Happy sponsors at the Pen’s ‘33 Years of Christmas’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Your mantra for the week: “I am fearless, therefore, I am blessed.”


Through the years that I have been teaching IAMISM, I have observed that there are negative dispositions that we accept as being normal without realizing that these are really the causes of disharmonies, dissatisfactions and difficulties in our lives.


I have listed around 50 of these dispositions which everyone experiences in life at various times, in varying degrees and frequencies, and varies in intensity according to the person’s mental and emotional states.


Try scoring yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 and discover which propensities are affecting the quality of your life. Any score above 5 is a warning to look into the reasons for high scores in connection with these inclinations.


Let me begin with the first 25 frames of mind which are: complaining, criticizing, whining, demanding, bullying, self-hating, irritability, gloomy, cowardly, stingy, unhappy, angry, superiority, cranky, touchy, immaturity, jealousy, envy, cruelty, edginess, selfishness, thoughtlessness, nastiness, stubbornness and disagreeableness.


Let us start with the first negative disposition which is complaining. How often during the day do you complain—mentally, feeling it emotionally but quietly and, finally, how often do you vocalize these complaints? Few people are aware that the more one complains, the Universe gives you more things to complain about. The obvious solution is to simply stop complaining and do something in regard to what you are complaining about.


The majority of people will score above 5 in this tendency. Ask yourself now: How do you react to people who are always complaining? Do you like them? Would you spend time with them? Would you invite them to special occasions? Wouldn’t you rather be alone than be with them?


Now, find out how much you score as a complainer. Use the above questions for the next 24 negative dispositions and let us see how likeable or unlikable you are.


33 years of Christmas


What a blessed treat it was to attend the Peninsula Manila celebration of “33 Years of Christmas” through the courtesy of SSI Group Inc., Philippine Tatler and Citibank, with the cooperation of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It was nothing short of spectacular—the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), under the baton of maestro Ruggero Barbieri, accompanying the likes of Randy Gilongo, Stephanie Aguilar, Phoebe Bitoon, Krissan Manikan and the award-winning University of Santo Tomas (UST) singers.


Imagine the view from the Pen lobby looking up to the third-floor gallery where the UST singers were demonstrating their choral talents, the PPO playing on the mezzanine, with soloists performing on the edge of the balustrade.


The first part of the program ended with “Triumphal March” from “Aida” sung jubilantly by the UST singers. Preceding it was Gilongo’s version of Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” and “E Lucevan Le Stelle.” Manikan sang “Habanera” from Bizet’s “Carmen.”


The second part began with native Christmas songs like “Kampana ng Simbahan,” “Namamasko,” “Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit.”


The highlight of the evening was the presence of Bituin Escalante, who enchanted the audience with Gershwin classics and did a duet with Gilongo in “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”


Finally, all soloists chorused the traditional “Angel from the Realms of Glory.” The choral version of the “1812 Overture of Tchaikovsky” ended the concert on a dramatic note.


Anybody who has experienced any of the “33 Christmas” concerts at the Pen will always remember this year’s edition because the Christmas décor at the lobby is absolutely outstanding. Congratulations to Peninsula Manila’s Mark Choon who is celebrating his first Christmas in the Philippines as general manager.


The show’s sponsors were visibly pleased with the turnout, including former Vatican Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco and daughter Nedy; Philippine Tatler’s Irene Francisco, who was seated with best friend Rena Angeles, while husband Randy was with Eloisa de Leon Klecheski.


I sat with Helen Ong who was with her visiting sister Leona Santos and husband Ben, who were both attending the opening of Poke Poke Restaurant after the concert. At the next table were Malou Unson and Annie Roces.


The lobby and the second floor were packed to the gills with such personalities as Nini Licaros, Elenita Binay, Marieliese Evaristo, Bal and Tess Endriga, Rene Knecht, Marilou Lovina, Evelyn Forbes, Margie Moran Floirendo, Babette Aquino Benoit and Mario Katigbak.


The Christmas concert at the Pen is something to look forward to every year. It is open to the public, so your reservations must come early or you would have something to regret.


 ‘We’ve goat it all’


At the concert, Daniel Velasco greeted me with, “I really enjoy reading your column. Many of your ideas prod me to rethink many of my old beliefs. May I invite you to my four-month-old department store called Merry Seasons located at the Plaza Fair Building, Chino Roces Ave. corner Fernando St. in Makati? Please do not be surprised if you see a goat hanging out at the entrance. It is a special one given to me by a spiritual guru.”


I sent my staff to Merry Seasons to see whether there were any interesting items in the store. Lo and behold, it was filled with one-of-a-kind items which are often sold on a buy-one-take-one basis or an outright 50-percent discount.


If you are enjoying a lucky day, you can call on the owner himself who can decide, on the spot, the best deal he can give you which, sometimes, means getting the item for free.


You will find everything from leather goods, sports apparel, household items, hardware, clothing for men and women, furniture, children’s toys and even grains. The most interesting addition is its food catering from the legendary Sincerity Restaurant (which Jullie Yap Daza and I used to visit often in Chinatown).


Danny is a direct importer of goods from Korea, Hong Kong, Canton China and Bangkok. In the ’70s, he headed the Fairmart Plaza Group of Stores.


My staff said that as they were leaving the premises, the “lucky goat” bleated: “We’ve goat it all.”


 More cheers than jeers?


A recent headline story in the Inquirer was titled, “More cheers than jeers,” regarding President Duterte’s war on drugs. After doing my own survey talking to people from the so-called lower-middle class, these are some of their comments:


“Anim na buwan na akong hindi naho-hold-up or napi-pickpocket (It has been 6 months that I have not been held-up or pickpocketed)”; and from some ladies, who have to commute in the evening: “Hindi na nakakatakot maglakad nang gabi (We are no longer afraid when walking at night).”


I guess this is the level where all the cheers are coming from; the jeers are mostly from the upper-middle class who are bothered and shocked at the number of killings, both judicial and extrajudicial, that have marked the first six months of the Duterte administration. The majority, obviously, belong to the cheering crowd since they outnumber the upper-middle.


This is saying a mouthful about our judicial system where we enjoy greater peace by getting rid of criminals the quickest possible way, judicial or otherwise, because if we don’t, they manage to bail themselves to freedom and repeat the same crimes.


On the other hand, the bigger the crime and the richer the suspect, the greater the chances to be found not guilty, and even when found guilty, can still get a hero’s burial.


That is why many people around the world kiddingly refer to our justice system as “The Money-la, Philippines way.” And this is no joke-joke—’di bolahan ito!

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