Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Talk About... Filipino X'mas Tradition

I don't understand why people here stop greeting each other "MERRY CHRISTMAS" after Dec. 25. Yet Christmas lights and Christmas trees and all Christmas decorations are still up! Then they're gone before the New Year! Come New Year's Day, there's nothing?! It's dry, so dry it's dead!

Not among us, Christians in general, or Catholics for sure, and definitely not for us Filipinos! We greet one another, "MERRY CHRISTMAS!", "MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR!" extending till "MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR, HAPPY THREE KINGS!!!" from Xmas until the first Sunday following New Year's Day! No one knows how to have fun, how to celebrate more than Filipinos! Filipinos have the longest and merriest Christmas Season of all people in the world! As I've said before, Christmas in the Philippines start on the month that ends in ber, meaning September and ends in January. And we carry that tradition with us wherever we go, in America, Europe, everywhere! We're very proud of it!

Even now as I write this post, I'm still listening to Christmas CDs.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

HOLY INNOCENTS (1st Century)

This memorial honors Bethlehem's newborn sons killed by King Herod when he found out about the birth of Jesus hoping he'd be able to eliminate any threat from a rival.

But 2000 years later it evolved into a light happy day the equivalent of Aprils Fools' Day, but never like some serious tactics that some people do on others on April Fools. This is more just a happy fun day to tease people, really innocent, nothing serious! We celebrate the day in keeping with the innocence of children! I guess this is more a Christian or maybe, just a Catholic celebration, or even just a Filipino Xmas tradition, I don't know.

Happy Innocents' Day!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

... And Afterthought

Hopefully, I will have finished everything before I go. As Maharishi says, "There's time for everything in life."

Nevertheless, I don't want to carry any excess baggage onto my next life. I don't want any of this in this lifetime... any lifetime. Period.

There's a saying that goes, "Life is simple. Man complicates it."
The remedy - Live simply.

I'm trying to do just that!

Passing Thought

Looking at all the paper work I have to catch up on at home, all the things I've got to do and undo in my life, and on and on and on, thank God, when we leave this world, we don't have to carry them along into the next. We simply leave all material things, we leave everything behind, finished or unfinished. That's the end of it! It's much simpler that way! 

Great idea, God!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Inspiring... and Inspired!

Notes I got from friends on their Xmas cards -


"I shall prevail..."

Thanks, ladies, they keep me going...

Monday, December 20, 2010

On Eclipses

People are talking about this rare lunar eclipse tonight which will occur again in 82 years. Maharishi used to say, "Stay indoors, and be on the Self, during eclipses."

X'mas Party

We had our company's Xmas Party at Boudin Bakery at Fisherman's Wharf last night and it was a blast! Great to be with musicians and music lovers again! Always!

Post Script

Well, I finally decided to change to a completely new template designer. Here it is. Enjoy!

On Template

Trying all these yellow, yellow, yellow shades, I accidentally saved the white color from orange on the old classic template and yellow doesn't sit well with white. Might go back to black again which I wanted to do before anyway, but changed it to orange when the SF GIANTS won, remember! Now I lost that color too! Oh, well...

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Celine Dion is singing AVE MARIA at this very moment. Beautiful!


Aah, fresh air while doing tai chi outside!... Now a cup of hot chocolate inside with Christmas music on the background!

Care to join me?

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Dolci joined us, Joel, Sarah, Norman & me, for dinner at a great Italian restaurant and she was cursing how slow it was coming to the city, "It's traffic with a capital F!"

I like Dolci. I met her several years ago through the famous bluegrass group, THE KRUEGER BROTHERS, and there's just something about her. She's a genuine person, very sincere, very funny, and she has that childlike innocence, so pure, in her! She's beautiful!

And one thing we do in common, we discovered, is we both do TM. Nice!

You sure live up to your name, Dolci! Luv ya...


We committed the sin last night!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Sin... &... Sinful"

And the words, sin and sinful, I heard a lot these days! I had a Christmas luncheon gig in a posh hotel in town the other day. The program director had to interrupt my piano playing several times because of speeches, toast, raffle tickets, etc. At the end of the party, he apologized for doing so and he said, "Your music was fantastic, I hated to interrupt. Doing it was like a sin."
I didn't really play well, believe me, I was tired from a sleepless night after work but I just liked his line, "... like a sin."
Then last night, at a classy Japanese restaurant, my brother-in-law who is in town visiting with his fiance said about dinner, "This is so good, it's a sin. This is sinful!"
Consequently, I asked Norman, "Is it sinful to eat a piece of the Swiss chocolate they brought us or shall we wait till Xmas?"
So far, we haven't committed the sin yet. Perhaps on Xmas Day when it's no longer a sin!


