Volume 16 / Issue 63 / 2019
To Start a Relationship with Jesus Christ Admit you have sinned. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 Believe that Jesus is the only Savior. “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 Confess and leave your sin behind. Stop doing and thinking things that displease our Heavenly Father. “If we confess our sins ….” 1 John 1:9 Invite Jesus to be your Savior and the Lord of your life. “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 To continue growing in your relationship with Christ, have fellowship with other believers, read the Bible and pray.
L-R: Patrick, Delsey, Johnson, and Evelyn
MOMS EDITORIAL STAFF Editor: Evelyn Damian Assistant Editor: Delsey Garner Distribution: Johnson Li Cover & Layout: Patrick Tan
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From My Heart Dear Readers, What a delight to end each year with the Christmas holiday! For me, it’s like ending a celebration with fireworks! This is when we see abundant gestures of generous giving, not just of gifts and food but also time, forgiveness and love. This Christmas, let us reflect on how Christ’s birth has affected our lives not only during the season but each day of the year. I can easily relate to an article in this issue that tells about a woman’s journey to a better life. There are also articles on how to have a debt-free Christmas, a mom sharing her own Christmas tradition and finally, a practical article on how to develop a healthy lifestyle. May you all have a happy, healthy Christmas!. Evelyn Damian, Editor
Table of Contents EDITORIAL
From My Heart 3 CHIKA-CHIKA
My Christmas Traditions 4 WISE CHOICES
Stretching Your Pesos this Holiday Season 6 MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Dream Come True
Healthy Holiday Habits 12 Orange & Red Onion Ring Salad 13 ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
Is Santa Claus Real? 14 3
My Christmas Traditions by Rosalind N. Li
eing a Chinoy, I observe many traditions that have been passed down. Of course, these traditions have evolved from one generation to the next, depending on one’s lifestyle and personal circumstances. In this article, I am going to share a few of my favourite Christmas traditions.
Family Reunions Attending my family’s get-togethers had become my tradition for the past 15 years. I still look forward to going back to my hometown in Cebu to see my mom, my siblings and their families. Because everyone is so busy with their lives, these trips are usually short, but sweet, and everyone in my family makes an effort to be present during this time of year. Since it is so rare for my family to all be together, our favourite activity is to have lunch and dinner together. It is a real treat for my mom to see her family complete. When everybody is already full, someone would ask, “Anybody for desserts?” or “Anybody wants to go for coffee?” My heart is always heavy, when our visit comes to an end and I pack my bags because I know I will have to wait until next Christmas before I can see them all again. That is why I keep telling my kids, if someday, life should take them to a different place, they should always make an effort to see their parents like I do. Food and Fellowships Christmas you might say, is the season of eating and feasting. So many invitations begin pouring in left and right that there is no way I can fit them all into my toxic schedule but, with all those tempting dishes, how could I refuse? My problem is that I can’t refuse and that’s why I can’t fit into my body hugging clothes anymore! You know, “dieting” is a taboo word during this season! Do I dare mention all the extra expenses that all of these parties add to my tight budget? Despite all of this, Christmas parties are always very exciting, with the annual heart-stopping raffle and 4
all of my favourite traditional party games. But it is during these times that we strip ourselves of the things that divide us --- no departments, no positions and no differences. All are of one heart to just enjoy the moment and each other’s presence as one family. Gift-giving I believe that there is Rosalind with her family no better time to show our appreciation than during Christmas time. It has been my tradition to give gifts to people around me as a show of appreciation. It can be a stress buying gifts for all the people on my list because I have a limited set budget. It can be really challenging, not because I don’t want to buy expensive stuff, I simply can’t afford it. So I just have fun shopping until my heart is content until everyone on my list gets something within in my budget. I sometimes give gifts in the form of “AngPao”, which is the coveted red envelope that contains money. The monetary content doesn’t have to be big. What matters is the well-wishes that come with it. This Chinese tradition is believed to bestow more happiness and blessings to the receiver. Although this tradition is supposed to be done during Chinese New Year, Chinoys like me give this kind of gift during Christmas, especially when I am busy and don’t have time to shop. Conclusion Friends, my Christmas traditions may not be the same as yours. Christmas should mean more than the social gatherings, shopping and material gifts. What’s important is being in the presence of families and friends, and having fellowship with the Lord Jesus who is the reason for the season. Start your own meaningful Christmas traditions this year! 5
