Sunday, April 16, 2017

A strange dream brought me to Baclaran Church

This blogpost of mine is kind of creepy especially since it's Easter Sunday. Last February 27, I had a strange dream. I was in Baclaran Church. There were a lot of people on the left side of the church where many nipa houses are found in which the faithful go to pray. I went to a nipa hut of my choice to pray. Inside that hut, I saw an image of who at first I thought was the Virgin Mary. She was veiled in black. Actually, I wasn't sure exactly if she was the Virgin Mary. Because of the black veil over her head, maybe it was an image of a canonized nun. The image was sitting down.

All of a sudden, the image stood up! I was really surprised because the image was actually alive, and it smiled at me! The image of this lady then hugged me! I knelt in front of her, then started to pray. Then I saw my husband Pepe and Mómay listening to what I was praying about. I continued praying even though I knew that they were listening to me. Then suddenly I woke up from that dream.

I was really wondering why I experienced that strange dream. I had already dreamed of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (I forgot when it exactly happened, because that was a long time ago). And now, I dreamed of the image of His Blessed Mother. So I thought: is she trying to send me a message? I prayed right away to her and promised her that I will go to Baclaran Church the following Sunday, March 5. So off we went on that day to attend the first Sunday Mass of Lent (click here for the photos).

Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro.

So on the afternoon of that Sunday, as we were about to enter the church for the next Mass, I told my family that the front of the church was the starting point of my dream, and that we need to go to the left side of the church because that is where I saw the image of Mama Mary. But then, as we arrived on the spot where I dreamed of the nipa hut and the Virgin Mary, I was stunned to find out that the image I dreamed of wasn't the Virgin Mary all along... it was Santa Teresita!

Santa Teresa del Niño Jesús (Saint Thérèse of Lisieux), or simply Santa Teresita.

I was very surprised and even got teary eyed because she was wearing the exact same veil that I saw her wearing in my dream. Santa Teresita was indeed the exact same person in my dream. I only thought that she was the Virgin Mary, or a nun, because I honestly didn't know how an image of Santa Teresita looked like. I immediately prayed to her, still in great awe as to why she appeared to me in my dream. Does she have a message for me?

Love locks surround Santa Teresita's image. Lovers do this to swear their undying love for each other. This trend is a mystery. Nobody knows who started it, or when. 


After paying our respects to Santa Teresita, we saw a wishing well (or a prayer well) right behind her. And because the next Mass was still several minutes away, we thought of visiting Redemptorist Road right beside the church. It is quite popular among Filipinos because it is the site of countless vendors selling various merchandise, from street foods to vinyl mats that are sold at a bargain. The food stalls on wheels offer snacks that are so tempting, we couldn't help but buy some. We also tasted one very delicious melon juice that even after attending late afternoon Mass, we helped ourselves to some more! =)

A wishing —or more correctly, prayer— well where the faithful drops coins (some even throw huge sums of paper money) and pray to Santa Teresita.


 


The National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, popularly known as Baclaran Church, is the only church I saw with a huge number of people. It's as if you are in a musical concert. The huge crowd is a sign that  this church is really miraculous. Thousands of devotees come here, particularly on Wednesdays, for prayer petitions.



There was a beautiful full moon that night.

The church now has a pictorial museum. A balcony on top of it is attached to the church building.

We Filipinos have strange stories to tell, about having a third eye or other similar creepy tales that we love to share during chit-chats with friends and relatives. I am not forcing you to believe me with this story about my dream, but I am not going crazy or making up stories here. It really happened to me. I do not know why I dreamed of Santa Teresita, but I do hope that she will always pray for us and guide our family to keep us safe in every travel that we do. Amen.

¡Feliz Pascua a todos!

Yeyette 

DID YOU KNOW? Baclaran Church was initially dedicated to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, that is why an image of her stands outside the church.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Domingo de Ramos 2017

Iglesia de San Vicente de Paúl.






