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See You Around Karen

Friday, December 28, 2012

Today is my friend K's last day at work. After 16 years with our office, she has decided to resign. The decision did not come easily as all of us, her friends, were convincing her to stay.

Wag muna! 

Five years na lang may pension ka na kasama ang medical insurance.  

Pwede ka naman lumipat na lang ng department.

Mami miss mo kami!

None of what we said could change her mind. It took her a year to arrive to this point but arrive she did. Her mind is made up. All we can do now is support her decision and cheer her on whatever course she takes.

It's the holiday season and most staff are on leave.  On her last day with us, we had a two hour lunch at Sumo San in Megamall. No worries about the long lunch since there were no bosses anyway. I was on leave by the way but joined them along with the Twerp.  We got our orders out of the way so we could get on to talking.

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Spicy Tuna Salad (P218)

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Chicken Teriyaki (P228)

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Sukiyaki

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Japanese Fried Rice (P228)

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K joined our office two years before I did. On my first day at our department, being introduced around to everyone, she stood out as she was very friendly and welcoming. It was very easy to talk to her and to approach her if I needed help with anything. She was the one who said that she recognized me from PNB where we both worked previously. That she also worked there. I was surprised. I'm not good at remembering faces. But I did recall her after a while and I remember even talking to her. We eventually moved to other departments but kept up our friendship. I'm sure that this is not the end of our friendship. I have few close friends but those friends I keep for life. Goodluck K!

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Family Christmas Traditions

Saturday, December 15, 2012

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My family, composed of my Mom and me, followed the Filipino Christmas traditions of hearing mass on Christmas Eve and waiting to kiss the image of the Baby Jesus after the mass, Noche Buena with catanas and queso de bola of course, Christmas trees with trimmings and blinking lights, and gift giving. Even if there was just the two of us, my mother would keep our family tradition. Sad to say, a bad marriage made me lose interest in these Christmas activities. I lost interest in celebrating anything.

Pero may bagong buhay na ako. I now have a precious daughter and a loving, responsible partner. I find myself looking forward to the holidays. But how to celebrate? My partner does not celebrate Christmas as we Filipinos do. Of course he does celebrate the birth of Jesus but he does not believe celebrating it on December 25. I keep explaining that it is a symbolic date. He says it's not right. I don't argue because I converted to his religion and know how conservative it is.

So, this year, the first time I'm giving gifts and celebrating the birth of our Savior, I am finding a middle ground between the traditions I grew up with and the extreme conservatism of my partner's side. Most important of all is to make our daughter understand that Christmas is not about gifts and lights and decorations but about the birth of Jesus. She's too young to grasp it but by celebrating simply and emphasizing gratitude for Jesus' sacrifice, I hope she eventually understands.

What are your family traditions for Christmas?

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