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Accepting all types of Private or Group Insurance Plan Wala bang babayaran? Your prescription could be covered by Private or Group Extended Health Insurance. Kung may problema sa paa o mga katanungan, we invite everyone to come for consultation. We are happy to serve our kababayan.



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‘Tis the Season 10 Christmas & New Year’s – Pinoy Style

14 Man in the Mirror 18 T AHANAN MO (Make-Over) TIPS with Love 20 Packaged A guide to preparing a balikbayan box Pettierre-Dosayla: 24 Carmelita Our Very Own Florence Nightingale 26 Christmas Shopping On A Budget

Family Life

28 Cover Story Unexpected Warmth and Glory:

The Belen

32 Chilling During Winter Season 34 BIG Families, BIG Traditions HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS 36 Where to go... your side or my side? 40 Miles Away for the Holidays 42 Why There Is High Tide During Full Moon 44 Let’s Go Carolling Ways to Stay on Track with your 46 10Fitness Goals this Holiday Season 48 Joanne Lorenzana: Between Seasons Community Life

52 Hapinoy Panalo! 56 Community Corkboard

In Every Issue • Over a Cup of Tea • Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives • My Play Area • My Kitchen • My Library • Here at the Spot • Views from My Window • Community Corkboard

“ TAHANAN” is the Filipino word for ‘home’ – from the root word, ‘tahan’, which means to stop the baby’s crying or to take away one’s sadness.

 hus, ‘tahanan’ is usually associated with the mental or emotional state of comfort or refuge, a physical structure or locale where families return T to after a day’s work, a place of rest, a sense of belonging and a place where fun and love abound. That is what TAHANAN Magazine is all about!



From the Publisher’s Desk


Publisher/Marketing Director

Ronnie Dela Gana Creative Director

Calixto Quiachon Editorial Director

Claire Dela Gana Circulation & Operations Director

Marlyn Quiachon Managing Editor

Joi Lardizabal Staff Writers

Anne Simon Kate Garbino Veronica Javier Chris Catral Anne Wong Marketing/Sales Team

Clarisse Rajappan John Tan June Mado Chief Photographer

brings, others love the cold of winter. I have no favourite. I love them all. I love the changing of the seasons. With the arrival of winter, we are about to complete the full cycle of the seasons and about to end this calendar year. The same goes with

Romeo Yuayan

TAHANAN Magazine. We complete our first year of publication with our


winter/holiday issue. Time does indeed fly and what a fruitful and blessed

Jun Afable Contributing Writer

maiden year it has been! We are very grateful to all the advertisers supporting TAHANAN.

Cocoi Javier Christian Alvarez Carlo Balagasay Pete Lintag

We thank all the people who allowed us to peek into their lives and

Circulation Assistants

same appreciation goes to our contributing experts who imparted their

Jimmy Carrillo, Edgar Arenajo, Joel Cleofe

knowledge and skills. To all our valued readers and followers, our

Area Advertising/Circulation:

sincerest appreciation. We hope we brought inspiration, information and

GTA: 647-427-8771 Durham Region: Chat Magpayo-289.240.1502 Barrie/Newmarket: Jonathan Savella-416.939.5648 Kitchener/Waterloo: Haidee Nefulda-519.954.3099 Hamilton/Guelph/Cambridge: Gerardo De La Torre-519.767.1055 TAHANAN Magazine is published quarterly (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) by TAHANAN Media Publication Inc. The publisher accepts no responsibility for advertisers’ claims, unsolicited articles, transparencies and other materials. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without written permission of the publisher.

who willingly shared their wisdom learned from life’s challenges. The

entertainment into your homes. Seasons will keep changing. It does not matter from what season to another. I anticipate with certainty the progress from one season to another, from one year to a new one, from one magazine issue to another. New things always come with change – new faces, new friends, new stories and new things to learn. But until then, let us enjoy the best of what winter has to offer. Let us bring out our Christmas decors, Christmas trees, capiz-made parols

Copyright © 2011 TAHANAN Media Publication Inc. ISSN 1925-2781. Proudly printed in Canada.

and belens. Let us get ready physically for the demands of the holidays.

TAHANAN Media Publication Inc. 85 Ellesmere Rd. P.O. Box 62502 Scarborough, ON M1R 5G8 Tel: 647-427-8771 Email:

enjoy the season with and where it matters most – at home with our family.


One of the things that fascinates me in this country is its four seasons – spring, summer, fall and winter. Some people love the heat summer time

ARTICLE PROPOSALS and unsolicited articles can be emailed to editor@ or mailed to EDITOR, TAHANAN Magazine, 85 Ellesemere Road, PO Box 62502, Scarborough, ON M1R 5G8. TERMS OF SUBMISSION: By submitting anything to TAHANAN Magazine in any format, written or otherwise, you agree that (1) Your submission and their contents will automatically become the property of TAHANAN Media Publication Inc., without any compensation to you. (2) TAHANAN Media Publication Inc. may use or redistribute the submissions and their contents for any purpose and in any way; and (3) there is no obligation to keep any submissions confidential.