Pasión de nuestro Señor Jesucristo según San Mateo (26,14–27,66):

C. En aquel tiempo, uno de los Doce, llamado Judas Iscariote, fue a los sumos sacerdotes y les propuso: 
S. «¿Qué estáis dispuestos a darme, si os lo entrego?»
C. Ellos se ajustaron con él en treinta monedas. Y desde entonces andaba buscando ocasión propicia para entregarlo.
C. El primer día de los Ázimos se acercaron los discípulos a Jesús y le preguntaron: 
S. -«¿Dónde quieres que te preparemos la cena de Pascua?»
C. Él contestó:
+ «Id a la ciudad, a casa de Fulano, y decidle: "El Maestro dice: Mi momento está cerca; deseo celebrar la Pascua en tu casa con mis discípulos."» 
C. Los discípulos cumplieron las instrucciones de Jesús y prepararon la Pascua.
C. Al atardecer se puso a la mesa con los Doce. Mientras comían dijo: 
+ «Os aseguro que uno de vosotros me va a entregar.»
C. Ellos, consternados, se pusieron a preguntarle uno tras otro:
S. «¿Soy yo acaso, Señor?»
C. Él respondió:
+ «El que ha mojado en la misma fuente que yo, ése me va a entregar. El Hijo del hombre se va, como está escrito de él; pero, ¡ay del que va a entregar al Hijo del hombre!; más le valdría no haber nacido.» 
C. Entonces preguntó Judas, el que lo iba a entregar:
S. «¿Soy yo acaso, Maestro?»
C. Él respondió:
+ «Tú lo has dicho.»
C. Durante la cena, Jesús cogió pan, pronunció la bendición, lo partió y lo dio a sus discípulos, diciendo: 
+ «Tomad, comed: esto es mi cuerpo.»
C.. Y, cogiendo una copa, pronunció la acción de gracias y se la dio diciendo: 
+ «Bebed todos; porque ésta es mi sangre, sangre de la alianza, derramada por todos para el perdón de los pecados. Y os digo que no beberé más del fruto de la vid, hasta el día que beba con vosotros el vino nuevo en el reino de mi Padre.» 
C. Cantaron el salmo y salieron para el monte de los Olivos.
C. Entonces Jesús les dijo:
+ «Esta noche vais a caer todos por mi causa, porque está escrito: "Heriré al pastor, y se dispersarán las ovejas del rebaño." Pero cuando resucite, iré antes que vosotros a Galilea.» 
C. Pedro replicó:
S. «Aunque todos caigan por tu causa, yo jamás caeré.»
C. Jesús le dijo:
+ «Te aseguro que esta noche, antes que el gallo cante, me negarás tres veces.» 
C . Pedro le replicó:
S. «Aunque tenga que morir contigo, no te negaré. »
C. Y lo mismo decían los demás discípulos.
C. Entonces Jesús fue con ellos a un huerto, llamado Getsemaní, y les dijo:
+ «Sentaos aquí, mientras voy allá a orar.»
C. Y, llevándose a Pedro y a los dos hijos de Zebedeo, empezó a entristecerse y a angustiarse. Entonces dijo:
+ «Me muero de tristeza: quedaos aquí y velad conmigo.»
C. Y, adelantándose un poco, cayó rostro en tierra y oraba diciendo: 
+ «Padre mío, si es posible, que pase y se aleje de mí ese cáliz. Pero no se haga lo que yo quiero, sino lo que tú quieres.» 
C. Y se acercó a los discípulos y los encontró dormidos. Dijo a Pedro:
+ «¿No habéis podido velar una hora conmigo? Velad y orad para no caer en la tentación, pues el espíritu es decidido, pero la carne es débil.» 
C. De nuevo se apartó por segunda vez y oraba diciendo:
+ «Padre mío, si este cáliz no puede pasar sin que yo lo beba, hágase tu voluntad.» 
C. Y, viniendo otra vez, los encontró dormidos, porque tenían los ojos cargados. Dejándolos de nuevo, por tercera vez oraba, repitiendo las mismas palabras. Luego se acercó a sus discípulos y les dijo:
+ «Ya podéis dormir y descansar. Mirad, está cerca la hora, y el Hijo del hombre va a ser entregado en manos de los pecadores. ¡Levantaos, vamos! Ya está cerca el que me entrega.»
C. Todavía estaba hablando, cuando apareció Judas, uno de los Doce, acompañado de un tropel de gente, con espadas y palos, mandado por los sumos sacerdotes y los ancianos del pueblo. El traidor les había dado esta contraseña: 
S. «Al que yo bese, ése es; detenedlo.»
C. Después se acercó a Jesús y le dijo:
S. «¡Salve, Maestro!»
C. Y lo besó. Pero Jesús le contestó:
+ «Amigo, ¿a qué vienes?»
C. Entonces se acercaron a Jesús y le echaron mano para detenerlo. Uno de los que estaban con él agarró la espada, la desenvainó y de un tajo le cortó la oreja al criado del sumo sacerdote. Jesús le dijo:
+ «Envaina la espada; quien usa espada, a espada morirá. ¿Piensas tú que no puedo acudir a mi Padre? Él me mandaría en seguida más de doce legiones de ángeles. Pero entonces no se cumpliría la Escritura, que dice que esto tiene que pasar.» 
C. Entonces dijo Jesús a la gente:
+ «¿Habéis salido a prenderme con espadas y palos, como a un bandido? A diario me sentaba en el templo a enseñar y, sin embargo, no me detuvisteis.» 
