A suburbian soul living in the concrete jungle...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Just got back....

We arrived on Feb 20 from the short break, okay rin masaya...we took Jetstar Airways for cheaper fare but it's almost the same as PAL kasi late na kami nag decide umuwi..

Well, I got to see all my favorite people. Eric got to see his university friends after 12yrs kaya enjoy na enjoy si labs..…

Here's some photos:
Taken at the mango farm,

Labs with his University friends,

The cute kids, with Rigor & Iel,

Eto yung bahay ni Rizal sa Calamba kaso close that day (Sunday) and we did not get in, sayang:

And lastly my fave flower pic from that vacation, taken with labs new toy (Canon SLR EOS 400D)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Chinese New Year - Lo Hei

Got this from email, eto yung tino-toss nila na mix of veggie, etc during chinese on...

For the information of those new to this tradition:
'Lo Hei' is celebrated during Chinese New Year, from the 7th day (24th February) up to the end of Chinese New Year celebration (4th March) and literally means the "mixing upwards of prosperity and progress". If you have the dish in the restaurants, it will generally be presented with auspicious phrases that signify prosperity, progress and longevity:

Step 1 - Wishing customers 'Gong Xi Fa Cai' (congratulations, may wealth come your way), and 'Wan Shi Ru Yi' (may everything go smoothly)
Step 2 - When adding the lime juice, they will say 'Da Ji Da Li' (good luck and blessing)
Step 3 - On placing the fish in the vegetables, they say 'Nian Nian You Yu' (abundance of wealth), and 'Long Ma Jing Shen' (enjoy good health).
Step 4 - On sprinkling the pepper and 5-spice - 'Hong Yun Dang Tou' (good luck at your doorstep)
Step 5 - On pouring the golden peanut oil - 'Sheng Yi Xing Long' (a flourishing business)
Step 6 - Finishing with crackers - 'Man Di Hung Jin' (gold at your feet).

Thereafter everyone will 'Lo Hei' as high as possible while saying 'Yue Lao Yue Qi, Lao Dao Feng Sheng Shui Qi' (toss higher and higher for a prosperous year) or other good wishes.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The legend of St. Valentine

Received thru email....

Today, February 14, candies, gifts, and most especially flowers, will be exchanged between loved ones as the entire world celebrates the most romantic holiday of all, Valentine’s Day. Traditionally, it is a time from all walks of life to express affection and devotion to their loved ones. But while this occasion has always been associated with love and romance, legend tells us that the history of Valentine’s Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery.

Although it hasn’t been proven historically, there were purportedly seven men named Valentine who were honored with feasts on February 14. Of these seven men, two stories link incidents that could have given our present day meaning to St. Valentine’s Day. One of these men named Valentine was a priest during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Valentine was very much revered by the people, with the young and old, rich and poor, attending his services. At this time, Emperor Claudius was actively recruiting men to serve as soldiers for his wars without much success. The men preferred to stay with their wives, families and sweethearts than to fight in foreign lands. Angry, Claudius declared that no more marriages could be performed and all engagements were cancelled. Valentine thought this to be unfair and secretly married several couples. When Claudius found out, he threw Valentine in prison where he remained until his death. Friends of the priest retrieved his body and buried it in a churchyard in Rome.

Another version tells us that St. Valentine was jailed for helping Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured. While Valentine was in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl — who may have been his jailer’s daughter — who often visited him during confinement. Claudius had ordered that Valentine be clubbed and beheaded on February 14, 269 A.D. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, considered to be the first ‘Valentine greeting,’ which he signed ‘From your Valentine,’ an expression that is still often used today. All of the seven Valentines eventually evolved into one.

While some believed that Valentine’s Day is celebrated to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial, there are others who claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to ‘christianize’ the celebration of the pagan Lupercalia festival. This celebration honored Lupercus, the Roman god of fertility, woodlands and pastures. It is said that Lupercus protected the people from wolves and looked after their crops and animals. The Festival of Lupercalia was practiced for hundreds of years until the coming of Christianity. Although the festival celebrated a Roman god, the people still enjoyed the activities surrounding the celebration. In time, the Roman Catholic leadership transferred the focus of the celebration from Lupercus to St. Valentine. In the year 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius declared the day in honor of St. Valentine. Through the centuries, the Christian holiday became a time to exchange love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers.

As time passed, the celebration of Valentine’s Day has evolved into many different ways. In Great Britain back in the 1800’s, love was displayed in the form of food. Valentine buns were baked and filled with delicious raisins, plum filling and topped with caraway seeds. In present day America, it is the men who give presents to their loved ones in the form of candies or flowers. However, in Japan, it is the women who present gifts to their mates. By giving a present, a woman invokes giri, or obligation, which is repaid a month later on March 14 on ‘White Day.’ It is on ‘White Day’ that a man reciprocates and gives a gift to his lady. Here in the Philippines, Valentine’s Day is synonymous with red roses. The innate romantic quality of the Filipino is very much evident on this day as men hurriedly raid flower shops and buy roses and other types of flora for their sweethearts, even at prices higher than usual.

Indeed, Valentine’s Day can be celebrated in many ways. But however you choose to celebrate it, what is more important is making this time special and memorable by spending it with your loved ones. As what was evident in St. Valentine’s situation, love is the only feeling that transcends all: age, race, time, religion, even death.

Happy Valentine's Day...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Going back....

Yap, decided just now to go back again sa bayang hinirang from Feb 16 - Feb 20. It's a long holiday from work and I want to spend it at home. I figure that if I don't go this time the next feasible time that I can get off from work will be around July-August already or not at all until next Christmas...

Anyway now that it is decided I have to buy a ticket on-line. It's a bit expensive but what the heck..I will still earned it and at least I can go and see the whole family again specially Vince, Allie, Jolo, Iel & Arvin. Kantahan ka ba naman ni Vince lagi sa telepono ng "sitsiritsit alibangbang"....

See you soon love ones....

Friday, February 09, 2007

Current Read

Noli Me Tangere back to back with El Filibusterismo.

Bought it last Dec at national bookstore.
Just want to read it again without a teacher hovering at the background.
Frankly I did not remember any significant thing about it during my secondary studies so I need to read back and analyze it again if I can.

I feel I owe it to Rizal & the Philippines.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Language here…

I was and always am bewildered by the way they convene certain phrases here but then sometimes I myself use these to be understood…
Talk about complete assimilation hehe…

Here’s a sample list lah, all must have the proper Singaporean intonation leeeh:
1.Where got…
2.Where got no such thing..
3.Can or cannot
4.On it
5.Off it
6.Correct or not

All is considered here as one complete sentence so go figure…