Most importantly, prepare spiritually for the true meaning of Christmas and

Maligayang pasko at manigong bagong taon! Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Ronnie Dela Gana Publisher

Letters to the Editor

From the Editor’s Desk I have just read the Fall issue of Tahanan Magazine and am really impressed work. and


and is










accomplishment. Scenes of political leaders resigning due to failing economy, Lindsay Lohan serving community hours in the morgue, late night

- Rodel M., Mississauga

hosts poking fun at Kim Kardashian’s brief marriage, and Occupy protesters camping out in the park – all these images seem to drown out the wonderful, joyful Season ahead. What is so special about Christmas in this post-modern world we now live in? Between the old and the new testaments in the Bible was 400

I enjoyed reading your article about





silent years. The new testament begins with Rome as the dominant

informative. I find it funny when you

power of the earth, the political setting of the first Christmas. Instead

said that you are never superstitious

of a palace fit for the King of Kings, Jesus Christ was born in a humble

but you knocked on wood, haha.

manger, surrounded by bewildered shepherds.

I know you were just kidding. My

In this issue, we strive to re-enact that spirit of the true Christmas story through Anne’s article about the Belen, nostalgic descriptions of our unique Pinoy way of celebrating the birth of the Saviour, and friendly reminders promoting sharing and giving tidings of joy this season.

Don’t forget to check out our mouth-watering

recipes, inspiring interviews with singer Joanne Lorenzana and top nurse Carmelita Petierre-Dosayla, as well as practical tips on how to smartly fill up a balikbayan box. Today, God may seem to be “silent” again with all the economic woes going on in the world today. But there is always hope when we





the late 1800’s) didn’t believe in superstitions either. They know lots of them but they just smiled when they were telling them to us. So my parents and my siblings don’t believe in superstitions.

- Delia C, Toronto

have faith. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) A blessed Christmas and a Spirit-filled New Year to all!

Joi Lardizabal Managing Editor Your feedback, comments and suggestions are important to us. Email us at


Tuloy po kayo.

Kanyong Kawayan by Romi C MananQuil Oil on canvas 24� X 30�

Ang gawa sa pagkabata, dala hanggang pagtanda. (What one learns in childhood he carries into adulthood.)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6 8


- Filipino Proverb

Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future. - Deepak Chopra

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. - Benjamin Franklin







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Pinoy Life

‘Tis the Season Christmas & New Year’s – Pinoy Style By Anne Simon

Ang pasko ay sumapit tayo ay mangagsi-awit… Have yourself a merry little Christmas… For auld lang syne, my dear. For auld lang syne. We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne…


h, the holidays are upon us. What do you love about Christmas and New Year’s? Think back to your most memorable holiday gatherings. Perhaps you’re picturing the time when you went door to door singing Christmas carols. Or when you ate more than enough during Noche Buena (Spanish for “Good Night” referring to Christmas Eve) at your lola’s (grandmother) house? Maybe images of friends and cousins playing with fireworks in the Philippines linger in your mind? Or was it the fireworks display at Lakeshore and Wonderland that you visualized? Holiday celebrations often provide us with a story to tell. Let’s reminisce on previous festivities and look forward to making new memories this season as we explore the holiday traditions in the Philippines and here in Canada.

It’s a celebration! In the Philippines and in Canada, gatherings happen with our family, coworkers, friends such as batchmates (classmates), and communities. One of the unique celebrations held in the Philippines is the barangay (village or district) parties. There are contests and games, gift-giving, and of course buffet-style food! Households would prepare food for passersby to enjoy, especially after attending mass at church. In the workplace, plenty of gift-giving happens. Some companies in the Philippines give Christmas packages to each employee. These packages include treats such as queso de bola (ball of cheese), hamon (ham), fruit cocktail,


and spaghetti. Employees are also given monetary Christmas bonuses and the mandatory 13-month pay in December. In Canada, various citywide holiday celebrations are held. The Cavalcade of Lights and the Santa Claus parade, both in November, mark the beginning of holiday season in Toronto. At the Cavalcade of Lights there’s live entertainment, ice skating, fireworks, and the lighting of the city’s giant Christmas tree. The Santa Claus Parade showcases marching bands, including the Philippine Heritage Band, and colourful display of floats and animated characters. The highlight of the parade is the arrival of Santa Claus!