Stretching Your Pesos this Holiday Season Eight Tips for Handling Finances for the ‘Ber’ Months by Hazel A.B. Javier
oes it sometimes feel like the holidays “take” your money away and then you are left with a lot of debt the following year? Don’t lose hope, we can have an enjoyable debt-free kind of Christmas season. Here are eight tips for us who want to give our loved ones the best they deserve but also need to pay our regular bills. S-tewardship is key. All our time, talents and treasures come from God and we are only “caretakers” of all these resources. As such, we have to be careful how we spend them. The Bible says those who can be trusted with little can also be trusted with much; those who are dishonest with little, will also be dishonest with much. The question is, “...if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:11, NIV) T-hink thoughtfully for each gift. Don’t just grab an item and later assign it to whomever. The best gifts do not have to cost a lot. As much as possible, stick to a fixed budget per gift. Consider giving based on Gary Chapman’s book, “The 5 Love Languages,” like words of affirmation, service, quality time, physical touch and gifts. For example, your husband may feel most loved with quality time. Surprise him with a movie date night.
E-xchange-gift(s) only when necessary. You don’t have to participate in every Kris Kringle or “Gift-exchange” if you are on a tight budget. It’s okay to participate in the happy celebrations and join the fun games instead. W-in against spoilage. If you’re gifting food, consider how much of that food item the receiver may also get from other friends. For potluck parties, make sure that you know how much food to prepare to avoid left-overs. A tip I got from Elaine St. James’ book, Simplify Your Christmas, is to “undereat” by having a simple meal on Christmas day. Serving less food on the noche buena table does not mean we’re not thankful for a good year. A-dd a personal touch. In the corporate world, customizing products or services is a big thing. We can make our family and friends feel special when we custom-make or add personal touches to our gifts before we give them away. R-euse, upcycle, be as creative as you can be. Instead of using expensive gift wrapping paper, use old calendars or newspapers. Add a bit of color with a yarn or a pretty bow. D-ecide to buy ahead of the Christmas rush. Spaghetti and fruit salads are common menu items, and their prices skyrocket come December so start buying grocery items before “ber” months begin. S-implify. Robinson and Staeheli said in the book they co-authored, Unplug the Christmas Machine, that we can have a simple yet meaningful Christmas. In our Christmas gift lists, let’s remember the people who truly need our gifts, expressing our love in more direct ways than gifts. We can choose holiday events that are reflective of our deepest values, all the while rededicating ourselves to our spiritual growth. Let’s ask, “How does all this spending bring value and enrichment to my relationship to others?” Finally, let’s be good stewards, not only of the possessions we have, but of the great news of the birth of Christ our Savior. 7
by Delsey Garner with Evelyn Damian
Dianne and her daughter
Dianne Imson is the owner of a small, cozy cafĂŠ in her hometown. She was the first to use pastillas to decorate the cakes. She appeared in a number of morning television shows and has traveled to different places to train people how to make pastillas cake dĂŠcoration. For many years in the past, Dianne worked hard to be successful in the field that she chose, but nothing she did or planned went well. In this article, she shares her journey and the lessons she has learned. Dianne, tell us your story.
Dianne at work
amulat ako sa well-off na pamumuhay. My parents were in fish trading business. They gave me everything I wanted kasi nag-iisa akong babae at bunso pa sa apat na magkakapatid.They treated me like a princess. Lahat ng attention ay nasa akin but everything changed nang nag-iba ang hanapbuhay ng parents ko. Marami silang mga pautang na hindi na nabayaran. Nawala ang buhay na sagana. Wala na akong yaya, pati mga kasambahay dahil wala na kaming pambayad sa kanila. Ako na ang gumagawa
ng mga household chores. I still remember na nagsasaing ako at ang ipinangsisindi ko ng kalan ay listahan ng mga pautang ng mommy at daddy ko na hindi na nasingil. Mga ilang notebooks din iyon. Just imagine ang mga pera na nawala talaga!
