From Nuffnang

Monday, December 31, 2012

Coins to Ensure a Wealthy New Year

As we prepare for the coming of 2013, many of us have probably prepared coins to be thrown inside the home to bring wealth to the household. Many Filipinos also believe that coins, along with paper money, should be jingled inside the pocket as the clock strikes midnight to ensure good luck. Here are some of the coins I have to welcome the New Year.

New Year, traditions, coins

Fruits for a Fruitful New Year

Filipinos celebrate the coming of the New Year by filling their tables with food for the media noche or midnight meal. It is recommended that there are 12 different round fruits to represent prosperity in each of the coming year's 12 months.

When it comes to completing the fruit list, we practice flexibility in quantity - the number 12 may be exceeded. Following is a picture of the fruits we served on a bilao and a clay tray.

New Year, traditions, fruits

Toy Guns to Welcome the New Year

A few hours from now we will welcome 2013. Noisemaking and revelry is a traditional part of Filipinos' celebration with the belief that the noises would scare evil spirits away. With this in mind, the New Year will be started auspiciously.

Considering the damage brought by firecrackers, it is suggested to use horns or play loud music. In our household, we have toy guns that will produce noise loud enough to contribute to the auditory blast.

New Year, traditions, toy guns

The plastic toy gun at the left portion of the picture is labelled "KG-9 PERFORMANCE COMBAT AMMO." Marketed as a "realistic sound blaster," actuating the trigger will produce a "loud rata-tat." On the other hand, the wooden toy gun at the right portion of the picture probably figured in many Filipinos' childhood memories. The protruding portion near the butt is cranked to generate the characteristic sound.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Countdown: "Belen"

Today, Christmas Eve, I share with you the belen (creche) or Nativity Scene. The belen is a diorama depicting the birth of Jesus as narrated in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Main characters include the infant Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Three Wise Men. Some versions of the belen feature real humans and animals.

The Philippine city of Tarlac, home of the "Belenismo sa Tarlac" festival is known as the "Belen Capital" of the country." The festival features a belen-making competition, while giant versions of the belen are on display in many parts of the city for the Christmas season.

Following are pictures of versions of the belen, taken somewhere in Bulacan and at the ABS-CBN compound in Quezon City:

Christmas decorations, belen

Christmas decorations, belen

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Countdown: Gift-giving

"And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh."

- Matthew 2:11, King James Version

Now that there are three days to go before Christmas, people might be reminded of the Three Wise Men presenting gifts to the child Jesus Christ. Gift-giving is a tradition practiced by billions, including Filipinos, around the world during the Christmas season.

One of the reasons stores get high sales volumes during the season is that people buy items to be given to family and friends. As time went by, the practice is said to have imparted a materialistic tinge to festivities. It is our choice to dwell on the spirit of giving. The gift does not need to be tangible nor expensive. We can make the gift of love, kindness, and goodwill towards other people.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Countdown: Mall Decorations

There are three days remaining before Christmas, and there is high probability that malls everywhere in the Philippines are fully packed with shoppers. With the hustle and bustle, I am wondering whether the shoppers take the time to enjoy the Christmas decorations in the malls.

Due to the thankfully busy schedule at work, I was able to visit only the TriNoma (Triangle North of Manila) shopping center in Quezon city. Following are pictures of the decorations at the fourth floor:

Christmas, Christmas decorations, TriNoma

Christmas, Christmas decorations, TriNoma

Movie Ads: "Hulihin: Probinsyanong Mandurukot" (1993)

Hulihin: Probinsyanong Mandurukot, a comedy film starring Rene Requiestas, Ruffa Gutierrez, and Miguel Rodriguez was shown in theaters on February 3, 1993. Requiestas played the role of a pickpocket who had his share of funny misadventures in the city.

Now that people are busy shopping for Christmas gifts, it is advisable to take extra caution against pickpockets.

