Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas - 2005

I dreaded this day. Yes dread as others eagerly await this celebration. It will be the first christmas I will be alone. My first one as an orphan. I wanted to get away from home. The only two people who mattered to me in this world is gone so no use to celebrate.

I seriously thought of flying out of the country. I considered Honkong. I emailed Bebette and texted her but never got a reply. Very unusual for she usually replies fast. I then thought of going to Singapore or even Thailand. I didnt want to go far. First because of the cost, second, I just had a couple of trips and the air turbulence made me sick. So no long trips in the meantime.

I surfed through some travel cruise but they were too costly.

I also thought of just going out of metro manila maybe cebu? Ira is very sick and mitos kept calling. If i was paid by a friend who owed me maybe i would have flown to cebu.

I prayed and kept praying for guidance.

I was promised payment thursday so when mitos called I asked her to check if there was room at Marriot. Unfortunately no payment arrived. All of sudden I received an email from Bebette asking how i was. I was suprised for I thought she was out of the country. I told her about my emails and text which apparently she never received.

I think dad didnt want me to leave manila. Had bebette replied earlier, I would have flown to honkong to spend christmas. Had I been paid, I would have immediately bought a ticket for cebu.

Last month, I asked my cousin on my dad's side, Marilou if she and her son would like to spend christmas here. She was not sure because she had church duties. I felt sad since she didnt have family here either except her son. Most are in Canada. I then remembered last friday to text beverly and ask if she and her mother would like to sleep over saturday night so we can spend christmas together. i was surprised when she replied positively a couple of hours later. Maybe she had to ask her mom first. Usually she has her own life and activities.

She suggested hearing the midngith mass at Don Bosco. I didnt have that in mind for I was planing to hear mass at our parish in BF Homes. I said maybe a good idea to hear the 1130pm mass for that is the time I recalled the priest announced the last time I was at Don Bosco.

When I was on the way to makati early evening yesterday I called Don Bosco to ask the sked of masses. The one who answered mentioned 8pm, 10pm and 1130pm. The first mass is out for I still need to buy some stuff and deliver gifts. Besides I find 8pm too early for a so called 'midnight mass".

After I bought a gift at Rustan dept store I thought of calling the church again just to verify the time of the mass. Maybe 10pm would be better I thought for I am sure it will be more than an hour and by the time we reach home it will be midnight therefore just in time for christmas. I asked who will be saying mass and they mentioned Fr Bernie! Bulls eye I said to myself, my favorite priest!

Beverly and Aling Miguela met me at the church. I guess all fell into place just as dad wanted it. He wanted me to spend christmas at home and with the only 'family' I have got. Aling miguela was our helper back at Philam homes when I was in early elemntary. When we moved to pque beverly was already working at marikina so had difficulty commuting and had to move out.

I knew I will be sharing christmas thoughts and experiences in my blog so thought of taking photos of the midnight mass that we attended - a first for me after a few long years. I cant remember the last time I attneded one. The past years dad preferred us attending the day or evening mass of the 25th. He couldnt endure the long nights anylonger.

It was a concelebrated mass with Fr. Bernie, the parish priest as the main celebrant. Photo below shows Fr. Bernie giving one of his very insightful and touching homilies.

Right after the mass, Fr. Bernie holds the baby Jesus so his flock could give a kiss and greet him a merry christmas - and happy birthday :)

The family of estela my current helper all arrived early saturday so we were we all enjoyed the noche buena together. In a few hours after I wake up, maybe noon time of sunday, we will all go to heritage to visit mom and dad's grave.

By the way, Fr Bernie is also one of Dad's favorites. Dad preferred Don Bosco over our parish in pque. Dad's favorite church 'manangs' all served during the mass so I was able to give them some gifts (which I suddently remembered to bring as I was leaving the house - hmm uncanny indeed) as well as one of the homeless girls sheltered in the church who usually hleps dad walking when he doesnt have a companion while at the church. I suddenly saw her when I entered the blessed sacrament. I was really hoping to see her that night.

I guess those were Gods answers to my prayers - on where and how I should spend His special day.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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