A joyful Christmas to everyone!

  1. A joyful Christmas to everyone!
  2. I arrived here in Marikina since December 24. I did not ride a taxi to save money. Instead, I took the bus/train/van/tricycle route which costed me only 99 pesos in total compared to the 500-800 price of a taxi ride. So imagine how have I been thriftty these past two days including Christmas time.
  3. Every time I go home on Decembers since I entered the Marist Brothers last 2011, I play NBA 2K. This year, I stopped because I don’t feel like playing it. Besides, I have to graduate from NBA 2K13 that I played since December 2013. I already won two championships there with the Oklahoma Thunders (sixth man) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (starting Small Forward).
  4. Instead of playing video games, I played Spotify. Currently listening to the Tides by The Ransom Collective. I am hooked with Spotify that I even curated some playlists. Maybe you can search one of my playlist, New Pinoy Alt Rock and Indie.
  5. I am now sleeping here at the extension house adjacent to our original house. I drank two Heineken beers and a Crabbie’s (a ginger beer). Beer is alright for me. I passed on the Jack Daniels though since it’s really strong. I always follow what the television ads tell us to do: drink moderately.
  6. Actually, I am going through a lot of pondering these days even before coming here at home. During this vacation, I am reflecting on my vocation (rhyme intended). I’ll re-evaluate myself in terms of prayer life, apostolate, and community living. I’ll write that and try to put some of my reflections in my application letter.
  7. It’s been almost seven years already with the Marist Brothers and I plan to stay a little longer maybe until perpetual profession.
  8. My goodness, I think I have been so self-centered. Am I still answering to the call of leaving everything behind and following our Brother?
  9. I plan to visit chapels and churches here in Manila later alone. During this feast day of St. Stephen, I have yet to attend a Mass since I was not able to get up early.
  10. I remember the vision of Saint Jerome with the infant Jesus during Christmas.
  11. The venerable scholar was asked by the Child, “What present do you have for me?”

“I have left everything and given them up for you. What more can I offer?”, replied Jerome.

“You still have something more to give me”

“What is it?”

“Give me your sins.”

Truly, it is better to give than to receive

  1. While checking the examination papers, I am surprised with the profoundness of one student. It seems that she is not fourteen years old; she is way ahead of her peers in terms of maturity.
  2. Last Tuesday, accompanied by her sister, she was the only student who gave me a gift as her appreciation. I learned later that she also gave gifts to her other teachers as her Christmas presents. I got a tumbler from her.
  3. This gesture, though it’s simple, warms the hearts of teachers. Truly, it is better to give than to receive. As a teacher, I realize that I am giving more than what I am supposed to offer to my students. It is more than the lessons and grades I give. What is it then? It is my presence.
  4. I hope that more than anything else, my students will treasure my presence the most. I am priviledged to be able to share my life with them inside and outside the classroom. I am blessed to be able to witness their blossoming to adulthood.
  5. Now, I am thinking of writing a draft of a goodbye letter to the NDC community: all personnel, parents, GIA scholars, and specially the students. Before the school year ends, I usually write a letter to the people who have touched me and made a difference my life.
  6. I’m teary eyed right now. Yes, I am a such a sensitive man. Because the school year is almost finished, I have to leave people behind here in the school. Good byes are real and I am leaving next April.
  7. I know I have my failings throughout this year. I admit that. Mea maxima culpa. And if ever I have offended people even if I did not mean it, I am sorry for that.
  8. Today is my brother’s birthday today, it’s almost Christmas and 2017 is about to end. It’s a year of hellos and goodbyes.
  9. I will attend a recollection on December 31 to thank God for all the blessings and ask pardon for my shortcomings.
  10. Thanks for reading my streams of thought. Goodbye.

Breaking for the Weekend

Hello WordPress,

Allen here.

I’m late with this writing challenge. Today is the start of famous Filipino Catholic devotion, the Christmas novena known as the Misa de Gallo. It literally means the Mass of the crow because it’s a tradition of the Filipino farmers to go to Mass early in the dawn before going to till their lands in the morning. To be honest, I skipped it today. My last year’s experience in the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral was horrible. I ended up standing for more than an hour. In my experience, the first day has the most attendance in church. If I was in GenSan or in Marikina, I would dare to wake up before 4 AM. But yeah, I’d skipped the first day and attend the remaining days.

Some believe that if they complete this nine-day devotion of going to church, their wishes would be fulfilled. I don’t have any wish and I don’t wish anyway since attending the Mass is not about that. Besides, my devotion is a whole-year round. I attend daily Mass at 5:30 AM (mostly if I’m not oversleeping). Enough of the rationalization. I’ll just wake up early this morning and I expect to get a seat in the pew.

So today I woke up around 6:15 AM, and got ready in joining the Grant-In-Aid scholars for the general cleaning of the school around 7 AM to 11 AM. I asked some to buy some merienda for us to eat since some of them haven’t had their breakfast yet. If you were following this blog, I mentioned that I was assigned as the coordinator of these scholars this school year. I usually join these scholars during Saturdays in cleaning the school if there are no classes or if it’s Intrams. In total, there are presently 27 GIA scholars. Actually, there are 10 of them out of the program for some reasons so that makes 37 scholars I handled during this school year alone.

We had our merienda in the convent dining room around 9:30 AM eating some cheese breads and drank some juice flavored by orange powders. While eating, we circled around asking about our wishlists for our Christmas exchange gifts. And since almost all of us are present, we decided to have our meeting there in the dining room. After that, we resumed in cleaning the school grounds.

Around 11:15 AM, we occupied the library to practice our Christmas presentation during the Christmas party. I played the guitar and asked some suggestions which songs to play. So we ended up choosing the Pasko na Naman¬†caroling medley and Star Ng Pasko. I hurt my fingers a bit due to my rusting guitar-playing skills. While waiting for the chosen songs to be printed out, we sang some Ed Sheeran’s songs. So we sang and most of the singers were females. I told them we’ll meet again for practice on Tuesday before the Christmas Party.

After the practice, I took a siesta. I was tired from the whole morning cleaning and the guitar playing plus singing. I slept around 1:15 PM and I woke up around 3:45 PM. Then I decided to go out, go to the mall, and buy all the gifts for the upcoming Christmas parties I’m going to attend. That drained my pocket. Then I arrived in the convent around 6:15 PM with a Hello Kitty stuffed toy, a polo shirt, and a perfume.

As I hear a band playing Prinsesa by Teeth and Sunday Morning by Maroon 5, that signals that the school’s Alumni Homecoming Party has almost started. It’s a joint alumni homecoming of the Notre Dame of Cotabato (Marist Brothers) and Notre Dame of RVM with Batch 1992 hosting the event. Just like how I skipped the first day of the Misa de Gallo, I opted not to attend the event as well.

So I just spent my night alone in the library, browsed the internet, listened to some Spotify-streamed music, played NBA 2K13, and wrote this blog post.

So this is my Saturday.

Bye for now.