YOUR mantra for the week: “This is my merriest Christmas ever.”
It is Christmas, a time to celebrate Jesus’ message of love and forgiveness. Jesus was known as the anointed one, and let me explain that to be anointed, one needs to use oil—in ancient times oil was used for lighting lamps and that became a symbol for enlightenment, just like the Buddha.
In addition, Jesus of Nazareth became the Christ when he discovered that God was within each man. The enlightened ones all teach and practice love, peace and forgiveness.
This is the appropriate time of the year for us to assess our feelings about every person that was and is in our lives. Have we forgiven them all?
There are times when we feel that we have done so and yet, sometimes we discover the sting is still there. That is why Jesus said, “We must forgive 70 times seven.” Clearly, he realized how difficult it is to let go of hurts.
But forgive we must, and that also includes forgiving ourselves. For oftentimes we castigate ourselves for so-called mistakes we have made in our lives and, in the process, block the good that awaits us. They were really not mistakes, but merely expressions of our states of consciousness at that time. Although we may say, “We could have done better,” that is not so, it was the best we could do at that moment.
In addition, we have also hurt other areas of our lives like our physical bodies that we oftentimes abuse by overeating and overdrinking especially during Christmas season. That is why hospitals are at their busiest amid all the Yuletide celebrations.
Also, we have mishandled and misused our prosperity and have experienced its negative consequences. But again, that was the best we could do at that time and it is futile for us to punish ourselves further. For all of the above, we must forgive ourselves.
If we have hurt others unwittingly or wittingly for whatever reason, we can make amends and start by changing our unkind thoughts about them and making the necessary amelioration.
Christmas is a time to make reparation and end the year with peace in our hearts and minds, in preparation for the countless blessings that await us in the New Year.
Some people are asking how Jesus got connected to Christmas when nobody really knows when Jesus of Nazareth was born or on what date he was anointed the Christ. I am happy for the celebration of Christmas on
Dec. 25 because it has become a celebration of peace and goodwill to all men.
However, this date was originally the feast of Saturnalia, a Roman pagan festival based on astrology in which the sign Virgo (the virgin) was rising on the east horizon on the 25th of December, in the stable of the goat popularly known as Capricorn, and had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. Please note that the story of a child born of a virgin was based on planetary astrological data.
Most Christians do not realize that all their rituals are pagan in origin which started when Roman emperor Constantine, in 325 AD, wanting to avoid a potential uprising from the increasing number of Christian followers, agreed to call Rome’s official religion Christianity while still maintaining its pagan rites.
Nonetheless, Christmas today is a celebration of goodwill and a prayer for peace on earth, which deserves our rejoicing. Furthermore, it is a reminder that, like Jesus of Nazareth, we, too, can discover the God within us which is the Goodness within each man and, thus, become the Christ.
Traffic and relief
With the worsening Christmas traffic, many people find themselves in a jam for hours, their vehicles moving so slowly that they are forced to pee in the highways and byways—using their car doors for privacy.
I asked a socialite lady friend whether she would dare to do the same. “Never!” she exclaimed. “I have solved that problem by wearing adult diapers when I know I can be caught in traffic for a few hours.”
Don’t be surprised if, one day, street vendors will be knocking at your car window offering lampin.
Dinner with cardiologist Beaver Tamesis, president of Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) Philippines, revealed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the country has approved Keytruda (pembrolizunab) as an effective treatment for advanced (metastatic) nonsmall cell lung cancer and malignant melanoma.
The good news is, MSD is fast-tracking its review for colon cancer and is moving to study more than 30 different malignancies.
I believe that with today’s progress in medicine, one day, incurable diseases will become a thing of the past.
Spending time at small dinners with honorary consuls Fortune Ledesma and Helen Ong is really quite different from socializing with them at big events. They are actually fun to be with once they let their consular hair down.
They do have a sense of humor and can actually laugh at themselves. What a relief from all that formal diplomatic air that they have to put on as part of their official roles.
Now I will see to it that, for 2016, I will favor attending socials that do not have more than 20 people in attendance. This way, you can really get to know those you are meeting for the first time, and can expand your circle of friends instead of just increasing the number of your acquaintances whose names you may not even remember.
The virgin Duday
Duday Tuason celebrated her birthday in Chef Jessie at Rockwell, with family and close friends in attendance like Yen Guevara and Jane Sy, with Marilyn Monroe look-alike sister Norma Smith flying from Los Angeles for the occasion.
Duday, in a white flowing gown by Rajo Laurel, looked like a bride. She said, “I always try to look like a virgin for my hubby.” No wonder her husband feels like it is Christmas every day, which has nothing to do with his being named Noel.
There were other lovely and elegant guests like Ellaine Villar, Linda Ley, Mellie Ablaza, and Lilibeth Campos, looking refreshed, a stunning look-alike of the Bulgari model as seen in the latest Philippine Tatler Traveller; the well-traveled Tina Jacinto, who incidentally has expanded her talent as Tatler feature writer by documenting her trip to Bilbao, Spain; Sandie Poblador, back from her regular London trips to visit her scholarly children studying in the city of the Windsors; Ann Puno, who said she’s been busy making chicken relleno and meat loaf specials for Christmas which, at the time of this writing, have all been sold out.
Duday sauntered from table to table among her 50 guests before a large birthday cake was brought in to signal our serenading her with the traditional birthday song. What everyone appreciates about Duday is that she makes sure that people do not get the impression that she belongs to La Vista Tuasons. But I assure you, her jewelry collection can match that of any La Vista resident.
Four decades of Phyllis as artist
Visual artist, writer and personal friend Phyllis Zaballero opened her 38th solo exhibit recently at Altro Mondo Arte Contemporanea at 3/L, Greenbelt 5. It will run until Jan. 10.
There are 25 paintings on exhibit, and more than half have already been bought by Zaballero collectors. I particularly like her “views” from different windows. Her works are colorful, vibrant and immediately uplift one’s sensibilities by being given a chance to peer into the windows of her soul.
If Phyllis has ever had her down moments, you can never find them in her paintings, for they are always passionate expressions of her joys rather than her misgivings. If one desires an artwork that exhilarates and elevates one’s aesthetic senses, it is a must to own a Zaballero.
Davao Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte is the talk of the town and all his fans are relieved that the Comelec has officially declared him candidate for president in the 2016 elections. But there is a move to disqualify him based on his citizenship, because he is suspected of being a Japanese named Naka-mura.