Someone Celebrated His Birthday

It was his birthday days ago but only had its simple celebration yesterday.  There was the obligatory cake, the sumptuous food, wine and cheese.  There was even the crazy blowing of the candle!

stay sane and happy!

with my mom and the rest of the fam!

May you have the strength of the heroes, the wisdom of the divine, the wealth of the gods, the smile of the angels and the body to die for! Hahaha!

Happy Birthday to me.

Touched by Disney UK!

Disney UK got a cool and heartwarming Christmas advert!  I am particularly touched and moved by this video ad simply because it features bits of the Filipino qualities and culture. 

Mano:  the gentle placing of the back of the hands of your elders to your forehead is a unique Filipino gesture to show sign of respect to elders

Parol & Parol-Making:  a lantern which is made of bamboo sticks and colored paper is a major Christmas symbol of every household in the Philippines.  And it is a common practice that grade school students would create one as a school project during Christmas season so as to have it hanged in their respective houses.  I made a horrible-looking one myself during my young school days!

Simbang Gabi: a Filipino-Catholic tradition of attending midnight Mass at a nearby Catholic church for 9 consecutive nights prior to Christmas Eve.  And since I am wicked, this is one Filipino tradition that I never get to complete!

Recycling of an old cookie tin can:  Lola-s (translation: grandmothers) around the nation would never throw away metal cookie cans.  These would instead be re-used either as a jewelry box, a sewing kit container, an old photos or greeting cards chest or other similar charms, trinkets and mementos that a usual Filipino lola wants to keep.

Thanks Disney UK!  You moved me.

Thanks EU!

No thanks to the geographical location, my country is the customary pathway of strong and deadly tropical storms and typhoons on the planet.  The storm-track here seem so idyllic, we are no longer amazed if three storms would pass by in a week.  Tropical cyclones seem so at home during the rainy season, an average of 20 storms would pass in a year and 25% of which are usually destructive.

Because of these, my poor country is a common recipient of international aid.  These supports usually in millions of dollars would typically come from rich opulent countries.  Just in the recent deadly category-5 tropical cyclone Rolly, the European Union has announced its provision of humanitarian aid funding amounting to 1.3 million euros to affected families in my country.

I don’t know if someone has relayed a huge “thank you”, so let me be one of the few.  Maybe we are so used to receiving international emergency relief assistance that we already forget how to express our gratitude.  Or, maybe it is because we are too busy rebuilding our lives again after a series of destructive natural phenomenon.  Please pardon us if we missed saying thanks.  So, in behalf of everyone here (and since a big chunk of readers of this blog are from there), let me express a giant, full-sized and humongous, Thank you EU!”

One grateful soul here! Warm hugs to all of you.

 

Dance When Bored Angels Ignore Us

It’s the last quarter and when I realized that I haven’t gone out of the country this year, I got sad.  When I counted that it has been close to eight months that I have been limiting my movement outdoors, I got sad.  I actually got sad when I realized I got sad.

Gazing into the affirmative, bouts of sadness may be good for us.  Can you just imagine happiness if there is no sadness?  Life then would be so dull, nauseating and mind-numbing.  Angels in heaven must have been so bored with happiness they prefer descending down to earth in search of sadness and turn the same into glee, delight and gladness.

Life is not about wishing storms to pass. It is about learning how to dance in the rain.

I am not saying that I would love to bask on sadness.  I had so much of it already.  But sadness as unwelcome and unwanted as it may seem is a life ingredient.  And if bored angels up above ignore us, what is good about us being humans is that we cope.  We have the capacity to manage, the ability to handle and the aptitude to deal.

Sadness is like a life’s unwanted storm.  It can be intense, horrible and devastating.  But life is not about wishing storms to pass.  It is about learning how to dance in the rain.  Therefore, we simply just have to dance if bored angels ignore us.

Frustrated Japanophile

Let me be a little materialistic today!  My avaricious stance at the moment is caused by the airline who texted me that my October 29 flight to Japan has been cancelled.  And since I cannot take a trip to magnificent Osaka, I let bits and pieces of Osaka take a journey to me.

i love everything japanese! except for the karokke (croquet) chips, all these are actually available in my country. hahaha!

I have just received the package full of Japanese stuffs I ordered from my Japan-based niece!  Yihee! These are the cheap Japanese junks, the absurd Nippon messes and the silly Japanophile stuffs I would have purchased in Osaka if my trip pushed through.  Please excuse me but ordering and receiving these stuffs are my coping mechanisms in expunging my extreme frustration when I learned about the cancellation.

japanophile! 

Let me then I agree if you find me so worldly and so twisted in this circumstance. Got to go!  I need to do my airline refund! Haha!

I Miss Going To The Movies

Do you remember when was the last time you went out, go to a cinema and see a movie?  I miss doing that.  It is so long ago that I no longer can recall what was the last film I saw inside a movie house.

For me, going out to watch a movie is some sort of a social activity.  It’s like having a mini-party that is to be attended either by a bunch of friends, family and even strangers.  No thanks to the ongoing pandemic, I have yet to get inside a cinema and have this mini-social activity done this year!

Yeah, I too is a Netflix subscriber, but I miss the fun of falling on queue outside the theater, the buzz of selecting which time slot to watch at the box office or the angst of running in a hurry because the film is about to start.  I also miss the delight of selecting what to binge and snack on – chips, burgers, hotdogs or a pail of buttery popcorn.

stuck at home, gone grumpy and mad… i wanna go to the movies!

