Archive for philippine christmas

a merry and marry month!

Posted in artifacts, culture, events, interior design, lifestyle, locales, people, tradition, travel with tags , , , , , , on December 13, 2009 by mijodo


Christmas season, because of the long school and office break, has been traditionally a family reunion time as well. Many from outside the country, and even from Manila would take time to go back to their roots, particularly to their hometowns. It becomes an occasion for merriment, giftgiving and reacquaintances.

And because, Filipinos from abroad, would travel half the world to see their own respective families in the Philippines, many marrying couples would take the opportunity to walk down the aisles too. The engaged couple would be so appreciative and grateful if many more guests, particularly the Balikbayans (Filipino expatriates) could come and partake in this supposedly once in a lifetime moment of exchanging vows.

The pleasantly crisp and cool weather during this time, the good natured spirit of the people during the Holiday season, and even the deep pockets of relatives and friends, brought about by the Christmas salary bonuses or business sales, should just push the couple to seek out and reserve venues for the wedding and reception during December, such as the very popular Fernwood Garden in Quezon City. ( The place has that forested ambiance, for intimate or grand weddings. And its chapel has that elegant interiors, enhancing the sanctity of the nuptials.)

It is no surprise, that the National Statistics Office would list the month of December, as the month when mates most marry, beating out the supposedly traditional matrimonial month of June  (hence the appellaton, “June Bride”).

In this month, let me greet my Mom and Dad, “Happy Wedding Anniversary,” and to my cousin Arnold and his wife, Sherrie, “Congratulations and Best Wishes.”

And of course, in this month, let me say to you too, dear readers, “Cheers and Happy Holidays!”

fall into temptation

Posted in culture, events, food, lifestyle, people, tradition with tags , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by mijodo

candied fruit delights by ted's temptations

It is again that time of the year when life becomes more frenzied by the day as Christmastime approaches. Gift giving can be a harrassing thought.  Garments and apparel as gifts can be tricky; one needs sizes and measurement of the recepient. Some gifts may require gargantuan amount of money. And some gifts are just plain tacky. Thus food, particularly coming from the best kitchens will be most appreciated, by those who seem to have almost everything in life.

Ted Valdez’s household can be a little bit crazy as Yuletide season comes nearer. From her (oh yes, Ted’s a “she”) kitchen, she concocts the best toffee candy bars in this part of the Philippines, rivaling the premier brands of the US. Unlike the ones abroad, where people have difficult biting into the candy, Ted’s Temptation Toffee Candies can be easy on the bite, yet still having a definite crunch. There’s a secret into it, and she would hardly say it.

But it is no secret that her recipe, which is inspired from her sister’s, only uses the freshest ingredients – variety of nuts, chocolates, and butter.  Ted’s toffee candies have an assortement to choose from – cashew, almond, mocha, and fruity flavors, all individually wrapped, and all elegantly boxed or put into cannisters, and yet not as expensive as the US brand counterpart (Almond Roca).  The packaging, and what’s inside are all pretty, and would be highly recommended as personal gifts, even for Valentines. “But during Christmas, some have ordered by the dozens as corporate gifts,” Ricky, Ted’s husband, averred.

Through the years (about 5), Ted has expanded her tempting treats. There’s the melt-in-the-mouth caramel candy.  Her chocolate eclairs and vanilla puffs are loaded with to-die-for creamy sensation.  Her candied fruit are true delights, and in different varieties – cranberry, calamansi, mango and pineapple. And of course,  to those craving for more chocolates, her brownies are raved about.

The production of such indulgence can be a little daunting to Ted and her brood, particularly during the holiday season.  But it is those who have tasted and continually appreciated her kitchen creations that inspired Ted and husband, Ricky to do much more. Somehow, for many years to come, people will just have to fall into Ted’s Temptations.

(For orders – call 09176269312 or 8232235. You may check Ted’s Temptations Multiply Account –


Posted in culture, people, religion, tradition with tags , , , , , , on December 23, 2008 by mijodo

get warm this christmas

During this time, with the chilly weather in many parts of the world, particularly in the Philippines, it is but just appropriate that one tries to get all the warmth he or she could receive.

And the Christmas season brings all the good old warm feelings inside all of us.  The affectionate embrace from all our friends and family. The spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation with hurting loved ones. The satisfaction of doing simple good deeds and huge charitable projects. All to get the loving fuzzy feeling.

And of course, one should not forget the food that comes from the kitchen during the holiday season. One becomes appreciative of that uncomplicated usual spaghetti and meatballs or the more elaborate paella for as long the food is piping hot.  How about that bibingka and puto bumbong during the cold mornings after “simbang gabi?” And sure why not have some wine or hard liquor to increase body temperature.

So during this time make sure to get some warmth and provide some warmth. Merry Christmas everyone.

follow that star!!

Posted in artifacts, culture with tags , , , , , on December 9, 2008 by mijodo

follow that star!


During Christmas time, among the plentiful yuletide ornaments, it is the Filipino parol or lantern that is  most significant to me.  Apparently, it is said that the grander the parol is  in terms of concept and size, the better looking it is. The star-like ornament’s colorful and complex light choreography pulsating to loud carols excites many of us, and not only the foreign tourists. The parols have made use of different materials, from the sturdy capiz shells to shiny plastic wraps . The evolution of parol making is a testament to the Filipinos’ hand craft skills and the passionate spirit for the season.

But somehow, as I grow a little more mature, I get to appreciate more the austere parols that are even reminiscent of the parols designed decades ago. Usually in one or two color motif, and made out of Japanese paper and bamboo, the simple Filipino lantern gives me a better and more soulful glimpse of what could have happened during the night of our Redeemer’s birth.  Then and  there the mother and the father took turns, cuddling the newborn infant, in the lowly manger where farm animals and the shepherds were privileged witnesses until of course, three wise men from the East followed that bright star, showing and directing  them where the Greatest of all greats had been born in the simplest of surroundings.

Sometimes it is in the plain where understanding becomes brightest and most meaningful.