Under the direction of Efren Jarlego, this Regal Films presentation also features Aiza Seguerra, Efren Reyes, Paquito Diaz, and Nova Villa. Following is a newspaper advertisement for the film:

Hulihin: Probinsyanong Mandurukot, Rene Requiestas, Ruffa Gutierrez

Friday, December 21, 2012

Track Listing for "Christmas in Our Hearts"

Christmas in Our Hearts, the best-selling Christmas album in the history of Philippine music, also contains songs that are also popular during the season. Here is a track listing of the album:

1. A Wish On Christmas Night
Lyrics by: Jose Mari Chan, Pinky Valdez
Music by: Jose Mari Chan

2. Do You Hear What I Hear ?
Lyrics by: N. Regney, G. Shayne

3. Mary's Boy Child
Lyrics and music by: Jester Hairston

4. Christmas In Our Hearts
Performed by: Jose Mari Chan and Liza Chan
Lyrics by: Jose Mari Chan, Rina CaƱiza,
Music by Jose Mari Chan

5. A Christmas Carol
Lyrics and music by: Leslie Bricusse

6. A Perfect Christmas
Lyrics and music by: Jose Mari Chan

7. Give Me Your Heart For Christmas

8. This Beautiful Day
Performed by: Jaymie Magtoto
Lyrics and music by: Leslie Bricusse

9. The Sound of Life
Lyrics by: Pinky Valdez
Music by: Jose Mari Chan

10. Christmas Children
Lyrics and music by: Jose Mari Chan

11. Little Christmas Tree

12. When A Child Is Born
Lyrics by: Zacar-Jay

13. It is The Lord!
Lyrics and music by: Jose Mari Chan

14. The Lord's Prayer

15. Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)

16. May The Good Lord Bless and Keep You
Lyrics and music by: Meredith Willson

Christmas Countdown: "Christmas in Our Hearts"

It's four days to go before Christmas. As I thought of something to post I heard on the radio a song that is said to usher the season in the Philippines. The four-word title, Christmas in Our Hearts, is the carrier single of the best-selling Christmas album in the history of Philippine music.

Comprising of tracks created by renowned singer-songwriter Jose Mari Chan, the album was released twelve years ago. A few weeks after its November 1990 release, the album reached "triple platinum record" status. As of 2010, it has achieved the "double diamond record" milestone, or sales of 800,000 copies. With this, Chan surpassed his own achievement for the 1989 love song compilation Constant Change.
Christmas, Christmas in Our Hearts, Christmas songs, Jose Mari Chan, albums
Front cover of the album (SOURCE: CD Universe)

Jose Mari Chan said in a 2003 interview with The Philippine Star that the original title of the carrier single of the album was Ang Tubig Ay Buhay ("Water Is Life"), based on a poem by Chari Cruz-Zarate. Chan added music to the words with the intention of composing a jubilee song for Assumption High School Class ‘63.

Christmas, Christmas in Our Hearts, Christmas songs, Jose Mari Chan, albums
Chan during the launch of his 2012 album Going Home to Christmas (SOURCE: ABS-CBNNews)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Countdown: "Parol"

It's five days before Christmas and '5' reminds me of the common number of tips the parol has. The parol is a star-shaped lantern used as a decoration in homes, buildings, electric posts, trees, and other high structures in the Philippines during the Christmas season.

A stylized picture of a parol parade somewhere in Bulacan
The parol represents the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men to the birthplace of Jesus Christ. A wide array of materials is used in making the parol, ranging from bamboo and Japanese paper to capiz shells. As time went by, the parol evolved to giant electronic lanterns, for which the City of San Fernando in the Philippine province of Pampanga became famous.

Another picture of the aforementioned parade

Movie Ads: "Lumaban Ka … Itay" (1993)

On February 24, 1993, an action-drama movie based on Salvador Royales' radio serial on DZRH was shown in theaters. Under the direction of Francis "Jun" Posadas, Lumaban Ka … Itay features Jestoni Alarcon in the title role. A newspaper advertisement for this Seiko Films production follows:

Lumaban Ka ... Itay,  Jestoni Alarcon, movies

The Tagalog blurb reads, "Isang Lipunang Nilamon Na Ng Krimen. Isang Pulis Na Buo ang Prinsipyo't Kaluluwa. Isang Babaing Walang Pakundangang Nilagutan ng Buhay. Isang Musmos Na Sumisigaw ng Katarungan!"

A society already swallowed by crime; A policeman with intact principles and soul; A woman whose life was recklessly ended; A child crying for justice!  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Countdown: "Pangangaroling"

It's six days before Christmas, and we delve into the tradition of pangangaroling. Groups of children visit houses in the neighborhood singing Christmas carols using makeshift instruments such as drums made of biscuit cans and tambourines made of aluminum bottle caps.