C. Todo esto ocurrió para que se cumpliera lo que escribieron los profetas. En aquel momento todos los discípulos lo abandonaron y huyeron. Los que detuvieron a Jesús lo llevaron a casa de Caifás, el sumo sacerdote, donde se habían reunido los escribas y los ancianos. Pedro lo seguía de lejos, hasta el palacio del sumo sacerdote, y, entrando dentro, se sentó con los criados para ver en qué paraba aquello. Los sumos sacerdotes y el sanedrín en pleno buscaban un falso testimonio contra Jesús para condenarlo a muerte y no lo encontraban, a pesar de los muchos falsos testigos que comparecían. Finalmente, comparecieron dos, que dijeron: 
S. «Éste ha dicho: "Puedo destruir el templo de Dios y reconstruirlo en tres días."» 
C. El sumo sacerdote se puso en pie y le dijo:
S. «¿No tienes nada que responder? ¿Qué son estos cargos que levantan contra ti?» 
C. Pero Jesús callaba. Y el sumo sacerdote le dijo:
S. «Te conjuro por Dios vivo a que nos digas si tú eres el Mesías, el Hijo de Dios.» 
C. Jesús le respondió:
+ «Tú lo has dicho. Más aún, yo os digo: Desde ahora veréis que el Hijo del hombre está sentado a la derecha del Todopoderoso y que viene sobre las nubes del cielo.» 
C. Entonces el sumo sacerdote rasgó sus vestiduras, diciendo:
S. «Ha blasfemado. ¿Qué necesidad tenemos ya de testigos? Acabáis de oír la blasfemia. ¿Qué decidís?»
C. Y ellos contestaron:
S. «Es reo de muerte.»
C. Entonces le escupieron a la cara y lo abofetearon; otros lo golpearon, diciendo: 
S. «Haz de profeta, Mesías; ¿quién te ha pegado?»
C. Pedro estaba sentado fuera en el patio, y se le acercó una criada y le dijo: 
S. «También tú andabas con Jesús el Galileo.»
C. Él lo negó delante de todos, diciendo:
S. «No sé qué quieres decir.»
C. Y, al salir al portal, lo vio otra y dijo a los que estaban allí:
S. «Éste andaba con Jesús el Nazareno.»
C. Otra vez negó él con juramento:
S. «No conozco a ese hombre.»
C. Poco después se acercaron los que estaban allí y dijeron a Pedro:
S. «Seguro; tú también eres de ellos, te delata tu acento.»
C. Entonces él se puso a echar maldiciones y a jurar, diciendo:
S. «No conozco a ese hombre.»
C. Y en seguida cantó un gallo. Pedro se acordó de aquellas palabras de Jesús: «Antes de que cante el gallo, me negarás tres veces.» Y, saliendo afuera, lloró amargamente. Al hacerse de día, todos los sumos sacerdotes y los ancianos del pueblo se reunieron para preparar la condena a muerte de Jesús. Y, atándolo, lo llevaron y lo entregaron a Pilato, el gobernador. Entonces Judas, el traidor, al ver que habían condenado a Jesús, sintió remordimiento y devolvió las treinta monedas de plata a los sumos sacerdotes y ancianos, diciendo:
S. «He pecado, he entregado a la muerte a un inocente.»
C. Pero ellos dijeron:
S. «¿A nosotros qué? ¡Allá tú!»
C. Él, arrojando las monedas en el templo, se marchó; y fue y se ahorcó. Los sumos sacerdotes, recogiendo las monedas, dijeron: 
S. «No es lícito echarlas en el arca de las ofrendas, porque son precio de sangre.» 
C. Y, después de discutirlo, compraron con ellas el Campo del Alfarero para cementerio de forasteros. Por eso aquel campo se llama todavía «Campo de Sangre». Así se cumplió lo escrito por Jeremías, el profeta: «Y tomaron las treinta monedas de plata, el precio de uno que fue tasado, según la tasa de los hijos de Israel, y pagaron con ellas el Campo del Alfarero, como me lo había ordenado el Señor.» Jesús fue llevado ante el gobernador, y el gobernador le preguntó: 
S. «¿Eres tú el rey de los judíos?»
C. Jesús respondió:
+ «Tú lo dices.»
C. Y, mientras lo acusaban los sumos sacerdotes y los ancianos, no contestaba nada. Entonces Pilato le preguntó: 
S. «¿No oyes cuántos cargos presentan contra ti?»
C. Como no contestaba a ninguna pregunta, el gobernador estaba muy extrañado. Por la fiesta, el gobernador solía soltar un preso, el que la gente quisiera. Había entonces un preso famoso, llamado Barrabás. Cuando la gente acudió, les dijo Pilato: 
S. «¿A quién queréis que os suelte, a Barrabás o a Jesús, a quien llaman el Mesías?» 
C. Pues sabía que se lo habían entregado por envidia. Y, mientras estaba sentado en el tribunal, su mujer le mandó a decir: 
S. «No te metas con ese justo, porque esta noche he sufrido mucho soñando con él.» 
C. Pero los sumos sacerdotes y los ancianos convencieron a la gente que pidieran el indulto de Barrabás y la muerte de Jesús. El gobernador preguntó:
S. «¿A cuál de los dos queréis que os suelte?»
C. Ellos dijeron:
S. «A Barrabás.»
C. Pilato les preguntó:
S. «¿Y qué hago con Jesús, llamado el Mesías?»