Church bells ringing Amidst the holiday festivities is the religious practices followed by Christians of varying denominations. In the nine days before Christmas, Catholic Filipinos attend pre-dawn masses to obtain special graces. This practice is called Simbang gabi, which was introduced to the Philippines in the 17th Century by Catholic missionaries. Simbang gabi Some of the popular attractions in the Philippines that boast grand Christmas decorations include: • COD Christmas show in Greenhills (San Juan) • Giant lantern festival in Pampanga • Casa Santa Museum in Antipolo Rizal • Cubao’s Giant Christmas Tree • Policarpio Street in Mandaluyong For more details visit http://

began at 4am, during the nine-day devotion to the Virgin Mary, to fit with the schedule of the farmer or fishermen workers (Source: http:// Today, Catholics in the Philippines continue to attend pre-dawn masses for nine days. In Canada, Simbang gabi masses are held during the evening (e.g. 8pm) to keep the tradition alive. Louie, an IT consultant in Toronto, recalls his religious practices in the Philippines during holiday season. As a Filipino Baptist, he would attend worship service every 24th of December to commemorate Jesus’ birth. He remembers the gathering of fellow Baptists as they form a choir to prepare for Christmas carolling. The group would spend their own money for transportation and other expenses to different households, singing Christmas carols. Louie stresses that singing Christmas carols is treated as an evangelical practice by Baptists as a way to share their faith to others, without expecting monetary donations.

Parol, Christmas tree & everything in between Christmas decorations provide a visual expression of the holiday spirit. Decorations are displayed in malls, amusement parks, events, museums, workplaces, and households. In the

Various cities in Canada celebrate the season with a number of Christmas tree lighting events and festival of lights, such as the Christmas Lights Across Canada ceremony in Ottawa. Here in Toronto, events displaying Christmas decors include: • Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery Historic District • One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale exhibit for decorating ideas • Kensington Market Winter Solstice (formerly known as Festival of Lights) lantern parade • Cavalcade of Lights For more details visit

Philippines, decorating begins as early as September. The streets and houses are filled with colourful decors, including streamers, lights, Christmas trees, angel figurines, candles, wreath, parol (Filipino Christmas lantern) and the belen (representing the nativity scene). Filipinos in Canada usually start decorating in November, after Thanksgiving and Halloween celebrations. Houses are decorated with enticing lights and inviting displays of snowman, reindeers and Santa Claus figures outdoors. Inside the homes you’ll find a Christmas tree (fresh cut or artificial) with gifts underneath, stockings hanging above a fireplace, display of colourful pine cones and poinsettias (Christmas plant). Some Filipinos in Canada feel nostalgic when decorating their homes. Rose, a proud grandmother living in Scarborough, reminisces on the abundant display of parol around her neighbourhood in the Philippines. When she purchased a parol in a nearby Filipino store, she compared it the Western tradition of purchasing a Christmas tree. She shared its significance to her 5-yearold grandson who she hopes will one day experience the holidays in the Philippines.

Tatlong hari (Three Kings) On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me… You’ve probably heard this famous Christmas song before and wondered, why twelve? The twelfth day after Christmas is known as The Feast of the Three Kings (i.e. the Epiphany). In some cultures, gift giving is done on this day. The Epihany marks the end of Christmas season, celebrating the visit of the three kings to the Christ Child. In the Philippines, the end of celebration is on the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, marked by the procession of the Black Nazarene in

Some Filipinos follow these superstitions on New Year’s Eve to invite fortune in their life for the next twelve months: • scatter coins around the house • fill your pockets with money • wear polka-dots clothes • decorate the house with circular objects, such as a round pillow • prepare 12 round fruits Source:

Manila, Cagayan de Oro, and Quiapo church (where the Black Nazarene’s image currently resides). The Black Nazarene is a life-sized, dark-coloured sculpture of Jesus, which some Filipinos believe to be miraculous (Source: http://www.wikipedia. com). Filipinos in Canada celebrate the Epiphany by attending scheduled masses. In the next year, Epiphany falls on January 6, 2012. But in most countries including Canada, it is celebrated on a Sunday, which will fall on January 8, 2012.

Happy New Year! 10… 9… 8… 7… Another year already? Bring on the parties, fireworks, resolutions… and circular objects? For Filipinos, the preparation of traditional meals doesn’t end on Christmas day. Bisperas ng Bagong Taon (New Year’s Eve) calls for, you guessed it, more eating. The Media Noche (midnight meal) is part of the festivities alongside the abundant display of fireworks. In the Philippines, New Year’s Eve has become the noisiest night of the year. Regardless of the known dangers in handling some fireworks, Filipinos continue to use them to ring in the new year. Luisa, an ECE student at Ryerson University, admits to fearing watusi (type of firework) as a child living in Las Pinas. She prefers to

To further prepare for the New Year, Filipinos set resolutions to make changes in their lifestyle. Common resolutions include • losing weight (exercise and diet) • getting out of debt • spending more time with family and friends.

associate New Year’s Eve with gifts she used to receive from her family, such as the red envelope (enclosed with monetary gift) she often received from her half-Chinese, half-Filipino grandparents. In Canada, large gatherings for New Year’s Eve celebrations are held in clubs, event halls, restaurants, houses, and city central locations. In Toronto, thousands gather at the Nathan Phillips Square annually for a public New Year’s Eve party to watch live entertainment, fireworks, and join the count down to the new year. Every year there comes a time when Filipinos are less frustrated with the ongoing traffic in the Philippines, when nothing can stop them from splurging at the divisorias (market), and when they spend their savings to travel hours for a reunion at their province. In Canada, this is also a time when Filipinos insist on braving the cold, ice, and slush outdoors to line-up at the Filipino store for the tasty pineapple ham, to splurge on a parol and a freshly cut Christmas tree, and to buy last-minute gifts. This is the holidays—the time for preparations, celebrations, laughter, and togetherness. Have a merry Christmas, and a happy new year! T Anne Simon is proud to declare that she has been nice all year, so she’s awaiting abundant gifts from Santa! For comments and feedback please email