Going to the movies is a perfect social activity for it hits all-encompassing purposes of having an enjoyment, relaxation, stimulation and a sense of belongingness.  But this social communal pursuit seems dying.  Aside from the fear of catching the deadly bug, human beings now prefer watching at the comforts of their home.  Yeah, I know that watching movies at home is more convenient, safer and cheaper but it misses the mark in terms of us being social beings.

I’m betting my skinny butt, count forty or fifty years when people evolved and become solitary species, those cinemas can be considered dead, extinct and a thing of the past.  Young folks by that time would be so shocked to find out that movie theaters run and existed and they would innocuously utter “ridiculous people of the past are so weird?!

Enough said.  I want to be that weird dude of the future and I definitely miss going to the movies!

I Had Coffee With Your Avatar

Now that the world has gone bonkers, I think gaining and winning friends by the present generation sits quite fine and okeydokey with me.  Generation now would consider that the minimum requirements for at least two human beings to be considered as friends is that they have to have a photo together posted on social media or that one has clicked accept a Facebook invite by the other.

Though I am truly glad that I am not part of this peculiar “friendship” scheme.  I think I would still recognize and accept such a modern way of developing friendships for the mere fact that such scheme and pattern is positive.

It is totally different from the way how friendship develops and flourish during my young though not so vibrant time.  Friendship development and occurrences then were face-to-face, non-tech, unknowing, fluid, extemporaneous and does not require having an avatar.

my present globally recognized avatar! hi friends!

I am not saying that those that I connect with via social media or the world-wide-web as not friends.  They are indeed!  But it could have been more enhanced if I happen to at least smell or touch these new found friends.  Yeah, I am a touchy person (and not a smelly one)!  And I would have love to have at least a coffee or dinner with these new found comrades.

Case in point are the new found friends I developed while writing and posting on this blog.  These are the amazing and beautiful people who cared to read, like, comment and/or follow the Nengkoy blog.  Conversing via the comment sections and responding to emails, believe it or not, has been very fascinating and enriching experiences.  Some don’t even have a face since their avatar would be a painting, a cartoon character or the photo of their favorite pet yet I would consider them as my modern virtual friends. 

And since, like what I have said, the world has gone bonkers, you may not know it, but I have had a coffee with your avatar in the past few days! Hahaha!

Finding new friends is positive and in the affirmative, whichever way a person achieves it would be so fine with me. 

Abe’s Farm Is Like Next To Someone

I know that being next to someone is the ultimate favorite place of everyone.  But if a spot that is about 2.5 hours drive and you no longer cannot count the number of times that you have been there, does this mean that such a place is also one of your favorites?

the compulsory posing! hahaha!

This will be short…

Abe’s Farm, a quiet staycation venue at the foothills of dormant volcano, Mt. Arayat, north of Manila is the place.  For me, Abe’s Farm is one of those perfect getaway places where one can just stay quiet, have a short social media detox, simply breathe and relax.

A perfect add-on to this is the food that they serve.  Situated right in the heart of Pampanga, the culinary capital of the Philippines, Abe’s Farm food offers what one can call an assault to the senses – texture, color, presentation and of course taste.

happy eating! yum!

Yeah. I gave myself some short quiet break.  And just this weekend I am again at Abe’s Farm.  I guess Abe’s Farm though not a “next-to-someone” is one of my favorites.

A Plantito with Black Thumb

I have always recognized that I do not have a green thumb.  Though I love plants and have taken cared quite a number of them in the past, plants don’t love me back.  My relatives can attest that I have purchased countless number of plants in the past, but all chose to breathe their last breath and declined to settle with me in my condo unit.  I sometimes correlate my relations to plants as a form of unrequited love! 

When I and my family would go out of town, I would often suggest to stop at a garden store by a roadside before heading back to Manila for I want to acquire new greens.  “Are you looking for a new victim?” or “You’re just wasting some bucks” are the usual remarks of my relatives when I would suggest my buying new plants.

the recent garden shop where i purchased my succulents… i can hear these greens saying… “no! not me!!!” LOL!

I have always thought that I would make a good gardener because I had an A+ grade in my Botany subjects during my old school days and would even had the time and fortitude of talking to these plants.  But all these photosynthetic members of the Kingdom Plantae refuse to live with me.  My relatives has even tagged me as having the black thumb or even worse the black-kiss-of-death thumb!

Owning and taking care of plants here in Manila is the new craze.  Like me, this has been some of people’s emotional outlet or thing to do and be busy of indoors during this time of quarantining and pandemic. 

This has been evidenced by the steady increase in the number of social media posts of people posing behind, in front or beside their happy and healthy plants!  People call these plant-fanatics and shrub-obsessed folks as Plantitas (for female) and Plantitos (for male) of Manila.

In my recent out of town adventure, I again purchased a new batch of plants to enjoy and take care of.  I hope these creatures are as glad as I am.  I am really hoping that this new batch will live a long life and would finally erase my being a black thumb.

if those trees can run, i’m pretty sure they’ve moved way way farther! hahaha!

my not-so-happy green companions! please don’t die…(my recent purchases)

But if these plants chose to reject me and die instead, I will still care for one and would just have to melodramatically remind myself that old warriors may have to fight a long battle more than once to win it.  And if one zany plant would finally decide to settle it out with me, I will call myself a Plantito who would be smiling while sharing social media pictures with it.

Looking forward to having photos with these new plants!