C. Contestaron todos:
S. «Que lo crucifiquen.»
C. Pilato insistió:
S. «Pues, ¿qué mal ha hecho?»
C. Pero ellos gritaban más fuerte:
S. «¡Que lo crucifiquen!»
C. Al ver Pilato que todo era inútil y que, al contrario, se estaba formando un tumulto, tomó agua y se lavó las manos en presencia de la multitud, diciendo: 
S. «Soy inocente de esta sangre. ¡Allá vosotros!»
C. Y el pueblo entero contestó:
S. «¡Su sangre caiga sobre nosotros y sobre nuestros hijos!»
C. Entonces les soltó a Barrabás; y a Jesús, después de azotarlo, lo entregó para que lo crucificaran. Los soldados del gobernador se llevaron a Jesús al pretorio y reunieron alrededor de él a toda la compañía; lo desnudaron y le pusieron un manto de color púrpura y, trenzando una corona de espinas, se la ciñeron a la cabeza y le pusieron una caña en la mano derecha. Y, doblando ante él la rodilla, se burlaban de él, diciendo: 
S. «¡Salve, rey de los judíos!»
C. Luego le escupían, le quitaban la caña y le golpeaban con ella la cabeza. Y, terminada la burla, le quitaron el manto, le pusieron su ropa y lo llevaron a crucificar. Al salir, encontraron a un hombre de Cirene, llamado Simón, y lo forzaron a que llevara la cruz. Cuando llegaron al lugar llamado Gólgota (que quiere decir: «La Calavera»), le dieron a beber vino mezclado con hiel; él lo probó, pero no quiso beberlo. Después de crucificarlo, se repartieron su ropa, echándola a suertes, y luego se sentaron a custodiarlo. Encima de su cabeza colocaron un letrero con la acusación: «Éste es Jesús, el rey de los judíos.» Crucificaron con él a dos bandidos, uno a la derecha y otro a la izquierda. Los que pasaban lo injuriaban y decían, meneando la cabeza:
S. «Tú que destruías el templo y lo reconstruías en tres días, sálvate a ti mismo; si eres Hijo de Dios, baja de la cruz.» 
C. Los sumos sacerdotes con los escribas y los ancianos se burlaban también, diciendo: 
S. «A otros ha salvado, y él no se puede salvar. ¿No es el rey de Israel? Que baje ahora de la cruz, y le creeremos. ¿No ha confiado en Dios? Si tanto lo quiere Dios, que lo libre ahora. ¿No decía que era Hijo de Dios?» 
C. Hasta los bandidos que estaban crucificados con él lo insultaban. Desde el mediodía hasta la media tarde, vinieron tinieblas sobre toda aquella región. A media tarde, Jesús gritó: 
+ «Elí, Elí, lamá sabaktaní.»
C. (Es decir:
+ «Dios mío, Dios mío, ¿por qué me has abandonado?»)
C. Al oírlo, algunos de los que estaban por allí dijeron:
S. «A Elías llama éste.»
C. Uno de ellos fue corriendo; en seguida, cogió una esponja empapada en vinagre y, sujetándola en una caña, le dio a beber. Los demás decían:
S. «Déjalo, a ver si viene Elías a salvarlo.»
C. Jesús dio otro grito fuerte y exhaló el espíritu.
Todos se arrodillan, y se hace una pausa
C. Entonces, el velo del templo se rasgó en dos, de arriba abajo; la tierra tembló, las rocas se rajaron. Las tumbas se abrieron, y muchos cuerpos de santos que habían muerto resucitaron. Después que él resucitó, salieron de las tumbas, entraron en la Ciudad santa y se aparecieron a muchos. El centurión y sus hombres, que custodiaban a Jesús, el ver el terremoto y lo que pasaba, dijeron aterrorizados: 
S. «Realmente éste era Hijo de Dios.»
C. Había allí muchas mujeres que miraban desde lejos, aquellas que habían seguido a Jesús desde Galilea para atenderlo; entre ellas, María Magdalena y María, la madre de Santiago y José, y la madre de los Zebedeos. Al anochecer, llegó un hombre rico de Arimatea, llamado José, que era también discípulo de Jesús. Éste acudió a Pilato a pedirle el cuerpo de Jesús. Y Pilato mandó que se lo entregaran. José, tomando el cuerpo de Jesús, lo envolvió en una sábana limpia, lo puso en el sepulcro nuevo que se había excavado en una roca, rodó una piedra grande a la entrada del sepulcro y se marchó. María Magdalena y la otra María se quedaron allí, sentadas enfrente del sepulcro. A la mañana siguiente, pasado el día de la Preparación, acudieron en grupo los sumos sacerdotes y los fariseos a Pilato y le dijeron: 
S. «Señor, nos hemos acordado que aquel impostor, estando en vida, anunció: "A los tres días resucitaré." Por eso, da orden de que vigilen el sepulcro hasta el tercer día, no sea que vayan sus discípulos, roben el cuerpo y digan al pueblo: "Ha resucitado de entre los muertos." La última impostura sería peor que la primera.» 
C. Pilato contestó:
S. «Ahí tenéis la guardia. Id vosotros y asegurad la vigilancia como sabéis.» 
C. Ellos fueron, sellaron la piedra y con la guardia aseguraron la vigilancia del sepulcro.

