Monday Mellow Yellows and Signs: Merry Ati-atihan

Ati-atihan Festival 2016
A street-dancer garbed in colorful costume holds their tribe’s sign for everyone to see. Taken during this year’s Ati-atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan.

The texts on the sign:

VIVA, SR. STO. NINO
7
KABOG (the name of tribe, meaning “bats” in English)
Kalibo, Ati-Atihan

Estancia
Kalibo, Aklan

This picture takes me back to the road trip we had in January. My husband, I, and sisters-in-law, with their husbands in agreement, made a last minute decision of going to Kalibo, Aklan to join in the Ati-Atihan celebration. So I gathered my sons and two nieces who expressed interest in going as well and embarked on a three-hour ride to Kalibo, the capital of Aklan.

It was a fun event even with kids in tow! It was mighty hot walking around as revelers, watching the street-dancing and other activities,  but, we were prepared with sunblock, water, and food especially for the kids.  The kids were troopers — they were walking (as the streets are full of merry-makers) and only complained when they got hungry or needing to use the toilet.

We spent the night in one of my sister-in-law’s place. Everybody squeezed in the one-bedroom house. We had a big dinner where everyone pitched in and the hosts also provided beer for the adults. As if we weren’t tired from all the walking and dancing,  we spent most of the night talking and laughing while the kids were busy playing with computer games. It’s rare when we have occasions of bonding like this but whenever we have the opportunity, we always grab it. How about in your family, how often do you get together with your families?

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows: Street-dancing

Hello everyone. I hope you all had a meaningful Lenten season.
And now we resume our regular routines, hence, I am back online 🙂

I am sharing with you a picture of schoolchildren dressed in a traditional Visayan costume: the kimona (thin, cotton blouse) and patadyong (loose skirt) for the girls; and camisa de chino (a collar-less, long-sleeved cotton shirt thought to have come from China) and a loose, cotton pants for the boys.

Schoolchildren from the different schools in Ivisan join in the street-dancing activities.
Schoolchildren from the different schools in Ivisan join in the street-dancing activities.

This was taken during last year’s Buyloganay Festival in my husband’s hometown in Ivisan, Capiz. Buyloganay Festival is an annual festival celebrated in honor of the town’s patron saint, St. Nicholas of Tolentino.

The word buyloganay is a Hiligaynon word which means unity and cooperation, a quality that characterizes Ivisan and its people. The festival was held with lots of activities in the town center, including a grand parade that showcased street-dancers from different local elementary and high schools in the municipality.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Life on my side of the world

My long-planned blogging comeback has been put off several times already this year.
So much has happened in the family – my boys are doing great. My husband, although still not a regular employee at the municipal agriculture office, is doing great at his job. My eldest son is now in Grade 6 and my youngest just turned 2. I myself have not met my goal of losing weight but nevertheless I achieved another, that’s getting a new job right after the previous one ended. I’m just so happy that I didn’t have to wait long.

Also, we lost a dear family member recently. Nene Lilia, as we fondly call her, was my father’s eldest sister. She died suddenly. She had no known illness. She merely complained of dizziness and told my mother that she was going to lie down to rest. An hour later, she’s gone. A week later, when family members arrived from in and outside of the country, she was laid to rest in this quaint private cemetery somewhere in Mongpong.

Rest now in the arms of the Lord, my dearly beloved Nene Lilia.
Rest now in the arms of the Lord, my dearly beloved Nene Lilia.

Nene Lilia was one of the most important family members because she helped raised me, my siblings, my cousins and down to our children. She has no family of her own, a spinster, and she made it a promise to herself to devote her life taking care of everyone. She puts the needs of others first, before her own. She’s one of the most loving, persevering, selfless and hardworking person I’ve ever known. We are heartbroken about her being gone but we are comforted that she didn’t suffer any debilitating disease, nor experienced a lot of hardship or terror. She died peacefully with family members around her. Nene Lilia will be majorly missed by everyone. My kids, who adored her, are still too young to fully grasp the concept of death. They ask us from time to time when will Lola (Grandma) Nene come back home. A question whose answer is quite challenging to find when asked by little kids.

Monday Mellow Yellows: Thankful!

Thank God, typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) has left our province since last night and today, when the authorities have gone out for inspection, there were no major damages in the aftermath of the typhoon. Our province was under typhoon signal no. 2. Unlike last years typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), we were under signal no. 4 and in the direct path of the super-typhoon.

Still, we made sure we were prepared – for who knows – typhoons also change paths as they enter. Luckily for us, we were spared of major devastation. Other provinces were not and our thoughts and prayers are with them as we all start to re-build our lives.

