personal but honestly real. Open for comments, questions, suggestions on what you want to know, clarify or for me to dwell more deeply.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

MOre on Christmas Merry Making

This is El's family: Cena, his wife, and Camille Joy, his daughter, and Christian Jacob or simply CJ, his son. Camille stayed the longest in the house during this christmas break -- as she usually does during breaks from school. Cena and CJ stayed till the morning of the 27th.

This is also a longer time for Boss Didi to stay at San Roque. Here is a picture taken of the Ocampo couple -- Didi and Mayet -- at night when we had videoke to our hearts' delight. I hope the neighbors were understanding of our merry-making.

Who'd stop George and Lonlon from their "kabaklaan". They'd do anything to provide entertainment. Of course, Inay sometimes is not amused but she would also join the laughter and the sometimes would even give her funny anecdotes.

Fr. Lou, Mayet and Ate Coring join the kids in this picture. Ermie is usually the "Martha", together with Cena, in the kitchen. Of course, Kuya Leo, Didi and Danny would engage in "mens' talk" and sip a little spirit!

The Asilo Family

This is the Asilo Family. Our eldest, Ate Coring, married retired-Coast Guard Commander Leonilo Asilo of Bulacan, Mabini, Batangas. They have two daughters: Ana and May, both teen-agers. ana is taking up Computer Science at STI, while the younger May is an Education student at St. Bridget College.

These photos are taken by Boss Didi.

Early Christmas at Home

In a fit of humor and madness, the mother-sons tandem posed for photo ops after cleaning the house. "Sisa, Basilio at Crispin" could aptly be the caption of this. I wonder how Erick would re-act to this once he sees this.

Danny, in one of the rare working moods at home, puts an additional light. During the short vacation, we had out meals outside the house, along the end of the beautifully-paved driveway, which was done before my silver jubilee celebration last Dec. 2, 2006.

Photos taken by Boss Didi early morning of Christmas. Later, at noon, I arrived followed by Fr. Lou to spend the whole day celebrating Christmas.

Goodbye, Celine!

This is Celine Aguila, the niece of "Chairman" Fe Aguila, of Bayanan, San Pascual. When I was assigned as parish priest of Bayanan, Celine was then a little pre-schooler who'd promptly answer the question "who's your crush?", with a straight "Si Fr. Nonie!" From then on, I always call her "Celine, my love!"

Now a fourth year high schooler at St. Bridget College, she would fly to USA to join her mother, who married an American in Oklahoma. We missed our usual lunch with the Aguilas during Christmas in favor of the despedida in her honor on January 1. Inay, Ermie, Boss Didi, Mayet, Lonlon, George and I hied off to Bayanan. I gave her a rosary, which I personally made, as a gift. Mayet has her own gift.

We wish Celine the best as she leaves Bayanan, where she grew up under her aunties and uncles, and of course her Lola. Knowing her as a good, intelligent and obedient child and teener, I believe that she'd be successful over at the States.

New Year Revelry

Of course, not to be outdone, although this year's family revelry has been greatly reduced due to financial constraints and safety concerns, Boss Didi, Mayet, Ermie, Dannie, George and Lonlon still had the usual fireworks and noise-barrage to usher the New Year 2007. The cars were started and the horns sounded. The skies were lit up, especially over at neighboring Bukal where Ate Coring resides.

Inay skipped the usual ritual of incensing for her health reason. She just watched and prayed in the family altar. Our dog Honey was inside the house even much, much earlier in the day. She was afraid of all those loud bangings. When we went to Mass in Bolo, she stayed inside Inay's room but looking through the window. When the fireworks grew louder and wilder, she went to my room and hid underneath the bed, with head head propping out through the sheets.

I myself refrained from going out. After I said the Office of the Readings and the night prayers, put on the Ipod Nano that my classmate Chito sent me as gift and enjoyed the music. Earlier, I added music from the CDs I bought of Glen Campbell and Peter, Paul and Mary. Never mind the loud revelry, I rather enjoy the music from my new Ipod.

More Pics of the exchange gift-giving

Inay (at the center) flanked by Fr. Lou (at left) and Mayet (at right)

The Asilo Family and the Ocampo couple

Fr. Lou with the Ocampo couple, and the kids hanging around to be in the picture. At the background is Ate Coring, the MC of the night!