“When I gave up my plans and dreams and went back to serving the Lord, hindi ko alam na tinutupad na pala Niya ang mga pangarap ko.” Nakapagtapos ako ng pag-aaral dahil sa support ng parents and tita ko. I graduated from college with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. After graduation, I worked in a 5-star hotel in Manila and then I went to work in a 5-star hotel in Singapore. Akala ko maganda itong opportunity. Kailangan ko ‘yun for my family pero iba ang nangyari. Pagdating sa Singapore, nagbago ang buhay ko. Dito sa Pilipinas, active ako sa church. I read the Bible everyday and I was a worship leader. Doon, attender na lang ako sa church at nag-iba ang lifestyle ko. I worked as a bartender. Natuto akong uminom. Every night, I would go home na lasing, nahihilo at
nagsusuka, and got involved in a wrong relationship. Malaki ang sahod ko sa hotel, pero ang cost of living dun ay napakataas din so dun lang napunta ang salary ko. At some point, na-realize ko na hindi ito nakakatulong sa akin pero nandun na ako at ayokong umuwi na failure, besides I had a contract with the hotel. Nang malapit na mag-expire ang working permit ko, I applied for a job in other hotels. Pasado naman ako but the Ministry of Manpower didn’t give me a new work permit kasi hindi daw well recognized ang school ko. That time, I felt discrimination and rejection. Sobra akong na-depress pero hindi pa rin ako bumalik ng Pilipinas. I was still hoping na makakahanap pa ako ng magandang career doon pero hanggang nag-expire na ang work permit ko at illegal alien na ang status ko, hindi pa din ako nabigyan ng another working permit so bumalik na lang ako sa Pilipinas. What challenges did you encounter nang umuwi ka? I felt na naging obstruction ‘yung job abroad sa plano ni Lord for me. Hindi ako agad nakabalik sa church namin, parang nahihiya ako. Nag-try muna akong maghanap ng trabaho para ma-cover up ‘yung failure ko working abroad. I worked as a supervisor pero ang sahod ko ay napunta lang sa pamasahe. That time, nag-break din kami ng boyfriend ko kaya na-depress ako. Wala na nga akong trabaho, tapos wala pa akong love life. I was prescribed anti-depressant pills for months and then I met a guy na akala ko siya na ang bigay Continued to next page
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
ng Lord. Siyempre naglo-long ako ng love… ng care. Tinanggap niya ako kahit na may depression ako at magkasama kaming nag-put up ng small business sa sidewalk. Hindi ‘yun madali kasi pinagtatawanan ako ng mga ka-batch ko. “Nagtitinda na lang sa bangketa si Dianne.” Biro mo, before nagtratrabaho ako sa 5-star hotel, ang naging ending ko nagtitinda ng ukay-ukay sa kalye, ng kwek-kwek, tokwa, barbecue, buco, nakapwesto kami sa gutter. Eventually, nauwi sa mali ang relationship namin at nagkaroon kami ng anak pero naghiwalay din kami. After that, nag-decide akong mag-focus sa church kasi in pain na ako pagdating sa career, emotions at spiritual. Hindi na ako naging productive. Nang nagkahiwalay na kami ng tatay ng anak ko, pinursue ko yung business. I gave up my plan to go abroad. Nag-start ako ng small business. When I was in Singapore, na-inspire ako ng chef doon who was making edible flowers using chocolate molds. So what I did dito sa atin, nag-decorate ako ng mga cakes gamit naman ang simpleng pastillas na ibinebenta ko dati sa bangketa. Self-taught lang iyon at binabali ko pa noon ‘yung kutsara para may panghiwa ako sa pastillas kasi wala akong cutter. Kamay lang ang gamit ko in molding it into a flower. Sa kaka-practice ay nadevelop ‘yun hanggang na-discover ako sa baking industry sa art ko na iyon at ilang beses akong nai-feature sa TV. Na-invite ako sa iba’t ibang lugar sa bansa natin to teach this art at dun nag-start ang financial breakthrough ko. Nakaipon ako at naipatayo ko itong café. When I gave up my plans and dreams and went back to serving the 10
