Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Spreading Good Cheer

It's the last day of 2008 - I'm waxing sentimental already. Where did the year ago? I haven't even been able to scrap even a third of every thing's that happened this year. Oh well, there's always next year. Wishful thinking after all this time that I will ever ever be "caught up" in my scrapbooking. Hehehe.

Had some time to surf between our before-the-new-year general cleaning and planning our new year's eve dinner and found this: Rhonna Farrer is choosing one lucky winner to pick any 209 of her kits. Isn't that great? I'd settle for just one or two...but good luck to us. What a wonderful way to end this year and start the next.

May you all have a peaceful and prosperous 2009!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Credits - Shabby Princess, Kirsty Wiseman

Our annual photo under the Christmas tree. We had to do it in a rush because DH was due to the airport at around 3 a.m. We didn't have too many presents under the tree this year. We're hoping DH will make it up for that upon his return on January 1. LOL. We will miss celebrating his birthday and new year's eve with him. And even now, we are so looking forward to the balikbayan boxes...errr...his return.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Culture Shock

Late Wednesday night, I found out that my MIL volunteered me yet again to another activity involving her organization. I was quite dismayed because 1) I had scheduled to attend a book launching at the Ateneo de Manila University, a book that took many years to see print, not for lack of effort on my part; and 2) she volunteered me to be an emcee in a dance competition at the U.P. Bahay ng Alumni. I hate having to talk in front of huge crowds. It may not be readily apparent, but I am glossophobic.

Needless to say, MIL prevailed, and I had to bail out of the book launching. I hope they still give me a complementary copy of the book on Community-Based Natural Resource Management. Not your average person's reading material, but it is an important collection of research and studies on Philippine CBNRM.

And so, it was with acute trepidation that I found myself in the huge hall of the Bahay ng Alumni, trying to establish a rapport with my co-emcee, who I was meeting for the first time. The occasion is the Luzon Sayawitugtog Bata, a dance drama competition on Philippine Myths and Legends, held by the International Organization of Folk Arts Philippines (IOFA) every two years. Frankly, I expected to be bored to tears.

It was quite a comedy of errors at first. I was given my cue cards and spiels, and at the last minute, the organizers changed the order of the program. Imagine me, standing there in the podium, working up the crowd to frenetic excitement (I was doing my best Pokwang impersonation) as I begin to introduce the first contestants, when I was cut short by the floor director, who said the judges had to be introduced first. Ugh! Talk about wrong timing. Only twenty minutes into the program and I was already wishing I was somewhere else.

But as the elementary students representing the different regions in Luzon performed, I paid rapt attention. I was, to say the least, awe-struck with the beauty and strength of their performances. The youth could perform with such spirit and verve. And only the very young cannot be self-conscious about being dyed dark brown, and being asked to wear afro wigs and g-strings.

I learned much about the beginnings of Vigan, the Christianization of Cagayan Valley, the simple life and culture of the Balugas (Aetas) of Tarlac (when I was a child, my siblings would scare me by saying the Balugas would come and put me in their bayong), the legend of Calamba - I never knew that the town derived its name from "kalan" and "banga" (clay stove and jar), the beginnings of Iriga City, the Cordillera Administrative Region's Romeo and Juliet in the legend of Gana-ac and Lupting, and last but not the least, the history of Pasig.

I wish I could have taken more photos or videos of the performances but absorbed as I was with the stories, I still had to do my duties as emcee. Which went far better than I would have expected as I was drawn into the importance of the event - the opportunity to showcase the relatively unknown stories of the different parts of the Philippines. It is indeed vital that we Filipinos, beginning with the very young, have a deeper appreciation of our diverse cultures and heritage.

Next year, IOFA will be holding the Visayas and Mindanao phases of the competition in Cebu. I hope I get invited to emcee again. If not, I will volunteer, if I have to twist my MIL's arm about it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

November Recap

And, it's two days late, I'm sorry. As if naman people are waiting with bated breath for me to recap the past month. Hahaha. Well, one can only hope.

So the whole month of November is dedicated to the Twilight series and, of course, the movie. It's funny how Candy infected me with her enthusiasm for the books and I managed to infect other people, too. And what fun to discover that there are other scrappers out there who share the same interest and delight in the books. Although I'm sure less layouts were made because of this addiction. Hehehe.

Four required LOs for this month and thanks to the Kaya challenges by Marj, I was able to meet my quota - the final one a spread, to boot. And hopefully, the first of my annual family Christmas layouts. My goal for December is to have a Christmas album by December 25. Hmmm....that's 9 layouts to go and I am assuming double-pagers, so I pray I am up for this self-imposed challenge. Otherwise, I will hang my head in shame and just go back to reading Twilight. (Yup! Any excuse, right?)

We also went scrapping and eating in Cavite! I can't wait for the next crop party at Alby's place. I'm sure by then, her scrapping area is finished. Well, it was technically finished but she hasn't moved her things yet, because she was too enamored with Edward Cullen. Haha.

And then last November 29, we had much fun again at My Little Attic's mini-jam. As much as possible, I try not to miss any of Nette's crop events because she is always such a gracious host. The kits and food alone more than cover the minimal registration fee. And then there are the sales (I really had to hold on to my wallet) and the yummy raffle prizes. I wasn't as lucky this time, but I still went home with a prize. And besides, I enjoyed myself immensely with my tablemates, Alby, Bjay and Reggie, who after exchanging stories, I was surprised to learn is my kumare. We share an inaanak. Small world, isn't it?

We learned new techniques also - using alcohol inks (Yoyin demonstrated a different way of using them), glimmer mists (Donna showed us how to achieve that fine spray), and Cookie shared with us her acrylic hanging thingamajig. I am sorry, I don't know what it's called exactly, but you know Cookie. It was really a functional work of art.

Our kit included materials for a box which we decorated with masking using glimmer mists, a mini-album which I didn't finish because I made a mistake with pasting the paper. All the planes and trucks were upside down. It looked like they figured in a vehicular accident and turned turtle. I did finish one 8x8 acrylic layout, which sources told me was in the running but it didn't win. Knowing it was at least considered was a happy thing for me already cause I did it on the spot with little materials at hand.

Sharing it with you -

Materials Used:
Daisy D's rubons; Pink Paislee PPS; K & Co chipboards; Prima flowers; 7 Gypsies; Ranger alochol inks (which I dabbed behind the acrylic, making unconscious sound effects, according to Alby).

That's a photo I took of Sarah when I was learning photography at the Filipinas Heritage Library. It was voted as one of the best photos by th class. The same photo was later used in the FHL brochure. I think Sarah was around 2 years old at the time.

It's December! And so the countdown begins to heavy traffic both in the streets and in the malls, harried and hurried Christmas shopping...I hope we take time to reflect on the true meaning of this season: take lots of photos and scrap them! Wink.