Amsterdam.

This year is the 110th year of the Philippine Independence. Every year of celebration commemorates all the men and women who died fighting for our Independence.

While in the Middle East, the Filipino communities celebrated with week-long activities commencing with tree-planting. There's also the Ambassador's Cup by the Abu Dhabi Bowling Club of which the proceeds goes to the Philippine Labour Office and to the Bantay Bata 163, which is the emergency hotline for abused kids in the Philippines.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Debut Tradition

Debut(among other meanings), refer to an event where a debutante(who is the celebrant) is introduced to the society as an adult. The event can be a ball dance. In the Philippines, it is an awaited moment for young women to turn 18. It's in this age that they'll be celebrating their debut.

A debut is held in a hotel's ballroom or any restaurant. It's a big party with foods and drinks and most especially the cake which is one of the highlights. Another highlght would be showing a video or compiled pictures of the debutante that are arranged in chronological order. The guests include the families, relatives, and friends who are all dressed properly for the debut especially the young ladies and guys who are part of the 18 Roses Dance and 18 Candles. The 18 Roses Dance is a part of the event wherein the debutante dances the traditional waltz(or any dance that the debutante decides on) with 18 men each one offering a fresh-cut rose to the debutante. The first dance of the debutante would be with her father. Then there's the 18 Candles Presentation wherein 18 ladies light candles which signifies guidance to the debutante as she enters maturity and adulthood. Upon presenting the candles, each lady expresses her wishes to the debutante. At the end of the program, the debutante makes a speech and expresses her gratitudes to her parents and families who made the arrangements of the debut and for their significance in her life as well as to her friends who gets to share the important event with her.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Farewell

Rudy "Daboy" Fernandez, a very respected and famous actor in the Philippines passed away last Saturday, June 7, 2008. He was battling with periampullary cancer for 2 years. A periampullary cancer is the enlargement of the ducts from the liver and the pancreas. Both he and his wife, Lorna Tolentino who's also a very famous Filipina actress, came to the US for some treatments. During his last days and hours, families and close friends were there with him.

He was born on March 3, 1952 to a film director and medical practitioner father and a mother who came from a famous showbiz clan. He started some films in 1960's but was really discovered in the early 1970's. He was a very good action star that he's garnered Best Actor awards. He was known as the Prince of Action.

In his last days, he requested that when he dies, his wake should be in The Heritage Park in Taguig City, Philippines. His wake is also open to the public so not only his family and friends can view him for the last time but most especially his fans who are all falling in line to get a glimpse of their action hero. His interment will be on June 12, which happens to be the Philippine Independence Day as well.

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Friday, June 6, 2008


No, my topic is not about the famous restaurant. I will be talking about the famous line "Thank God it's Friday!". A lot of us look forward to this day because it's a day to end the whole week of work (not that we don't have to work at home!), the day to finally let out a sigh of relief after all the hard work and the stress we have at work. This is the day when there are plenty of people who go to restaurants, movies, malls, and most especially bars. For people who are working days, Friday night is the perfect night to go out and stay late. It's the time to sleep in the next day. My hubby always ask me, "Is it Friday yet?", then I would reply him with either "Almost..." or "Of course it's Friday yet!", I would answer him with "almost" even if it's still Monday or any day but Friday so that he'll feel good (he knows that of course). Then I would answer him with "Of course it's Friday yet!"(with the word yet in it just to copy the last word of his question), also to make him feel good. This has been a light joke for us giving a big significance on the day Friday which means getting closer to the weekend.

Friday derived from the Anglo-Saxon word frigedaeg, which is a combination of two words, being a goddess Fria in old German and daeg which means day in old English. For the Muslims, Friday is the Sabbath day and it's the equivalent to Sunday for Christians going to church and worshipping. Moreover, it's a day in memory of Christ's death, hence a day of fasting and prayer.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Our 3-in-1 present

I talked to my cousin yesterday and she asked if I received any package, then I said none so far and asked her if she sent me a car or something, she said it's a package from President Bush!lol Half an hour later, I saw the UPS truck pulling in our driveway, then I got excited! By the way, I always do when I receive packages, even if it's just a letter. It was a long box and I was getting curious of what could it be. I was not really sure if it was what my cousin was talking about because there was no name outside the box. Then I opened it and it was from her. It's actually 3 dozens of roses and a vase. I was surprised because it's a lot of flowers! The message on the card said a belated happy birthday to my hubby, a belated mother's day to me (as if I'm a mom already! I guess our yorkie counts? lol), then an advance anniversary to both of us. Hence, it's actually a 3-in-1 present!lol I then called my husband about it and we both thought how sweet of my cousin to send us such a lovely gift. I already displayed it on our dining table. There's just nothing as beautiful as fresh flowers! It just brings wonderful scent to the room. hhhhmmmmm......

