It's Christmas!

Hours are now remaining before December 25: Christmas Day.

Let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas: CHRIST MOST. In Christmas, we should not "X" Christ. It's a celebration of His birthday, and He is the heart of this season. In Him, there is peace, there is salvation. I learned them in Our Daily Bread.

May we all enjoy this celebration of the birth of our Savior.

Grace....Peace....and Love be with us all!

Here are some bits and pieces regarding Christmas..Merry Christmas!

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. 
To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, 
is to have the real spirit of Christmas."
-Calvin Coolidge

"The best of all gifts around any 
Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family 
all wrapped up in each other."
-Burton Hillis

Once again, Merry Christmas!
Don't forget to count your blessings!

Two Christmases

This Christmas would be a different Christmas for me, even for others.

First, after lots of work at school, I still couldn't feel it's Christmas. I think it's because I'm strained at working and toiling for the sake of good grades, forgetting that I have to enjoy Christmas. But now, I can enjoy it at last.

Also, I'll learn to be creative and meaningful of my gifts. I won't buy and buy.

Those are just examples of how my Christmas would be different. But here's the thing that really makes this Christmas different: It's two Christmases.
 One Christmas would be almost a cold season, with parols shining everywhere and Christmas trees flashing with colorful lights. The other is a tragedy of flashfloods. People swimming through vast of floods, people around rubble, people around darkness.
 One Christmas would be a joyous celebration for families, for relatives. They'll be together in a table, eating that delicious noche buena, the Christmas ham being the main attraction at the center. The other would be an almost hopeless fate for families. For some it is full of cries and grief, knowing that their loved ones are gone, no more to be seen. For some, it is a quest of finding for their loved ones. They are not losing hope, yet it might lose at some time.

One Christmas would be a family together at one home. The other a family without any home to reside.

One Christmas would be a time of giving and receiving gifts. The other a time to find for a place to reside, a time to reflect. But it's a blessing for them to be given help that they need.

One Christmas would be a joyous celebration. The other a struggle, a sad happening. Yet, out of all this things, one Christmas still stands out and remains for each and everyone.

That Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We may not exactly say when He was born. But what's important is that God, out of love, gave us His Son, a Savior who loves and who redeems. Through what He has done on the cross, we're still living.We're saved. All you need to do is to receive that gift of salvation.

I sympathize with those who were affected by this typhoon. I pray that they'll be able to rise up again. Kindly include them in your prayers. Let God's grace and love be among them all.

An advanced Merry Christmas to all of you!

The Rhythms of Me

As a young boy, I'll usually get to listen to RJ 100, an adult contemporary--that's the genre of the music they're playing--radio station in the Philippines. Also, I'll listen to songs from CDs containing mostly 80s music. And as I grew up, my interest in old school music went on.

As a freshman, I listened to such stations like 99.5 RT, Magic 89.9, 96.3 Easy Rock and 105.1 Crossover for nice old school music. I listened and searched for music from bands like Men Without Hats, Fra Lippo Lippi, V.S.T and Co., Bee Gees, Naked Eyes, Eurythmics, Industry, JoBoxers, The Go Go's, Nena, Toto, Huey Lewis and The News, Hall and Oates; and artists like Rick Astley, Phil Collins, and Michael Jackson on the Internet.

But most of all, my interest for old school music grew during this recent summer and as a sophomore.

As I spent my sweet summer before I went on 2nd year in high school, I learned about Tears for Fears, China Crisis,Level 42,our very own bands here like The Dawn,The Youth,The Jerks, and so much more.

Then came my sophomore life. I discovered The Human League,The Cure,Men At Work, Simple Minds,Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Kraftwerk, R.E.M., Johnny Hates Jazz, Modern English, Belinda Carlisle, Howard Jones, Al Corley, Go West, New Order, The Bangles, The Pretenders, The Buggles, The Jukebox, Identity Crisis, Ethnic Faces,Violent Playground, and a lot, lot more....They're so many of them.