Lord, hindi ko alam na tinutupad na pala Niya ang mga pangarap ko. Nagulat na lang ako isang araw, andito na itong café. Mas higher pala ang plans ng Lord for me. Ang gusto pala Niya ay maging owner ako, maging boss. What lessons did you learn from your experiences? Those times na I made mistakes or had wrong relationships, wala akong kapayapaan. I’ve learned na kapag nasa wrong relationship ako, bumabagsak ang career ko pati na paglilingkod ko sa Lord. Noong minsan pati ‘yung mga kabataan na dinadala ko sa Lord nawala. How could I mentor them kung ako mismo nasa sin? Siguro consequence rin na naapektuhan ang finances ko. Akala ko nga when I let go of my wrong relationship, agad-agad babalik ang favor pero hindi. I know merong itinuturo sa akin si Lord. Despite that, naramdaman ko naman ang pagiging forgiving and merciful Niya, na kahit na sumuway tayo, when we acknowledge our sins and repent, gumagawa Siya ng panibagong ruta para makabalik tayo doon sa original destiny na inihanda Niya para sa atin. Sa sitwasyon na walang-wala na ako, tinuruan ako ng Lord mag-respond ng tama. Kahit nagkagipit-gipit ako, inihinto ko ang pangungutang. Bakit? Una, gusto kong maranasan ‘yung himala ng Lord. Sabi ko, “Lord, ayoko nang mangutang. I want to experience your way.” Kasi ang pangungutang, sa karanasan ko, hindi ako naiahon nyan instead lalo pa akong ibinaon. For me, a miracle happened already, ‘yung change of heart ko at ‘yung transformation ng aking mindset.
Pictures above show Dianne in her shop with some of her creations.
What will you tell mothers who are struggling to get the pieces of their life together? Kung single mom ka, masakit na maiwan ng partner mo pero â€˜yung love na hinahanap mo ay huwag mo sa tao hanapin. Si Lord lang ang makapagbibigay nun saâ€™yo, bubuuin ka ni Lord. Our perfect time is going to come. Dati ay hindi ganoon ang mindset ko pero ngayon ipinagkatiwala ko na ang buhay naming mag-ina, even my love life, to the Lord. Every time na nakakaramdam ako ng doubt, I just go back to prayer and to the Word of God. I realized that my identity comes only from our Creator, not from people or the things around me. Let God be the Author of our Love Story, He will give us His Best. Pagdating sa aking anak, lagi ko siyang kasama sa church and I make sure that everything is balanced sa pamilya,
sa business at sa ministry ko. Tinuruan ako ni Lord ayusin ang lahat. Do you consider yourself a generous person? Si Lord ay naging generous sa mga tao, mabuti man sila o hindi, kaya I feel I have to be generous din sa kapwa, mabuti man sila sa akin o hindi. In our church, I am faithful in giving, so noong panahon na wala ako at nang nagkaroon ako, ganoon pa din ang puso ko. Ang naiiba lang ay ang amount na ibinibigay ko. Generosity does not only mean giving gifts, money, etc., but the best thing we could give specially this Christmas season is forgiveness to those who have hurt us, even if they never asked for it, mag release lang tayo lagi ng pagmamahal at pagpapatawad, for Christ our Lord symbolizes love and forgiveness. 11
Healthy Holiday Habits by Evelyn G. Damian
Photo by Alvin Abad
e all want to enjoy a happy, healthy life! We may know what we need to do but it’s just too hard to begin. Having healthy, holiday habits don’t just happen. You have to start somewhere, practice everyday and persist! Bel Bontilao is a pastor, a pastor’s wife and a mother to two boys, ZK and Zach. She shares how she developed some simple habits that resulted in a healthier lifestyle for her and her family. Food While food is essential to the body, it can also be harmful if we are not mindful of what we eat. After Bel had her gallbladder removed, she had to re-think what to eat. She says, “Natuto akong mag-isip ng alternative sa mamantikang pagkain. Ang street food, kain lang tayo ng kain, hindi natin namamalayan, nakaka-affect na pala sa health natin, besides hindi rin magandang mag-recycle ng oil. Kung gusto mo ng sunny side up egg, pahiran lang ng oil ang pan tapos mahinang apoy, perfect na ang sunny side up! Na-open din ang mind ko sa ibang option like baking, steaming and grilling. Ang fruits kung mahal, we eat more vegetables na lang. I take advantage of what is in season at kung ano’ng nutritious. Water When I had Urinary Tract Infection. I was adviced to drink 12 glasses of water everyday. Inaral ko