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Making a History

Last night, Senator Barack Obama won enough delegates to become the first African-American major party presidential nominee. It was a big battle for the spot between him and Senator Hillary Clinton, who could have made a history as well supposing she won, she would have been the first female presidential nominee of the major party. Senator Obama became the first black president that the Harvard Law Review had and as senator, he was the fifth black in the US history.

With the turning points that evening, Senator Clinton did not exit the political race saying that, “This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decision tonight,” which added excitement to the cheering crowd.

Senator Obama had a rally at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Minnesota, where he announced, "Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.". The 46-year old senator will be one of the youngest presidents in the US if elected.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008


A famous fashion icon has departed late Sunday. He is Yves Henri Donat Matthieu Saint Laurent or simply Yves Saint Laurent. He died of brain tumor at the age of 71 in his Paris home and will be buried on Thursday.

He was born in Algeria and arrived in Paris in the early 50's with a portfolio of sketches that he submitted to the famous Vogue magazine. His collection of works were inspired by the artists Picasso and Andy Warhol. His long-time partner have spoken highly of him saying that he was the first to put women in men's clothes such as pants and the first to hire black models. Some of the designs that symbolized him were Safari, Le Smoking, Belle de Jour, the see-through clothes, and ethnic. He used to describe his fashion style as empowering women. He represented the style of modern working women. Aside from clothes, he also had collections of perfumes and accessories such as bags and sunglasses. In the year 2002, he stepped down and retired from the fashion world.

Saint Laurent once said he felt "fashion was not only supposed to make women beautiful, but to reassure them, to give them confidence, to allow them to come to terms with themselves." May he rest in peace.

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Monday, June 2, 2008


The 2008 World Pyro Olympics ended in May 31st. The last day of event is called the Fellowship of Fire Display. It is the largest international fireworks competition in the world. The final day also included the awarding of the competition's winner, the exhibition fellowship fireworks show, and the final pyro musical, which is a display of fireworks with the synchronization of music. This year is the 3rd World Pyro Olympics which opened last May 3. The said event was held every Saturday of May at the Esplanade Area of the SM Mall of Asia, the largest mall in the Philippines and the third largest in Asia. The principal sponsors of the big event were SM Mall of Asia and Pepsi.

The participants of this year's competition were Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Venezuela. They compete in their artistry and technical expertise.

The event brings benefits to the Philippines especially in the economic aspect. Since it started, the number of spectators grows bigger and bigger. The crowd does not only include Filipinos but tourists and foreigners, having a chance for them to have a glimpse of the Philippines. The success of the 1st world competition gave way to an annual event.

To close the event, the La Mancha Pyro Productions showed their own display of expertise as exhibitor. They are the pioneer and industry leader for displays in the Philippines. La Mancha is also the organizer of the World Pyro Olympics. The country or team that won in this big annual event is Italy.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Flores de Mayo - Santacruzan

Every May in the Philippines, there is a festival being held called the "Flores de Mayo". It is a Catholic event in honor of Virgin Mary. "Flores de Mayo" is a Spanish phrase, for which "Flores" derived from flowers and "Mayo" means May, coming up with Flowers of May. It is a festival introduced by the Spaniards during their long reign in the Philippines.

During this month, children would go to the church carrying flowers and baskets of petals which are offered to Virgin Mary. When I was a kid, my mom would let me have a vacation in our hometown. I regularly attended Flores de Mayo and after the offerings and prayers, we were gathered around in a circle and sit on the grass just outside the church. Then there were activities such as singing and dancing and before it was over, bags of cookies were distributed to each one of us.

After the whole month of activities, Flores de Mayo is always highlighted with the Santacruzan which is a procession to honor the finding of the Holy Cross by Reyna Helena (or Queen Helena), which was the cross where Jesus Christ was nailed. The said Queen is the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Girls and young ladies are chosen to be a part of the procession. They all have different names of queens, each one carrying an item that signifies them. I for one had the role of Queen Sheba, the queen who once visited King Solomon and was overwhelmed by his power, wisdom and riches. Queen Sheba carried a jewelry box.

After the procession, there are culminating activities. The presentation of the queens and their escorts, their dance, and some intermissions. Flores de Mayo and Santacruzan has long been practised by Filipinos, it is one event that's full of color, beauty, elegance, and most of all, it is honoring the Great Mother, Virgin Mary.

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