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IN FRATERNAM MEAM
Thursday, December 25, 2003
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL
==================


this is the 29th year that i will be celebrating my xmas in the states. and i still get home sick and still wanted to come home and spend the entire celebration back home. i remember my first christmas here, i have just gotten married and my wife and i was staying in a high rise apartment complex facing lakeshore drive, the park and lake michigan. half of the tenant of the buildings are pinay nurses who always go to work during the holidays cuz they are being paid time and a half. which is quite a lot of money that has to be sent back home to pinas. i was so homesick. i was staring outside the window of our apartment---looking beyond lake michigan and the dullness and the white snow covering the entire area and the lake itself. it was a very gloomy atmosephere and it was a gloomy surrounding for me---while a very lonely christmas carol is being played on the television. the americans are so happy about this---it was white christmas for them, but a very gloomy christmas for me. my wife was behind me trying to console me--- i did not know that i have tears in my eyes because of the loneliness that have engulfed me at that very moment.

now 29 years later--- i still get lonely but not very intense as before. i wanted to be with all of my family at home from pinas, but they cannot come to the states. my mother has pelvic surgery and having the start of her alzeihmers, plus she is now 80 years old and cannot travel very far on an airplane. my father who is already 82---had a quadruple bypass five years ago and cannot be confined inside the plane with recycled air and the pressure inside the plane will be very hard for them. some of my sisters and brothers are scattered from new jersey to vancouver to calgary. all of us have our own family now and the ones left behind in the phils. have their own family to take care of also.

what was the greatest culture of the pinoy that was handed over to us from generation to generation on this special day of christmas----THE LOVE AND COMING TOGETHER OF FAMILY.----

even if there are no gifts to exchange--- nothing to wear....the most important thing is that there willbe sumptious meals that was prepared and made at least two nites or one nite before by either our lola or our mother. the secret recipes and the most treasured menus and specialties comes out on this festive occassion. in the provinces---houses are being cleaned. curtains are being hung on the windows, and preparations of extra beddings and cleaned floors and beds are prepared---because there might be friends and family from a distant who will come and has to stay overnite.

i remember, when i was young--- blankets and beddings are starched. i hate that thing. including the pillow covers are starched like as if your sleeping in a cartolina paper.

lola pacing will cook up our favourite dishes of MORCON and EMBUTIDO. there is also LECHE FLAN and JALEYANG UBE and MACAPUNO with MATAMIS NA BEANS OR GARBANSOS. then as i grew older--the family became a little bit hip na hip, there is now additional menus on the list. there are already PAELLA, RELLENONG MANOK and BANGUS. the desert was now americanized because gelatin was discovered and fully introduced in pinas--so there are already GELATIN with the traditinal FRUIT COCKTAIL and FRUIT SALAD also not to mention MACARONI SALAD and POTATO SALAD. our cousins from the provinces will come and bring SUMAN and other NATIVE KAKANIN.

after the simbang gabi at 12midnite on the 24th of december---the traditional NOCHE BUENA will start and there will be lots of laughter at home. there will be stories ----even repeated from year to year are still nice to listen at and it comes to life when departed loved ones who is part of the stories and conversation will be mentioned.. the CHRISTIAN VALUES AND FAMILY is the CAPEX OF THE CELEBRATION. in the morning of 25th of december, we will be dressed up by my mother and we will begin the visits to our NINONG AND NINANG. and also to aunts and uncles and other older members of the family. if will be given a one peso bill and i was so elated and happy. i thought this money can take me to the moon. i was only 9 years old that time.

as i become older----the paper money changed---the value of the money being given changed also and msot of all THE FAMILY HAS BEEN WESTERNIZED.I STILL LOVE THE OLD WAYS----THERE IS VALUE IN ALL THE THINGS THAT WAS DONE AND ALL THE STORIES THAT HAS BEEN SAID AND TOLD OVER AND OVER. AND MOST OF ALL-----THERE WAS LOVE WITHIN THE FAMILY.
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:10 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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