The children wait for the homeowners to reward them with coins and other treats. Homeowners may opt not to give anything, telling the children, "Patatawarin!"

The children's closing line typically comes in two forms:

"Thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo (you are so generous), thank you!"

"Thank you, thank you, ang babarat ninyo (you are so stingy), thank you!"

Formal carollers perform pangangaroling to raise funds for various causes. They may also inform the homeowners ahead about the carolling. Most of the time, they rehearsed for the performance and prepared suitable apparel and instruments.

caroling, Christmas, pangangaroling

caroling, Christmas, pangangaroling

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Countdown: "Queso de Bola"

With seven days remaining before Christmas, another food item that reminds me of the season is the queso de bola or cheese ball. Queso de bola is  believed to bring prosperity to those who eat it during the Noche Buena (Christmas Eve dinner).

Queso de bola is typically made of Edam cheese formed into a sphere and wrapped in red paraffin wax. Aside from served with ham and pan de sal bread, queso de bola may also be enjoyed with wine.

queso de bola, Christmas, food, Edam

Movie Ads: "Magkasangga sa Batas" (1993)

Magkasangga sa Batas, an action film in which film producers from the Philippines and Hong Kong collaborated, was shown in Philippine theaters on February 3, 1993. Under the direction of Philip Ko and Erwin T. Lanado, this Golden Kay/Harvest Films release stars Edu Manzano, Cynthia Luster, Gabriel Romulo, Sheila Ysrael, Rachel Lobangco, Charlie Davao, and Monsour Del Rosario. Following is a newspaper advertisement for the film:

Magkasangga sa Batas, Edu Manzano, Cynthia Luster, movies

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Countdown: "Bibingka" and "Puto Bumbong"

There are 8 days remaining before Christmas and two kinds of native rice cake associated with the festivities will be presented: bibingka and puto bumbong.  Commonly sold outside the church during the Simbang Gabi masses, bibingka and puto bumbong can also be enjoyed with a warm glass of coffee, chocolate or salabat (ginger tea).

Christmas, puto bumbong, bibingka, food

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Countdown: "Simbang Gabi"

December 16 marks the the first day of Simbang Gabi, a nine-day series of Masses in which devout Roman Catholics in the Philippines attend. Simbang Gabi (Tagalog for "Night Mass") is celebrated in anticipation of Christmas. The mass on December 24 is called Misa de Gallo (Spanish for "Mass of the Rooster").

Many people aim to complete the nine-day series of masses on the belief that doing so will result in the realization of a special wish. The challenge lies, however, on the time each mass starts - at around 4:30 to 5:00 in the morning. Waking up and dressing up for the mass is very daunting at these times.

As a result, the number of participants significantly decreases from the first day to the last day. Following are pictures of the Simbang Gabi proceedings at the Malolos Cathedral earlier today:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Countdown: "Jamon de Bola"

Christmas in the Philippines means good food. There are ten days before Christmas and I presume many people are still thinking about the food selections they will serve for the festivities. One of the most popular food items during the season is ham ball or jamon de bola.

An example is the Purefoods Fiesta Ham brand, which is sold with pineapple sauce. It is suggested that the ham should be topped with sugar and bake in a pre-heated 375 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes or until sugar melts and caramelizes.

jamon de bola, ham ball, Purefoods, Christmas, food

Front view of the paper packaging

Movie Ads: "Kapatid Ko Si Hudas" (1993)

Kapatid Ko Si Hudas, an action film based on an Aguila Komiks series opened in theaters on February 3, 1993. This Eureka Films presentation stars John Regala, Tirso Cruz III, Anna Margarita Gonzales, Sheila Ysrael, Rando Almanzor, and Ace Espinosa in an introducing role. Dante Javier directed the film:

Kapatid Ko Si Hudas, movies, John Regala

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Countdown: Christmas Bonus

There are 11 days remaining before Christmas and probably many Filipino workers have already received their Christmas bonus. Christmas bonus refers to the cash gift given by the employer as a token of gratitude and appreciation for the service rendered by the workers during the entire year.