It's my routine to listen to these songs on my computer, on Magic 89.9 every Friday, and on 99.5 RT every Saturday. I even sang songs like these last Friday on the karaoke during our Christmas party in school.

All these things made me appreciate and love New Wave, Synthpop, Gothic Rock, Alternative Rock, Mainstream Pop, Remixes.

Old school music became my own rhythm, my own music.

I've been so blessed that God gave me this interest, to have this taste for this kind of music that is now mostly underrated and abandoned.

People who lived during these times when big headlines came like Martial Law, People Power Revolution, The Clash of U.S.S.R., Breaking of Berlin Wall, and many more would never forget the music that had been a part of their lives. As I listen to old school songs on YouTube, I'll encounter comments saying that good music like those are not that present anymore today. I do agree on that. I'll even see comments saying that they like to go back to the past. Back to the 80s.

It's really true. Children of today miss some nice tunes and good rhythms that they'll always say "It's oldies!", or in Filipino "Makaluma naman yan!". But not all. I have fellow friends who appreciate them.

Going back to our Christmas party in school, I sang old school songs like Mad World, I Melt With You, and Everybody Wants To Rule The World. I remembered some classmates saying that they can't relate to my songs. There I began to be sort of sad that people don't really appreciate it anymore.

Anyway, it's my music. The t-shirt that I wore that time had these words: Discover Your Music. I've already discovered it. I'm proud of it.


Author's Note: Whoever might be offended by my post, apologies in advance.

Doing school works at very long hours makes me zapped at times.
Since I was a sophomore, my hours if work at my house extended; and my body had to go on hard times.I'll usually sleep at 2 a.m.,1 a.m, or at midnight (probably, the earliest of them). Every now and then, effort seems to be similar to staying late at night. But not every time I extend my working hours, I become productive or get good grades.

Even before I enjoy Christmas, I have to toil and exert effort.

Decenber15.Thursday. One day left before the Christmas party and before I can break myself free. I spent long hours doing a project. I made and painted cards, It took me 6 hours (starting at Wednesday) to do that. Patience and effort was kindly kept as I painted my drawings on the cards. I then slept for but a short while: at least 2-3 hours.

I continued doing that project at school. From the time I went inside, I refurnished and finished making those cards. It's not easy after all. I painted the cards, waited for them to dry, and took excess paint that might stick uncleanly at them. But before I could pass them, I made envelopes for them, with the help of my friends.

I have learned as I did these things that the project can be passed next year. But I didn't mind. I've done my effort enough. Will I suffer again at Christmas? Still, I will get some things done during the vacation. But for it to be added? Not at all. Besides, there was a possibility for a nice grade. However, I feel right from the start that the cards wouldn't be given a high grade.

Outside the classroom, the teacher is there. Together with some of my classmates, I passed the enveloped cards. The teacher is crowded with my classmates who seem to be close with that teacher.

At that time, my card is now being checked and judged.

Ali throughout the checking, I got grades that are not that good. I was surprised to see that the first numbers written there before the final grades were given are numbers that are to be subtracted from the final grades. Thanks to anyone who suggested those first numbers.

So what happened next?

Upon receiving those cards, I slowly and quietly went inside the classroom, gradually wondering, gradually reflecting, gradually frowning. Besides, every work deserves a grade appropriate to it. I'll just slowly accept it as the hours went by.

My classmates would say it's better if I made better cards and pass them on 2012.Yes. It would've been better to make a nicer card. But what could I do? I'm sick and tired of the many works that are burdened on me before I could sleep like a baby this yuletide season. I'm sick and tired of sleeping for 2-3 hours. I'm sick and tired. That's it!

I can now say that I'm contented enough that I'm already done at that project, even though my grades are low. At least, I've had effort, I haven't received a line of 7, and I won't need to replace it with repeating it. There's Science and Math. Why should I always burden myself at one subject?