Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Christmas

Every year, I make the mistake of commencing the preparations for Christmas depending on the events unfolding in society. I am aware that's it's wrong, but I am always affected by changes and sometimes, upheavals, that take place around me. I remember in December of the year 2000, a great year as it was the start of the 3rd millennium, I was so horrified by the scandals that rocked the country which led to the impeachment proceedings against Pres. Erap. I refused to put up the tree. But on December 21, I think, a bank executive by the name of Clarissa Ocampo, an eyewitness to Erap's signing bank records in the name of Jose Velarde, came forward and testified in the trial that was beamed on national tv. Late into the night that day, I was putting up the tree because an angel named Clarissa told me there was reason to rejoice.

This year, I promised myself that no matter what, at least the Christmas tree should be up by November 15, and that's how it's going to be from this year on.

In 1999, on our first Christmas in our new and very own home built from the ground up by my husband, Timmy bought a six feet tall Christmas tree out of her bonus as an employee of Pag-ibig. She has since moved to other jobs but the tree is still with us, standing tall, straight and proud of her services to my family. Each year, we change the color motif of the decors, beginning from the poinsettia flowers. In 2001, our 25th anniversary, I bought silver and sapphire blue decors (our wedding color motif was light blue). Then, in later years, we went gold, orange, chartreuse, red, etc. This year, I put out all the flowers in different colors and thought it looked quite good, so I had it that way, minus all other decors, like Christmas balls and ribbons.

Just this morning, the hubby found two flowers, one chartreuse and the other gold, all mashed up and tousled. It must be the handiwork of my other bunsoy - Bitoy. Instead of getting mad, I felt good because Bitoy must be feeling joyous too as we await Christmas. Next week, I will be starting on a make-over, sort of, of the house. Just a few changes in the positions of the old furniture and perhaps some new curtains ( the hubby says, "Curtains? Not again!. Christmas really makes me move my big and little bones. And it feels good!

In a few days, I will be making a mental list again of the ingredients for pancit molo, a regular Christmas table fare requested by my nieces and nephews. We will bring food and more food to share on Christmas eve. We will be thinking of more games to play before each family goes back to our own homes. Last year, Pinoy Henyo was a hit among us. We will be merry once more, because we choose to be happy even if Amang and Inang are no longer around; even if Rico and Lina are now spending white christmases in Ohio (they send goodies, anyway, LOL); even if Sam, Poy and Erick are in countries that don't celebrate Christmas (LOL again, these countries become richer because of Christmas); even if there's a chance Nad will have a night duty on Christmas eve; even if we don't have that much to spend on Christmas finery; even if some others choose not to be part of our family merrymaking because they are busy soaring up high in the sky. This time of the year is a time to be happy and merry and joyous. After all, it's the best time to think of and give thanks for the birth of The One who makes all things possible.

Merry Christmas to all of us! May this season be filled with love and joy to keep in our hearts forever.

Monday, November 15, 2010


This is the first time i will be blogging with a deadline- 12:00 midnight tonight. And it's already half past nine in the evening. Today is my Bunsoy's 30th birthday and because i was caught up in so many inconsequential matters the past days, i failed to grab enough time on the computer to do what i needed to do- write about my youngest, dearest son. The whole day today, i was in the kitchen with my bff and my cousin turning up some scrumptious dishes for family and his buddies. As i write this, his titos and titas and his cousins have gone back to their respective homes, but the buddies and the birthday boy are still up in the bahay-kubo, having a blast, as if being thirty is the most significant stage in a man's life.

Ronald, my Bunsoy, was named after Ronald Reagan who won the US presidential elections on November 4, 1980. Eleven days later, Nad was born. Since his elder brother, Gerald, was named after Gerald Ford, we reckoned that, maybe, it will be more consistent if we go by that name. I am quite proud of the choices we've made for our children's names primarily because we made the choices ourselves. When I was still single, I made a vow never to let another person give the names of my would-be children. I'm glad I did not have to go through the distress of having to turn down someone who, for some reason, would be so assertive enough as to choose a name for someone not his/her child.

Among my three children, it is always Nad who makes a big deal of his birthday yearly. It is as if he was so exultant and ecstatic that he was born. And that alone makes me happy, too. When I hear other young people question why they were born, I feel sad for them because their reservations clearly have something to do with the kind of life they live. Nad is nothing like that. He loves life and he lives it to the fullest. He may not be the gifted son nor the young entrepreneur who earned his first million before he reached 30, but my Bunsoy gives me so much joy, like all other Bunsoys in the world do to the own mothers. Like his eldest sister and elder brother before him, Nad has been and is always a constant source of joy and inspiration for me to go on living, despite the stresses attendant to aging.

Nad and I have our own share of spats and misunderstandings, but one thing I will always appreciate about him is his ability to take things lightly, as if unpleasant things didn't happen at all. When it is I who have done him wrong, it does not take too much time for him to forgive and forget. Perhaps the only thing I could never make him appreciate is my being a worrier. He wants me to relax when he goes anywhere, but what can I do? I am a mother who thinks I am the only one who can protect him.

I know I owe my children so much. To this day I still cringe when I recall that on Nad's second birthday in 1982, I left him and his sister and brother in the care of a househelp and attended to a problem with a bounced check that was paid us by a customer in Pasig. All along I thought I could make it by noon time, but my aunt-in-law and I arrived back home late in the evening- with everything in disarray on the homefront. I hated myself then for being away on my son's birthday and I feel that I have never forgiven myself to this day because the memory is still fresh in my mind and the tears still flow when I recall the events of that day.

Nad was my passport to a renewed professional life when, in 1986, his first year as a kindergarten in St. Mary's, I also started my stint as a classroom teacher in the same school. I was to resign in 1998 when he graduated in high school, but was given a bonus of one more year. Many years later, Nad finished college. Many girlfriends later, Nad is still here with me, celebrating his 30th, still single and still giving me the joy only a mother could feel.

Happy birthday, Bunsoy. I love you beyond the stars!