The Christmas bonus also gives the recipients more leeway to extend the generosity shown upon them, since they have bigger chances of buying gifts for family and friends. Other Christmas-related expenses can also be covered by the Christmas bonus.

One famous popular culture reference of the Christmas bonus is the eponymous song performed by the music group Aegis. Following are the lyrics of the song:

Fernando Poe Jr. : National Artist for Film

Many Filipinos remember Fernando Poe Jr., better known as FPJ, for his portrayals of defenders of the oppressed. The iconic persona endeared him to many Filipinos from all walks of life - a champion of the masses in reel and real life.

Fernando Poe Jr., National Artists
FPJ Monument along Roxas Boulevard in Manila (Source: Web site of the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

In commemoration of the eight anniversary of his death, following are links to the presidential proclamations that declare and confirm Fernando Poe Jr. as National Artist for Film:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Countdown: Poinsettia

There are twelve days remaining before Christmas, and that number is significant to poinsettia as December 12 is National Poinsettia Day in the United States. Considering American influences on Filipino culture, poinsettia is well-known in the Philippines.

What is poinsettia?

poinsettia, flowers, Christmas

The poinsettia is a plant species typically used in Christmas floral displays in many countries, including the Philippines, because of its green and red foliage. It is named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the U.S. in 1825.

Movie Ads: "P/Maj. Napoleon Velasco: Kumander Kalbo" (1993)

P/Maj. Napoleon Velasco: Kumander Kalbo, an action film starring Eddie Garcia opened in theaters on February 24, 1993. This Emperor Films presentation also stars Gloria Diaz, Aurora Sevilla, George Estregan Jr., Gino Antonio, Lito Legaspi, Eric Francisco, and Efren Reyes. Segundo Ramos directed the film:

P/Maj. Napoleon Velasco: Kumander Kalbo, Eddie Garcia, movies

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rebisco Crackers with Whole Wheat

Rebisco Crackers with Whole Wheat is a brand of crackers manufactured by Republic Biscuit Corp. Advertised as "Eat Good, Feel Good!," the product claims to contain fiber. Each 32-gram-package, which contains four "Big Pcs." constitutes one serving. 

Front portion of the packaging
Health Claims:

"We all know that whole wheat is rich in fiber, and that fiber is good for digestion. But did you know that fiber-rich foods can also have other health benefits such as:

reducing the risk of heart disease
preventing some forms of cancer
helping reduce calories

REBISCO CRACKERS with WHOLE WHEAT is made with whole wheat kaya may fiber! BIG in size. BIG in benefits. Sarap maging healthy with REBISCO CRACKERS with WHOLE WHEAT. BIG in benefits!" [Note: Nutrition facts follow]

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Flashback: Manny Pacquiao vs. Fahsan Por Thawatchai

Exactly eight years ago today, Filipino boxing icon Manny "PACMAN" Pacquiao defeated Fahsan "The Thai Destroyer" Por Thawatchai in a match titled "Yanig sa Taguig" held at the Bonifacio Global City Open Field. Pacquiao stopped his Thai opponent via technical knock out 1:26 into the fourth round.

As a result, Pacquiao retained The Ring magazine featherweight title and won the International Boxing Featherweight eliminator for the No. 2 contender spot. Following is an advertisement for the match promoted by Murad Muhammad M&M Sports and Rod Nazario in cooperation with Solar Entertainment Corp.:

Manny Pacquiao, boxing matches,  Fahsan

Movie Ads: "Tikboy Tikas at mga Khroaks Boys" (1993)

On January 27, 1993, Tikboy Tikas at mga Khroaks Boys was shown in theaters. Under the direction of Willy Milan, this First Films presentation has Zoren Legaspi in the lead role. The movie also stars Smokey Manaloto, Banjo Romero, Edmon Ramos, Tyron Sason, Dennis delos Santos, and Raymond Bagatsing. This is a newspaper advertisement for the film:

movies, Zoren Legaspi, Tikboy Tikas at mga Khroaks Boys

Friday, December 7, 2012

VTB Leather Belt

About six weeks ago, I chanced upon sidewalk vendors selling clothing accessories at bargain prices along the foot bridge near the intersection of EDSA and Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. I bought the China-made VTB brand of leather belt for only twenty pesos. The vendor can also be asked to add additional holes along the belt to facilitate proper fit around the user's waist.