Fr. Nonie (that's me), with George and Boss Didi. Notice that George is holding the picture of his elder brother Erick, who is at Saudi, working as a nurse. The gift that Fr. Nonie and Boss Didi are holding is actually for Erick!

Of course, the kids! Minus CJ and Vince! Vince of course is at Virginia with her mom Cora. CJ was out of the picture this time around. But he was there. At one instance, he even cried!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Our Traditional Exchange Gift-Giving

This is where the our family's traditional exchange gift-giving is done for many, many years. We put all our gifts there during the Yuletide season. The date varies depending on the availability of Fr. Lou and myself. Before there were songs and poems by the kids. Then they'd be given cash gifts by Tita Mayet, Fr. Lou or myself. But since the kids are grown-ups already, there were less singing and no more poetry. Inay is asked to say something before hand. Usually, I am also asked to say something. This year however, we less gifts as I have given the kids cash beforehand so that they could buy what they needed and wanted.

Of course, we had our supper before the exchange gift. The youngest in the family, Christian Jacob, was asked to lead the prayers before meals. Tita Ermie, Mayet and Cena were the "waitresses" to us. We had toasts. George and Lonlon had their familiar antics . . . look at their apparel.

Ate Coring would always act as mistress of the ceremonies. She would read the name of the giver and the receiver of the gifts. This year's visitors included Ate Bensing, Ate Behing, Joy and her boyfriend, and Kuya Ben's daughter, whose name escaped my memory. The ceremonies included many photo ops. Fr. Lou would always see to it that he be included in every picture taking. Later, after the gift-giving is over, all were asked to open their gifts.

It is only then that those who would go home would start to leave.

This year, we missed Erick, who's at Saudi working as a nurse! Danny missed the gift-giving as he opted to be with his friends outside the house, where we did not know. El is in Dubai. However, they were with us in spirit -- plus the gifts allotted to them. In fact, even Honey, Erick's pet dog, got a gift from Ate Coring. Curiously, she wrote: "Dear Honey, happy new year! Sana, magbait ka sa akin!" This dog always barks at her every time she comes! Honey's gift from Ate? A piece of dog soap!

I will publish more pictures in another post.

The Long "Short Break"

This was taken on Christmas night. During our get-together, Leeboy came with his wife and kids, including the younger Leeboy (my cousin's kid by his first wife, who is a Muslim. she divorced him several years ago). The kid is already in third year high school at a Notre Dame School in Jolo. He used to be around during the break.
Of course, at home were Cena and the kids -- Camille and CJ! Fr. Lou stayed and we had videoke the whole night through.
Ate Coring and Kuya Leo, plus Anna and May, stayed till everyone got tired and bid adeu! Fr. Lou went back to San Isidro, the Asilos to Bukal, Cena and the kids stayed at our house. George and Lonlon stayed on with Boss Didi and had a great night drinking red wine.

This other photo was taken at around 9:30 pm, Dec. 31,2006 while waiting for the New Year to come. We -- Inay, Ermie, Mayet, Boss Didi, George and Lonlon -- attended the 8:00pm Mass at Bolo. I concelebrated with Fr. Ariel Gonzales, parish priest, who asked me to deliver the homily.

After the Mass, we went home to eat supper. Ate Behing and Joy came and stayed with us till around 11:15pm. Joy is the daughter of Ate Adela, Ate Behing's youngest sister, who has been in Vienna since the mid-70s. Joy was 13, when she last visited the country. Now she is a beautiful 23-year-old Vienesse lass. We call her "po"-girl, as she had this penchant for using "po" (maybe, Ate Dela reminded her of this Tagalog virtue of being respectful), even during the middle of her sentence. The auntie-niece tandem came with the family of Carmelo Castillo, another first cousin, who invited them to go to Mass at Bauan Parish. When they learnt that we went to Bolo, they felt sorry to have missed me saying Mass and giving the homily, comparing the less lively liturgy in their attendance.

About Me

a priest who's passion is social communications (broadcast, press et al), youth formation. Adaptable and tolerant. Want to please everybody; work-addicted and adventurous; easy to please and eager to learn.