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Pinoy Life

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

Featuring the astonishing and inspiring stories of everyday heroes

Man in the Mirror By Veronica Javier

Manuel (Manny) Reyes Austria, 78, from Los Banos, Laguna, a retired administrator of the University of the Philippines, came independently to Canada in 1999. As a retiree, Manny hoped that he would enjoy his golden years in peace. However, like so many newcomer Filipinos, Manny faced an uphill battle settling into an inhospitable territory.

Learning how to survive


anny experienced personal difficulties in his home life that forced him to fend for himself in an unaccommodating environment. In order to survive, Manuel had to take on multiple jobs that did not reflect his work experience in the Philippines, or his education, a university graduate with a Law degree. “I experienced all the kinds of work that I had never tried/ experienced before.” In one of the lowest points of his life as a newcomer with no family, or close friends in Canada, Manny recalled even staying in a shelter. For Manny, the years he endured trying to stabilize his life was one of the hardest and most challenging times. The structural barriers and challenges he faced settling in Canada instilled in him an independent and strong-willed spirit which has since helped him push through experiences of devaluation for example. “When I got here, it doesn’t matter what you did 14 TAHANAN

there (Philippines), I’m nobody here, unless you have to validate your degree or upgrade the education you had.” Manny not only persevered through the harsh reality, but his experiences also allowed him to recognize how he could help others also experiencing challenges in their daily living.

Seeing yourself in others Four years ago Manny became a volunteer with the St. Clair West Services for Seniors. Twice a week he serves elderly clients at the centre, “I’m assigned in the dining room, kitchen/dining hall. I set out the plates, I put out the place-mats, their utensils, glasses.” At times he is the only volunteer serving the elderly clients who have Alzheimer’s. His duties are simple yet important; especially to those who have no family, or close friends to help them, Manny is there for them.

For Manny volunteering is of great benefit for him because it keeps him active. He also finds solace in the idea that whilst staying active, he’s doing something “for the best interest of the seniors, especially those who cannot help themselves anymore. Because most of the time I do the feeding of Alzheimer clients.”

Loving your service When asked what makes a good volunteer, Manny replied that one must love the work they’re doing, be dedicated and compassionate, and always willing to learn.

“…there is no limit for learning. Try to learn, learn, learn.” Not only in reading or what, but try to interact with people because by talking to people/interacting you are learning something, and at the same time they are learning from you. Especially if you come from a different place. Interaction is really very important.” In the deeper sense, and as seen through Manny’s actions, an outstanding volunteer is also someone whose commitment is driven by a love for those that they serve. Manny’s volunteer spirit which involves: having a strong-will; dedication to service, especially for those challenged by daily struggles; and willingness to divein to new learning experiences, serve as a reminder and inspiration of what people can do no matter their age and circumstance.

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Did you know? Manny’s volunteer activities also include working with such organizations as: Knights of Columbus • Order of the Knights of Rizal • The Pillars • Silayan

Achievements: • About seven years ago, Manny was cited in several media outlets as the oldest member of the maintenance staff of the Sports Clubs of Canada, outgunning about 120 maintenance workers, for never having been absent or late for work. • 2003 Sports Club of Canada award, maintenance worker of the year recognition. • Knights of Columbus Certificate of Merit, acknowledging 36 years of service. • Volunteer Service Award for 4 years of service with the St. Claire West Services for Seniors, August, 2011. • Canada-Toronto Challenge for the 2011, runner/participant.

Want to make a difference in someone’s life? Visit http://www. for more information and ways you can be of service in your neighbourhood. Have a comment or feedback? Email me at

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Pinoy Life



osting a party? Tired of the way a room looks? Putting your home on the market? When you have the sudden inspiration to re-arrange your furniture or go shopping around for some new lights or couches, how do you know what to do or what to look for? Whatever your motivation to transform your home without breaking a budget, here are a few tips you might want to keep in mind:

1. Declutter. Less clutter is more space. Purge the room of all unnecessary items you have accumulated over the years. If you haven’t used it in the past year or two, then maybe it’s time to get rid of it. If you really must keep it, then organize it.

2. Have a focal point. The simpler, the better. Showcase the spaciousness and the brightness of your home. When you enter a room that has too many things in it that are all competing for your


attention, your eyes are overwhelmed. So once you’ve got your focal point, you will start to feel that your tahanan will really be a tahanan or a retreat. It will also be easier to maintain and clean.

3. Lighting. If you were to invest in a room, your lighting situation would be a great place to start. There are many cheap lights available out there that look great, but be mindful of the overall impact/mood you want in a room.