Transcripción cortesía de Ciudad Redonda.



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

¡Feliz 115º fiesta, Barrio San Vicente!

Today we commemorate our barrio's 115th anniversary.

A simple feast at our humble abode.



Our barrio was named after Saint Vincent Ferrer, a Spanish saint. Click here to know more about our barrio and its patron saint.

Inside the chapel dedicated to our barrio's patron saint.


Click here for more photos.Happy fiesta to our Barrio San Vicente Ferrer!










DID YOU KNOW? Barrio San Vicente used to be the second largest barrio (or barangay) in the City of San Pedro Tunasán. But on 11 July 2015, seven new barrios were created out of San Vicente. This move was ratified and approved through a plebiscite held on that date (under COMELEC Resolution No. 9969). The new barrios created from San Vicente are Chrysanthemum, Fátima, Mahárlika, Pacita 1, Pacita 2, Rosario, and San Lorenzo Ruiz.




Saturday, April 1, 2017

¡Feliz 8º cumpleaños, Juanito!

¡Feliz 8º cumpleaños, Juanito! Esfuérzate por ser una buena persona siempre. Nunca dejes de respetar a tus mayores. Nunca olvides rezar. Y nunca abandones la lengua española. Esfuérzate por aprenderla para completar tu ser filipino. ¡Te amamos mucho!


Friday, March 31, 2017

Daddy Pepe's first book — "Captain Remo: The Young Hero"

At long last, my hubby has finally achieved his dream of having a book (a dream for all writers)! The book is entitled "CAPTAIN REMO: THE YOUNG HERO (Anatomy of Abelardo Remoquillo, the Pride of San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna)".



Captain Remo is the military nickname of Abelardo Remoquillo (1922-1945), a native of San Pedro Tunasán who joined the guerrilla movement (Hunters ROTC) during the Japanese invasion of Filipinas. The book is the story of a young man who died while fighting the Japanese invaders. He was the only man left standing in his group while attacking a Japanese garrison in the town of Bay, La Laguna Province. Who would have thought that, at the age of 22, a person his age would have showed such heroism? In today's generation, young people his age usually spend most of their lives on the Internet or using recreational drugs. Many marry early, or just do nothing productive at all. But Captain Remo risked his life for love of his country and his countrymen.

This book, written by the legendary blogger of ALAS FILIPINAS (the first Spanish blog in our Filipinas) and FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES (probably one of the most controversial blogs in our country), is bilingual. It has a Tagálog translation by Erlinda Sietereales. Both my husband and Tita Linda are members of the San Pedro City Historical Council. The book was launched last March 8 at the city plaza, during the 72nd death anniversary of Captain Remo which is also known as "Veterans Day" in our city. You may read more details of the event right here.