Lately, I've been seeing this word, warmth, everywhere, on billboards, buses, ads - Everywhere! Or feeling the sensation. On these cold chilly San Francisco nights, warmth, in any context, is most welcome.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, one of the  most significant Catholic doctrines about the Blessed Virgin Mary. I have a very deep connection with her from a past life especially related to this doctrine. I was so blessed! And always so blessed! I am not a religious fanatic. On the contrary, I stopped going to church for a long time before. Ironically, it was transcendental meditation (TM), which many people thought was another religion, that brought me back to my religion, back to my Catholic faith.

The reason why I am writing about the Blessed Mother right now, aside from her feast day today, is that I've been missing my Mom so much so that I've been praying to Mother Mary to heal her, keep her company in Manila, visit her often and take care of her while I still can't go home to take care of her. After a week or so when I called up my mother, out of the blue, she said over and over, 
"I love Mama Mary." 
"I love Mama Mary." 
"I love Mama Mary."
"I love Mama Mary." 
"I love Mama Mary." 
"I love Mama Mary."
"I love Mama Mary." 
"I love Mama Mary." 
"I love Mama Mary." 
"I love Mama Mary."
Initially, I didn't know why she kept saying it until I felt an overwhelming sense of calmness in me, an assurance that, yes, my prayer was answered. Mother Mary has been visiting my mother, healing her and taking care of her in Manila. That's between her and me.

Thank you, Mother Mary. I love you. I'm so blessed and humbled...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Comment on - The Integrative Biology 131... Organization of Body

This is fascinating! One of the best presentations of Human Anatomy and Biology! It goes beyond... The title is perfect. I always like to find out the origin of things and beyond. I love discovering within, without, so above, so below, all over, 360 degress and beyond...

Talk about origins of things and beyond, you might also want to read Silence in Church... and 
In the Beginning (both July 2010)

Integrative Biology 131 - Lecture 01: Organization of Body

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Funny how it smells like homemade fresh-baked pandesal (bread) even now as I am writing about Elsa's pandesal! She brought me the bread, etc., this noon. Now it's night time and I put the rest in the freezer so it can last longer cause it's a lot, and I smell its freshness right now. So strong!

The sweet smell of the wonders of God!

Blessed are Those Who Serve

Elsa brought me a bowl of ginatan, a bag of fresh pandesal, and 2 packages of mung bean cake today. She's so sweet! That's Elsa. She was the nanny to my brother Mike's 4 children for over 10 years at least, from the time they were born until the family moved to the US. Then she followed them here after getting married to an American. Elsa is an angel! She's always there for the family. She's now living comfortably in style, living her piece of the American dream. Yet when she's with us, all she does is serve. She'd cook, bake, baby sit the new additions in the family, she'd simply do what she knows best, and that is, to serve!

Freda is the same way. She was one of our family's household help in Manila. Now here in the States and living a comfortable life with her own family, she still remembers us and treats us the way she did when she was with us, that of service! And she proudly mentioned it as her profession on Facebook where I discovered her, even mentioning the family's name. It was so touching, so humbling to read! Again like Elsa, when they're with the family, they only live to serve.

Remembering what Gandhi said, "Live simply that others may simply live", with people like Elsa and Freda, however, whenever they are with us, they simply live that I may learn to live simply.

Thank you, Elsa. Thank you, Freda. I am humbled. I love you both.

Friday, December 3, 2010

What A Day!

As soon as I came to work today, the first thing Anna Marie said was, "Mado called up and said today is your last day on diff count. You have to check out today!"

Check out what, when?? I haven't even started!... Jesus Christ!!

Initially - panic, man! But for some strange reason, slowly, calmness came over me and I did what I had to do. I don't know what I did, how I did it, but I did it! Of course, there's so much to learn, unlearn and re-learn but, really, it was like a crash course. What a day it had been!

Hmmm... Necessity is the mother of invention, indeed! Or is "Necessity the invention of mother?!" Whew!

Thank God for the CEU seminar I attended 2 weeks ago on exactly that! So timely!

And, of course, Anna Marie was there. She was there for me. She helped me tremendously.

She's my angel at work, one of those beautiful, heaven-sent people in my life!

Thanks, Anna Marie, you're very special! I always feel good when you're around. You're my lucky charm!

I'm beat, yet too hyped-up to go to bed! Well, goodnight... or good morning??

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Related, Yet, Not Quite!

Saw these 2 quotes on the same day almost at the same time. Both are derived from the word, simple, they mean the same, yet the delivery makes the difference. Interesting!

Live simply that others may simply live. - Gandhi

SIMPLIFY OR DIE. - on a car sticker

P.S. I'll take the first one. Thanks.