4. Minimal accessories. Again, less accessories is better. Imagine yourself when you mix and match your clothes and accessories. For one, your accessories need to match your clothes or in room, they would have to match your theme. My favorite accessory in a room would always be mirrors because it creates more space. One mirror in a room is often enough to brighten it up-- so don’t overdo it! T Interested in more tips? Want advice about a space you want to transform? Ask Pete Lintag! Better home, better lifestyle!

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Pinoy Life

Over a Cup of Tea

Packaged with Love

A guide to preparing a balikbayan box By Anne Simon


balikbayan box is a cardboard box containing food, clothing, toys, toiletries, and items that may not be available in the Philippines. Filipinos working abroad fill up a balikbayan box with pasalubongs (homecoming gifts) to send (via air or sea) to loved ones in the Philippines. The balikbayan box can also be used as an extra luggage when a suitcase is not enough to bring pasalubongs when visiting or returning to the Philippines. We all have our own way of preparing a balikbayan box, since the needs of our family and friends in the Philippines differ from each other. Francisco and Cristina Galema, for example, find joy in sharing their blessings, like sending medical supplies, to their family and friends in the Philippines. Here are practical tips:

Collect your items Canned goods are one of the most common items in a balikbayan box because of their longer shelf life. Canned poultry, fish, tomatoes and packaged fruit juices can last from 6 months up to a year while canned ham will last for up to 2 years (http:// www.ehow. com). But just to be safe, always check the expiration date printed on the canned food, and account for the approximate time the box will reach its destination (ask your shipping company for details). As you clean out your closet and update your wardrobe, think about your cousin in the Philippines who has been eyeing those shoes you only wore once. Or your tita who complimented one of your designer bags


she saw on your Facebook picture. This is a good time to look for clothes and accessories that you’ve outgrown or bought for reasons you can’t understand now. Trips to the outlet malls, such as the Dixie Outlet Mall in Mississauga, Vaughan Mills Outlet in Toronto, Fashion Outlet in Niagara, or outlet malls in the States, are affordable options when looking for items to add in your box. When in doubt, send chocolates. Unsure of what to give your inaanak sa binyag (godchild at baptism)? Give her chocolates! Better yet, just

include those truffles, snack size bars of M&M® and Hershey®’s kisses for the enjoyment of anyone around to open the box. It’s always a nice surprise to receive chocolates in a box. Individually pack the chocolate with newspaper or Styrofoam with tape around it in order to prevent melting from the heat. When sending a balikbayan box, you can’t avoid receiving special requests from your loved ones in the Philippines. Your lolo and lola might be waiting for those vitamins, oatmeal, and Splenda® that you promised to send. You could brighten up your sister’s day by granting her request of imported make-up and fragrance products.

Tip: Use your points from rewards programs to get free item(s) to add to your balikbayan box. I used my points from Fido to purchase a cell phone for my tita in the Philippines.

Personalize your items So you’ve completed your collection and now you’re ready to put them in your balikbayan box. It’s easy to just throw your items in the box. But you don’t want to cause confusion when your loved ones have no clue which items belong

Take a group of items

to them. Here’s a simple way to manage items in your box: Helpful tips while you pack: • When packing items that contain liquid (e.g. shampoo, perfume, detergent), make sure the caps are sealed or tightly closed. Wrap the cap with tape for additional

protection. You can also place the container in a tightly tied plastic bag to avoid spreading the liquid to other items in the box in case the container breaks. • Wrap fragile items (e.g. dishes, home decors) with bubble wrap or using a few of the clothes and towels in the box.

Place them in a plastic bag or a small bag

Take an individual item

Personalize it!

Personalize it!

Helpful tips after packing: • After adding your items, close and secure the balikbayan box by wrapping it around with a strong tape (e.g. transparent packing tape). This protects the box from varying conditions such as rain. • Label the balikbayan box by adding the recipient’s name and address on all sides of the box. Make sure the label is legible by avoiding cursive handwriting. You can also use a computer to print out the label.

• Let your loved ones in the Philippines know when they should expect the box (delivery takes about 3-5 weeks. Call your preferred balikbayan box company for more details). And tell them to have their valid identification ready to obtain the box. Warning: After the collecting and personalizing of items, feelings of sentimentality, nostalgia, and yearning for your family and friends in the Philippines may

occur. At this point, you can pour your heart out in a letter and add that in with the rest of the items in your balikbayan box. Don’t forget to wish them a Merry Christmas and a Blessed new year!