La familia Viajera with Mayor Baby Catáquiz and Tita Linda Sietereales. Captain Remo's brother Vicente Remoquillo, now in his 90s, is at the background. He is also a Hunters ROTC veteran.

Captain Remo is Daddy Pepe's first book, and we hope that it would be the first of many more books to come! Thank you to Mayor Lourdes Catáquiz, our dear city mayor and wedding godmother, for making this book project possible and for having chosen my husband to write it! Without her support and blessing, this book would not have been possible. Her enthusiasm to publish this biography of San Pedro City's local hero is very touching. She wanted the youth of our city to know about our local hero's patriotism and valor. Thank you, Mayor Baby, for your passion for our city's history!

And speaking of local heroes, Captain Remo can also be called a national hero, I do hope it would happen because Captain Remo is an inspiration for everyone, especially the youth, and I hope it will be passed on to future generations.

Get a free copy of this biography from the Public Affairs and Information Office located at the second floor of the San Pedro City Hall building. Grab one now while supplies last. I do hope you could have a copy and read it because the story of this book is very inspiring for the youth.

Click here for more photos of the book launching! ¡Hasta la vista!




I am so proud seeing you like this! Writer ka na talaga! May nagpapa-autograph na sa'yo!



DID YOU KNOW? The blurb for this book was written by none other than the great novelist in Tagálog, Lualhati Bautista! Ms. Bautista is a dear friend of Tita Linda. They used to work together in Liwayway Magazine.



Sunday, March 26, 2017

A day with Señor Guillermo Gómez!

We have known Señor Guillermo Gómez way back in college because he was our teacher in a couple of subjects. But being naughty students back then, we rarely paid attention to him. I actually received a low grade in one of his classes: 3.00. The highest I received from him was 2.5, LOL! And my hubby Pepe? Believe it or not, Señor Gómez gave him an incomplete grade in a Spanish class (4.00) because he was always absent, LOL!

Who would believe that Señor Gómez would become part of our life? He and my hubby became staunch partners in their advocacy to bring back the Spanish language to our country, he ended up as our compadre when he stood as godfather to our eldest son Mómay (whose real name, José Mario Guillermo, is a combination of Señor Gómez and Pepe's names), and he also became our wedding godfather in our Traditional Latin Mass wedding more than three years ago!

During our early years of living together, my hubby Pepe never had a permanent job. Señor Gómez took him in as his editorial assistant in Nueva Era, the last Spanish-language newspaper in our country. His main job was a typist, and he worked in Señor Gómez's house in Makati City. It was there where my husband learned how to type fast using Spanish accent marks. At the end of each day, he would go home with an allowance from Señor Gómez. It was during this time when my husband's knowledge of Filipino History and the Spanish language has grown. Pepe owes his love and deep regard for the Spanish language because of Señor Gómez. Without Señor Gómez, our family would not have discovered our national identity.

Last month (February 12), Señor mez invited us for lunch at the Casino Español de Manila. We haven't seen him for more than a year, and we heard that he is already using a wheelchair because of a struggle against gout. But he was still his jolly old self.


Señor Gómez (with his assistant Jeffrey Vecina) arrives. Junífera Clarita gave him a violet-colored flower which she had picked from the garden (Señor is holding that flower at right photo).

That Saturday lunch was so sumptous. Señor mez treated us to Spanish dishes such as paella and fabada. Before we even started eating, Junífera Clarita was already enjoying glasses of margarita. Maybe that was the reason why I think she fell asleep after our lunch, hahaha!

The best paella I have ever tasted is in Casino Español de Manila. I think one serving is good for three. During the meal, my dad and Señor mez chatted about their favorite topics: politics and history. Señor mez also advised my hubby to go back to blogging. Daddy Pepe already stopped blogging last year when he closed down ALAS FILIPINAS and FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES, mainly because of a nerve problem (and since then, I have been the one managing this blog). Señor mez told my hubby that he also suffered the same problem many years ago, and that he also stopped writing for about two years. Señor mez thinks that my hubby must have suffered from some sort of nervous breakdown, and that he just didn't know about it. That is why he advised us that I, as a mother, should take care of our kids full time, and that my husband should just focus on his work or advocacy so that he would not be prone to stress. Great advise, Señor. Thank you. Because many times Pepe becomes so stressed out with our children particularly when he comes home from his night shift, and that is one of the major reasons why he gets stressed out. Better take Señor's advise, Daddy Pepe. 😊





I have been to Casino Español de Manila many times already. Instituto Cervantes de Manila used to be beside it but has already transferred to Makati. Whenever there were events in Instituto Cervantes de Manila, many guests go to Casino Español de Manila to relax and dine. Casino Español de Manila is not a place to gamble. Casino is a Spanish word which means a social club. My hubby told me that the place is for members only. We are thankful because we were privileged to have visited the place many times, mainly because of our Spanish circle of friends. Whenever we are invited there, we feel as if we are already members, hahaha! The warm welcome of our Hispanic friends is so touching and muy intresante¡Mil gracias amigos y amigas!