kung paano pagkakasyahin ‘yun so 2 glasses before and after meals tapos 3 times a day ako kumakain, total of 12 glasses na. Maganda din na kada ihi, ay iinom ng tubig. ‘Yun ang nagpagaling sa UTI ko at nakatulong rin ito sa skin ko, kahit hindi ako mag-lotion, moist pa rin at walang amoy ang katawan. Sleep I was a night person pero pwedeng i-train ang sarili to sleep early tapos before, ang normal sleep ko ay 4 hours lang kasi I’d wake up early para mag-makeup. So instead of putting make up, itutulog ko na lang. You really have to choose what to give up so you can sleep longer, baka sa iba ay watching TV, playing games or chatting with friends. Exercise Be intentional in finding a way to exercise. Hindi naman kinakailangang
nasa gym ka. Noon, we used the stairs kaya baba-akyat ‘yun. Patakbo akong umaakyat, iniisip kong ‘yun ang exercise ko. Pwede ring jumping rope, hula hoop, etc. Ang importante ay gumalaw-galaw. The goal is to be fit and healthy. How to Start a Healthy Habit Start little. Dapat may plan. Stick to one goal at a time. Ano ang pinaka-doable sa iyo, for example, mas doable ang pag-increase ng water intake kaysa mag-change ng food, so ‘yun lang muna para hindi complicated. Next naman ‘yung pag -increase ng pagkain ng gulay, instead na mas madami ang karne. Develop the habit before proceeding to the next step. Continued to next page
• 5 Navel oranges, peeled and thinly sliced • 3 medium-sized red onions, peeled, thinly sliced and separated into rings • 1 large singkamas, peeled and cut into thin slices
• ¼ c Olive oil • 1-3 Tbsps Calamansi juice • 1 Tbsp Cider vinegar • ½ tsp salt • ¼ tsp Chili powder • Hot sauce (optional)
Combine first 5 ingredients in a jar with tight fitting lid. Shake well to blend. Add hot sauce if you want more spicy taste. Let stand for several hours and shake well before using.
Arrange slices of orange, onion and singkamas on a platter. Drizzle with the dressing.
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
Just Asking with Peter Banzon
How should I answer my kids’ question about Santa Claus when all his little cousins believe in him?
hen kids ask about Santa Claus, telling them the truth at a young age is important. The Bible commands us to speak the truth. Santa Claus does not fly with Rudolf the reindeer, he does not leave gifts tucked in socks or under the tree. There is no Santa Claus who sees kids when they are sleeping, who knows if they’re awake, and knows if they have been bad or good. Only God has that ability. Santa Claus is a myth. As parents we tell our kids fairy tales, and then we make them understand they are “make believe.” Santa Claus should be no exception! Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus Christ and why he came into our world. The birth of Jesus Christ is the most amazing story of all, surpassing the myth of a Santa Claus. God the maker of the universe entered the world in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. He was born of the Virgin Mary at a point in time and lived a perfect life. He bore our sins and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. But He rose again from the dead and offers eternal life to all who would trust him.
Healthy Holiday, continued.
Couple’s/Family Getaway It’s important na meron kaming “getaway” to relax and keep us mentally fit. Ito ‘yung pinaglalaanan namin ng budget. Ang una ay para sa aming wedding anniversary. After namin mag-celebrate today, meron na kaming next year’s itinerary and we start saving for that. Kung may airfare ‘yan, we wait for “promos”. Next is summer vacation for the family. This is for our children kaya ang masusunod ay kung ano’ng gusto nilang activities and food. Kapag gusto mong paglaanan, pagkakasyahin mo kung ano’ng meron. Kung ito lang ang na-save namin for the whole year, ina-adjust namin kung saan kami pupunta, pero natutuloy talaga iyan. We look forward to that every year! 14
Happy Healthy Christmas | Moms Magazine 63