Anne Simon loves opening presents. She’s hoping to receive a present the size of a balikbayan box this year (the extra-large size, please). For comments and feedback please email




Pinoy Life

Carmelita Pettierre-Dosayla: Our Very Own Florence Nightingale By Joi Lardizabal

Like an ice-cold glass of water in the middle of dry, unforgiving desert dunes. Like a beautiful, wild flower sprouting from a crack of concrete pavement. Like a lone, bright star in a starless, dark night sky. That’s Carmelita PettierreDosayla – the refreshing news we Pinoys have been waiting to read, a true hero we can tell our children.


n June 2011, Carmelita was granted People’s Choice Award by Credit Valley Hospital, for her excellence and infectious enthusiasm in her profession. The People’s Choice Award is a peer to peer recognition program where “employees are recognized by their co-workers for distinction in supporting patient centred care through living the hospital’s values”. Then, in August 2011, Carmelita was named Mississauga’s Top Nurse by the International Association of Nurses (IAN). She was given this prestigious honour for providing admirable and compassionate medical care to the residents of Mississauga and beyond. The IAN highlights and profiles the world’s Top Nurses who demonstrated achievement in their profession, as well as to provide an opportunity to “network, collaborate, and share information with other medical professionals from around the globe”. Carmelita’s biography will appear in the Worldwide Leaders in Health Care, which would include special tribute to her success, shared by thousands of nurses and healthcare professionals throughout the world. Only three awards were handed out worldwide .


The eldest of five, Carmelita grew up in Cadiz, Negros Occidental and took up nursing at University of St La Salle, Bacolod. After graduation, she began her nursing career in Chicago, USA, completed her post-grad studies, and later on moved to Canada. She then sponsored her family – her first husband, her siblings and even her mother reunited with her in Mississauga. “I love being a nurse because I love being with people. I love making people laugh. Life is too short to be pessimistic,” Carmelita gleefully shares with her melodious Ilonggo accent. She still laughs remembering how she always used a foot stool at work because of her petite stature, or how she was nicknamed Tiger because of her boundless energy. Her other moniker was Miss Pardon Me after her frequent asking for clarification from patients and staff to slow down when speaking to her in English. It’s amazing that Carmelita looks at least 15 years younger than her real age, with glowing skin and fit physique. She certainly doesn’t look like she has been working in the Operating Room for 35 years – the most stressful place in any hospital. She relates that OR nurses like her have to adjust to the different personalities, moods and demands of doctors and anaesthesiologists. “You always have to be on the go. You have to be really focused on the surgery process.” However, the apple of her eye are the patients. “As a

Carmelita with husband, Alberto, and children, Mark and Michelle

nurse, I am the patient’s advocate. It is my duty to take care of them. I visit them even during my break times, making sure they are alright. I hold their hands and chat with them and their families. Seeing their recovery makes me happy and fulfilled.” Carmelita’s advice to new immigrants, particularly nurses: Be patient. Don’t give up. There is always hope. Always have a positive attitude and hang in there. Be nice to people around you. She once met a nurse working in Tim Hortons, and kept encouraging her until she finally got hired as a nurse. When her husband passed away in 1996, Carmelita never thought of marrying again. But the following year, she attended a high school reunion and re-connected with Alberto, their batch’s valedictorian and former commissioner of Philippine Energy Regulatory Board, whom she had not seen in 40 years. They got married in 2001, much to their families’ and own pleasant surprise. Not surprisingly, Carmelita’s two grown children, Michelle and Mark, are also nurses, continuing their mother’s impressive legacy. But who would believe Carmelita still eagerly drives her 88-year-old mother to social events and dances? Carmelita credits her regular walks with her husband, and Zumba sessions for her vigour and good health. We are so proud of you, Carmelita! Congratulations! T Joi Lardizabal was so inspired by Carmelita’s healthy lifestyle that she might consider getting out of the swivel chair to invite her husband for a walk – to the kitchen.


Pinoy Life

Views from my windows Gadget, Travel, Cars and More

Christmas Shopping On A Budget By Chris Catral


he Christmas season looms again in the horizon. Decorations are coming out of the closet, office parties are in the planning phase, and we are ready to assume the role of Santa once again. November and December can be the most expensive months of the year as we frequent the malls or online stores to get that perfect gift. Our bonuses from work will be gone, and once January comes, our credit card statement goes through the roof. This whole routine can be familiar to most of us, that is, scrimping once the new-year starts. We can avoid this with some common sense and some discipline. Here are a few tips:

Don’t get tempted! When you are in a mall or doing online shopping, sometimes you are tempted to shop for yourself. This is especially true for myself, guilty as charged. It’s easy to spot an item that is attractive. The allure of Christmas sales can also reel you in; those 30% sales tags can be quite inviting. This is the retailers’ tactic, to entice shoppers by cutting down prices with the help of constant promotions. Each little purchase will pile up in the end and it will be too late for you to realize. Having two separate shopping bags for yourself and others can deplete your funds faster than you think.

Online Shopping

names are on display well below their usual retail price. Of course it could be quite hard for you not to shop for yourself as mentioned above, but the practicality of shopping here weighs more. Quality products can be bought with little dollars spent. I usually cross the border for an hour and a half drive to the Fashion Outlets in Niagara Falls, NY: http://www. It can be hard to set aside some funds earlier in the year, for most, it could be a pipe dream. But with some discipline, it can be attainable.

Start saving early It can be hard to set aside some funds earlier in the year, for most, it could be a pipe dream. But with some discipline, it can be attainable. Take a small percentage of cash from each pay cheque, so you wouldn’t feel the pinch once the last two months of the year nears. Not saving early can result in maxing out your credit cards or using up your line of credits.