Aperitivo: pan con mantequilla.

Fabada is a rich Spanish bean stew. It has blood sausage (morcilla) which reminds us of dinuguán.

Paella.

¡Buen provecho!

After our heavy Hispanic lunch, my husband and Señor were still chatting over important matters. Krystal was listening to them. They haven't seen each other for a long time. Since I couldn't relate to what they were talking about, I just went outside to the garden to take pictures and a video clip of the place while our three boys and Junífera Clarita were running around the grass and played with the piano by the hallway. They really enjoyed the place. It was not their first time to be here, that's why they were already familiar with the place, as if we are already members, hehehe!


In the afternoon, Señor invited us for a car ride in the old districts of Manila. He toured us to Ermita, Binondo (Chinatown), San Nicolás, Quiapò, Pandacan, and Santa Ana. Too bad our camera's battery power got drained, but I was able to record a few video clips (you may view them by clicking here, here, here, and here). Anyway, the best things in life are not captured on camera, hehehe! Señor shared to us historical tidbits during the tour while he's driving... and he's already 81 years old! He is a good driver for his age, and he still has a clear vision! 😊

Click here for our complete photo album!


Parroquia Basílica de San Lorenzo Ruiz y Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario.

Before we went home, he brought us to a mall near his house and treated us to some ice cream and KFC meals. We were so stuffed that we didn't eat dinner at home anymore!

We parted ways at the carpark. We did not want him to drive us to the nearest road where we could commute so that he could relax because of his age and he has driven a lot the whole afternoon. But despite his age, we know that he will never grow old. He feels and acts young all the time. He laughs with us, cracks jokes with us, and takes time to talk to our kids. His vast knowledge of historical information is still intact. And he could still give me advice on how to take care of our family. He still wants to teach Krystal Flamenco although he couldn't anymore. He just advised us to enroll her in a Flamenco class under one of his former students. He may have stopped teaching flamenco, but we are still hoping he could dance once again.

Señor Gómez is not just a former teacher, nor is he just a friend nor a compadre or padrino. We consider him a part of our family...

Thank you for always being there for our us, Señor mez... I am teary eyed as I write this. And as I wipe my tears away, I would like you to know that we love you so much and we are very thankful and grateful for having you in our life! We pray for your good health, and may we have more parties, events, and travels for us and our family to share. ¡Muchos besos y abrazos! =) =) 😊 😊

 -Yeyette-


Yeyette

DID YOU KNOW? General assemblies of the Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española and awardings for the Premio Zóbel are always held here in Casino Español de Manila.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Pasinaya 2017 at the CCP

February is National Arts Month. And every February, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) holds its annual "Pasinaya Open House Festival" event. This year is our first time to attend.


As usual, it was my hubby Pepe who had planned for us to attend the fun event. Since he is the most artistically inclined in the family, he had really wanted us to go there. So off we went to the CCP last February 4, a Saturday. The event featured free art workshops. For only ₱50.00, one was entitled to attend different venues within the CCP to attend 30-minute workshops in dance, music, and other arts-related classes. My hubby's intention was to make our children fall in love with the arts. =) =)

It was just my second visit to the CCP. The first was was last August when I watched the documentary "Yaman" which featured my husband. It was also Krystal and Mómay's second time to visit. Their first was last October when their dad encouraged them to try it out in a casting call/open audition for the 2016 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival and Competition.

When we got there early in the morning, there was already a long queue which we really didn't expect. We realized that the event was going to be a big hit. At least, we knew right there and then that there are still several arts and culture lovers in Filipinas. =)


Can you spot us? ☺

Since we have a two-year-old toddler with us, we did not spend too much time falling in line. The organizers were considerate enough to let us through immediately. Thank you so much, CCP! =) =)

Our first stop was the Baby Ballet workshop which we intended for Junífera Clarita. It was held inside the Bulwagang Francisca Reyes-Aquino. Unfortunately, she didn't want to join the ballet no matter how hard we tried to encourage her. She got too shy. But we understood because it was her first time to join a group of total strangers. And she was also the youngest in class. Anyway, she got to watch the ballet workshop, and it's a good exposure for her.