Today, the rains have stopped, no more cold, strong winds, and the weather is good. Everybody is relieved. Today is also the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. People went out of their ways to hear the holy mass this morning – not only to celebrate the feast but also as thanksgiving for the protection received during the typhoon.

Here is a photo inside the cathedral – the altar with the statues of saints and the Immaculate Conception is bathed in yellow glow.

The altar of the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral in Roxas City, Capiz.
People came to hear mass this morning at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral. Photo taken by my SIL, Minmin. Thanks.

The Philippines is predominantly Catholic. And being through many typhoons, earthquakes, floods, corrupt politicians, etc., we still have a lot to be thankful for.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows: Anniversary cake

My in-laws recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last week. So we prepared a special lunch with the whole family, with each of their children contributing, to celebrate this important milestone. What would be a celebration without a cake? So here:

A cake to mark another milestone in my in-laws' marriage. Happy anniversary, Nanay and Tatay!
A cake to mark another milestone in my in-laws’ marriage. Happy anniversary, Nanay and Tatay!

The apos (grandchildren – there are 4) jostled, and huffed and puffed, as they all wanted to blow the candles – only to be dismayed realizing there were none!

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows: Yellow skin tone?

Hello everyone.
Back to posting after a century of hiatus.

My fieldwork is taking me away from the internet for awhile, hence the lack of posts. One thing I love about going away on a fieldwork is that I’m off my butt. Being cooped up in the office, sitting on my fat behind and in front of the computer makes me weak and my eyes irritated. The fresh air and the green scenery when I travel is a most welcome respite.

Weekends I spend with my family at my parents’ house. My nieces are also there spending the weekend with the oldies so you can just imagine the chaos at home. Chaotic, but fun! The cousins run around Grandpa and Grandma’s garden, playing in the grass outdoors when the sun is not too hot – or when it’s not raining. Otherwise, they’ll be indoors, watching cartoons or fiddling with their tablets.

Last weekend, the kids wanted to go the recently-opened Robinson’s department store for a stroll. I get nervous when they ask to go because they might see things that we are not ready to get for them, lol. But anyways, they were all behaved. We had merienda (snack) at the foodcourt. My niece took a photo of us – me, my baby and my other niece. For some reason, it turned out yellow!

Enjoying the lollipop!
Enjoying the lollipop!

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellow: Young football fan

Hello, dear friends.

Trying my hand in blogging again. It’s been awhile – I had a baby who just celebrated his first birthday and a job at an international NGO. Busy as I am, I want to go back to blogging as a form of relaxation. Wish me luck again.

Here’s a photo of my one-year-old son with his Grandma, my mom. We’re rooting for Team Brasil. And it doesn’t matter what happened to them, we’re still their fans!

My son wearing a team Brazil tshirt. We celebrated my son's first birthday with close friends and relatives.
My son wearing a team Brazil tshirt. We celebrated my son’s first birthday with close friends and relatives.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Happy first birthday, anak!

And so it happened!
My dear son is now one year old – time to celebrate this first milestone 🙂

This birthday poster was designed by his Tito Jake, my younger brother, and was printed by his Tita Minmin, my other brother's wife. Thanks to you both. We loved it!
This birthday poster was designed by his Tito Jake, my younger brother, and was printed by his Tita Minmin, my other brother’s wife. Thanks to you both. We loved it!

We only had a small celebration at my parents’ house in Banica (Roxas City) and a handful of friends and relatives came by to join. Of course, we didn’t forget to go to church for thanksgiving. My other brother, who’s based in Phnom Penh, was also in town to join us with his wife, much to our delight.

My son had a whale of a time playing with his cousins.

Here are just some of the pictures taken. The quality is not that good as they were taken mostly from an old phone. Some great photos were in my brother’s camera though. I hope he gives me the copies soon.

My son wearing a team Brazil tshirt. We celebrated his first birthday with a merienda siena with close friends and relatives.
My son wearing a team Brazil tshirt. We celebrated my son’s first birthday with close friends and relatives.

Thanks to those who remembered and joined in the celebration.

Happy 7th!

Dear Anak,

Oh your smile… the smile that melts all the stress and exhaustion. Thank you for that wonderful smile, the smile that melts my heart.

Grinning like a boss at 7 months.
Grinning like a boss at 7 months.

I pray that you continue to grow healthy, happy, strong, and smart. Respectful of all living things, great and small. I hope you and your Kuya Joshua will love each other dearly, and grow up to be the best of friends. Indi lang kamo magpa-ugtas todo sa amon ni Papa Jhong. Plus, your Grandpa and Grandma will be there to guide you and give all the love and support in the world.

Labyunak. Tapos na ang explanation, lol.

MamaGirl