Kris Kringle/ Secret Santa Start a Kris Kringle/Secret Santa amongst your family or circle of friends. It can be a fun and creative way to get everyone involved and most importantly, set a budget as agreed upon by the group. This can definitely save some time and money, as you limit yourself to certain stores and items.

Try canvassing online for some deals; there are many websites that offer discounts. It is also a good way to do research on items that you want to purchase before you actually go to the mall; prices can be seen in the brand’s website or in online auctions. Two sites that I go to are E-Bay and Amazon. Books, movies and music are cheaper and sometimes there is free shipping available from some sellers.

Christmas Wrapping

Make a List

With some careful planning and much needed discipline, we can have a very productive and money-saving holiday season. With the stress that we expeWrience lining-up in crowded malls, it could be overwhelming once we overuse our resources. January can be a month of comfort by designing a proper blueprint for shopping. Have a Merry Christmas! T

Narrow down your list to your family and closest friends/ colleagues. You are not obligated to give gifts to everyone you know. Once you make your list, your goal is to set a budget for each person. Set a dollar amount for each, so you can sense what to buy and when to shop. You can always re-adjust the amounts if the total is still too high.

Outlet Malls Good deals are in abundance in these malls; your favorite brand


Peoples’ tastes in wrapping these days are not really relevant if you think about it. Once kids get that presents, they rip up the wrapping, leaving bits and pieces on the floor. Walk through the aisles of dollar/thrift stores to purchase wrapping paper, tags, or tissue. Another good advice is to buy these things after Christmas when the price decreases.

Chris Catral is an up and coming Technical Writer who plans to own his own business in the future.

Be connected. Stay tuned. TAHANAN 27

Cover Story

Unexpected Warmth and Glory:

The Belen

Banal na Pagsilang by Romi C MananQuil Oil on canvas 24” X 30”


By Anne Wong


hristmas time is an adventure not only for the senses, but also for the spirit. This writer revels on where the light leads us parolenamoured folk.

Who wants the honour of placing baby Jesus in the manger? Somehow, of everything else that glows this time of year – a gift-laden tree, a snowcapped miniature village, an amber-hazed fireplace -- it is only a Belen or a Nativity Scene’s empty manger that can make a cup of hot chocolate wait and a Christmas fan more eager.

The Filipino Belen Revisited According to Hagiology (Lives of the Saints) expert Vincent Galileo Loiz, “The tradition of putting up the Nativity Scene or the Christmas Crèche every Christmas was started by Saint Francis of Assisi. We have adopted that tradition in the Philippines (since our Spanish colonization) and called it the “Belen”. The term is actually a corruption of the name Bethlehem, the place of Jesus’ birth. The Filipino Belen has been “Filipinized” but still maintained some of its traditional features: like the virgin Mary and her husband Joseph adoring the infant Jesus on a manger surrounded by the Three Wise Men (bearing their gifts), cattle, donkeys, sheep and shepherds (there are no sheep and shepherds in the Philippines). Oh, and don’t forget the conspicuous angel hovering over them with a ribbon saying “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”. It’s Filipinized in the sense that most of the Belens have their characters in a bahay kubo, not the traditional Bethlehemite cave where Jesus was supposedly born and the star is fashioned after the parol of the Filipinos. The Filipino Belen is also a mixture of the infancy narratives found in the gospels according to Matthew and Luke. Only those gospels contain the story of Jesus’ birth. Only in Matthew can we find the Wise Men visiting Jesus (they symbolize that it’ll only be the Gentiles who will embrace Jesus as the Messiah and not the Jews). The star of Bethlehem and the dominance of the character of Joseph in the story of the nativity of Jesus are also found exclusively in Matthew. Only in Luke can we find the adoration of the shepherds, who symbolize the poor and the sinners who will benefit from


the grace abounding from Jesus’ nativity. Mary (not Joseph) dominates the infancy account in Luke. Some parishes have also tried to make their Belens “extremely Filipinized” in a sense that the main characters – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – are donned in the traditional Filipino vestments. This is called “inculturation”, geared towards making the people who see them feel that the characters and the event would not be alien to them.”

When Expecting a Messiah What warms the heart is the greatness of this simple and particularly dismal situation in which the Savior is introduced, according to Biblical Scholar and Exegete Neil Yapp. He likens appreciating God’s will through the Nativity Scene to watching the end part of a movie and having all the prior scenes make more sense in retrospect. Both shepherds and the Magi knew there was something special about the newborn they are praising, and these two groups could not be any more different. The former were not trusted members of society and the latter were probably astrologers, prophets, or even kings. Jesus is often referred to as the Bread of Life. For the census, Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem, a town whose name in Hebrew means “House of Bread”. Jesus is the Shepherd of Man and He was born among sheep. We partake of Him in the Holy Eucharist and He was cradled in the manger, where animals ate off of. What is most astounding perhaps, Neil pointed out, is how God used this unfamiliar situation and imagery to reveal a Messiah that the Old Testament most likely did not expect. Bethlehem was under the Roman Empire’s rule, Jesus was born in a stable, and the visitors were foreigners. Not to eclipse the glory of the Resurrection in any way, this writer finally asked Neil what his take is on Jesus’ mortality since it has been revealed to us that God has been “talking” thru the Nativity Scene way before Jesus could even talk. The wonderment in Neil’s voice was priceless. He gushed about God’s greatness in wanting to walk and live among us and did just that through Jesus. Men in the traditional sense were slaves to the gods and God turns that right around and has Jesus lead us through serving others.