Junífera Clarita on her father's lap with Juanito seated beside them as they observe Teacher Ela's ballet class for babies.

After the workshop, I got to meet the teacher, Ela Rodríguez of Ballet Philippines. She shared to me that it's normal for four-year-old children to not dance the first time they join dance classes like ballet. Some even cry. But Junífera Clarita didn't cry nor did she throw any tantrum. Teacher Ela was surprised when I told her that Junífera Clarita is just two-years old! She thought our baby girl was much older.

With  Teacher Ela after the ballet workshop for toddlers.

Teacher Ela's ballet class was very interesting and fun to watch. The kids who joined the workshop appeared to already know the basics of ballet, but they still learned some new moves for only less than an hour. I'm now thinking of enrolling Junífera Clarita in one of her classes. Why not? If only I had extra time coz my four other kids go to school.

For our next stop, hubby and our three boys split ways. Daddy Pepe attended the session for percussion instruments at the Silañgan Hall which was facilitated by Tusa Montes while Mómay, Jefe, and Juanito attended the "Arts Expression for Peace" facilitated by stage actor and TV personality Abner "Kuya Art" Delina, Jr. and the multi-arts group Black Canvas inside the Bulwagang Pambansang Alagad ng Sining.

Tusa teaching techniques in playing percussion instruments.

All the seats inside the Silañgan Hall were already occupied when we arrived, so we just stayed at the back. My hubby Pepe was once a musician. He used to play the guitar and have organized a few rock bands in the past. In fact, he was once the musical director of our alma mater's theater group, Tinik ng Teatro. I remember one performance of theirs. He and the members of his musical group were able to play an ethnic production number using only junk materials, and he was the percussionist using a large plastic bottle!

My hubby didn't finish the percussion workshop because we had to wait for our three boys from their own workshop under Kuya Art. We were not allowed to peek inside the room during the session, but we were allowed to take photos afterwards. Our three boys came out of the workshop with much excitement on their faces. And as I write this blogpost while reviewing the handouts provided by the CCP staff, I found out that certain workshops have age limits. For example, the Arts Expression for Peace has an age limit from six to twelve years old. I checked the age limit for the Baby Ballet: it's three to five years old! No wonder Teacher Ela was surprised when I told her Junífera Clarita's age, hehehe!

Juanito, Jefe, and Mómay right across Kuya Art (photo courtesy of Black Canvas).


The last workshop was for Krystal. Since she loved dancing, she chose "Just Dance Hiphop" facilitated by Priscilla de la Cruz who is also from Ballet Philippines. The queue for this workshop was the longest because most of the participants were millennials, and many millennials love to dance. Unfortunately, Krystal did not make it. The dance workshop had limited participants. Actually, the number of participants is limited only up to forty, but since so many had wanted to join, the organizers allowed more to join. Those who were not picked were allowed to watch behind the participants, so at least we still had the chance "to groove" a little bit with them, hehehe! Oh, it was just me who was grooving, not Krystal, hahaha! Dont you worry, mi hija. You dance better, and so by just watching the workshop from the outside, I knew that you were still able learn and you enjoyed!

Since Krystal had a dental appointment in the afternoon, we were not able to attend the other workshops. We left by lunchtime, but not without taking pictures of ourselves in front of CCP's well-known façade.


Click here for the complete photo album!


On our way to Krystal's dentist, I remember something that she told me when we were still at the CCP, that she wanted to go there every week if possible. Wow! For the lover of arts, that's something that's expected of them to say. So for you guys who love the arts, you have a special place that you can call your second home. And for those who are not that fond of the arts or who are just starting to appreciate it, feel free to visit the CCP. Every corner of the CCP is filled with art.

Before I end this, I want to share something funny: towards the end of one video clip, I accidentally referred to the CCP as "PICC" (Philippine International Convention Center), hahaha! It's because they both sound the same and are at the same site. Anyway, thanks to our late President Ferdinand Marcos (may he rest in peace) who established the CCP, our arts and culture has a patron and a home where they continue to live and inspire. ☺

Let's teach our youngsters to appreciate culture and the arts. Let's expose them to this wonderful world instead of bringing them to malls. Let's go back again and again to the Cultural Center of the Philippines! =) =)


Yeyette

DID YOU KNOW? The Tagálog word "Pasinaya" means "debut" or "inauguration" in English.