Here is a picture of the belt, while its buckle is still inside the packaging.

belt, leather belt, VTB belt, VTB leather belt

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Film by Celso Ad Castillo: "Isla: The Young Version" (1996)

[NOTE: As a tribute to the late film director Celso Ad Castillo, we will be presenting some newspaper movie advertisements that are part of our collection.]

Isla: The Young Version, Celso Ad Castillo's remake of his 1985 film Isla, opened in theaters on July 31, 1996. This Four Aces Films production introduces Via Veloso in the title role. Other cast members include Tonton Gutierrez, Anthony Cortes, Ronaldo Valdez, Rachel Lobangco, Jean Saburit, and Anna Capri.

"Hindi sa lahat ng pagkakataon ay ganito ang uri ng pelikula" (Not at all times you can witness this kind of movie), says the tagline of  Isla: The Young Version. Following is a newspaper advertisement for the film:

Celso Ad Castillo, movies, directors, Isla: The Young Version

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Film by Celso Ad Castillo: "Virgin People" (1996)

[NOTE: As a tribute to the late film director Celso Ad Castillo, we will be presenting some newspaper movie advertisements that are part of our collection.]

Virgin People, a film by Celso Ad Castillo, opened in theaters on April 11, 1996. This Four Aces Films production is topbilled by Sunshine Cruz, Sharmaine Suarez, and Anna Capri in an introducing role. Other cast members include Ronaldo Valdez, Roldan Aquino, and Tonton Gutierrez.

The film, a remake of a 1984 Celso Ad Castillo film having a similar title, is touted as "The New Version of the Most Controversial Film in Asian Cinema." The film has a theme song is composed by George Canseco, while musical scoring was done by Joey Ayala. It was shot in Ultra Stereo. Following is a newspaper advertisement for the film:

Celso Ad Castillo, directors, movies, Virgin People

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Film by Celso Ad Castillo: "Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop Sa Balat ng Lupa" (1996)

[NOTE: As a tribute to the late film director Celso Ad Castillo, we will be presenting some newspaper movie advertisements that are part of our collection.]

On January 18, 1996, Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa, a film by Celso Ad Castillo, opened in theaters. This is a remake of the 1974 similarly titled film which starred Gloria Diaz and was also directed by Castillo. The 1996 version, a co-production between Viva Films and Royale Era, has Ruffa Gutierrez in the lead role.

It can be noted that the lead actresses in these films were both beauty queens: Gloria Diaz was crowned Miss Universe in 1969, while Ruffa Gutierrez was Second Princess at the 1993 Miss World pageant. Following is a newspaper advertisement for the 1996 version of the film:

Celso Ad Castillo, movies, directors, Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa

Monday, December 3, 2012

Budding Chico No More

On September 28 this year, a post delved into a budding chico tree in our backyard. More than a month later, and we are anticipating the fruits to ripen in two to three weeks time providing us a steady supply of the sweet brown fruit during the third quarter of the year.

The ripened chico are intended to be part of the line-up of fruits traditionally served on New Year's Eve dinner (Hopefully!). This is how the fruits look like as of today:

Achras zapota, chico, Manilkara zapota, tsiko

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Movie Ads: "Tirad Pass: The Last Stand of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar" (1996)

On this day in 1899, the Battle of Tirad Pass was fought between Filipino revolutionary forces and Americans of the 33rd Infantry Regiment in Ilocos Sur. Brigadier General Gregorio del Pilar led the Filipinos, while Major Peyton March led the Americans. The battle resulted in the death of Del Pilar, along with 51 Filipino soldiers.

Fast forward to July 4, 1996 a film about this battle opened in theaters. Titled Tirad Pass: The Last Stand of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar, the film has Romnick Sarmenta in the title role. This Golden Lion Films presentation is directed by Carlo J. Caparas. Other cast members include Joel Torre, Tommy Abuel, Robert Arevalo, Mikee Villanueva, Mia Gutierrez, Kimberly Diaz, and Gov. Obet Pagdanganan.

Gregorio Del Pilar, movies, Romnick Sarmenta, Tirad Pass: The Last Stand of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar

The tagline on the poster reads, "Philippines 1899 ... The American troops were about to capture the President of the Republic but this young general took them to the PEAK of courage and valor. The ultimate price: His LIFE..."