Being Holy Understanding the need to follow Jesus is part of the message in seeing this baby in the manger. As Christ was front and center in the Belen, so should He be in 30 TAHANAN

our lives. The Belen characters are people of holy purpose and it hits home when we realize we too are called upon to witness the message in the Messiah, that we too are this baby’s family. So are we also called to holiness? Yes, and at face level, it seems daunting. Most of us are guilty, or worse, guiltless, in being lukewarm in our faith. We do not see ourselves worthy of such a calling. But we plan to fail if we only see ourselves trying to fit societal molds, being judged only by our talents and skills, and viewing our limits in dollars and cents. Our character is what makes us thrive and our spirit, what makes us soar. Simple imagery, as proven by the Belen, is proof that character and spirit are what glows right thru the flesh and robes. They might have been called differently; shepherds, kings, stepfather, and mother. But it’s their character that reacted in a holy way while their souls and hearts listened to the message. Never akin your soul to what you might interpret as a mediocre life. God speaks to your soul and not to your position in a job. Therefore, embrace His message with all that you are and take in that warm, glorious feeling you get in the presence of the Belen. As James Hillman beautifully puts it, “For the soul, the idea of mediocrity is meaningless.” Each of us is unique, blessed, and loved. We are to be careful though, not to mistake blessings of love for entitlement. It will always be a conscious choice to serve, which makes celebrating His love especially meaningful. Baby Jesus is finally placed in the manger, with careful hands and beating hearts. While children in churches gleefully crowd around and devotees touch the Belen ensemble with their perfumed kerchiefs, the beginning of the Greatest Story Ever Told is shared both by mouth and by action. In the warming glow of each grateful prayer, families open up their hearts and make room for more of the love that satisfies in bounds. T Anne Wong will adore Manila Belens this year, something she has not done in a decade.

The Belen in the Cover Our cover picture is courtesy of Vincent Galileo Loiz. He teaches Religion at the Ateneo High School. Vince has a Basic Education degree from the Ateneo and also a Masters in Pastoral Ministry with Major in Religious Studies. But his ultimate love is his Saints. He joins a lot of parades involving Saints. The cover picture was a belen in a Bocaue, Bulacan parish church with capiz windows, salakots, baskets and malongs. The infant Jesus wears an Igorot bahag representing Luzon. Mary wears a Mazurka Boholana attire representing the Visayas and Joseph wears a malong representing Mindanao.

The Man Behind The Adoration of the Shepherds Artist Romi MananQuil, renowned Filipino Canadian visual artist, migrated to Canada with his family in 1985. He fought nostalgia through his paintbrushes depicting Philippine life and culture. His works kept him connected to the successful life and career in his motherland. Among his notable achievements is the huge mural in the SEARCA Building at U.P. Los BaĂąos. He designed for Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and takes credit for the following - the 1985 Flora and Fauna series of bank notes and coins, the first 2-peso Bonifacio decagonal coin, the Balagtas 10 centavo coin, the tamaraw for the 1 peso, the Tandang Sora 5 centavo coin, the 5-peso Aguinaldo note (discontinued), the Marcos 500 peso bill (printed but never circulated and later replaced with the Ninoy Aquino 500 peso bill designed by Rafael Asuncion as he already left for Canada) and

peso bank note. This credit is not enough to portray the life and success of a national artist. So watch out for next year’s issue for a full article on the man behind this great painting, The Adoration of the Shepherds. the tri-hero blue 1000


Family Life

Chilling During By Veronica Javier


nstead of just karaoke, mallhopping and attending famjams this winter, how about being outside and actually enjoying the Canadian winter this year? There are so many great things to do and see -- so check out these great activities and places to start.

famous outdoor ice rink is fun for

choose from that’s not too far from

all! The rink is usually open daily

the city. Many of these resorts also

10am to 10pm by mid-November.

offer, Snow tubing & Snowshoeing.

Call the Rink Hotline: 416-338-RINK

For more information and to find

(7465) for details. Remember that all

out which venue works best for

children under the age of 6 needs a

you and your friends/family visit:

CSA approved helmet before going

on the ice. Skate rentals and indoor

change rooms are also available to

visitors. For skate rental info call:

Toronto Cavalcade of Lights:


One of the best ways to start the

Winter Carnivals are happening all over the Greater Toronto Area! To see if there’s one in your neighbourhood visit: Kids/Seasonal-Fun-Winter/ Winter-Carnivals-in-theGreater-Toronto-Area.html

winter season off is to take part in this month-long series of FREE events, including concerts and ice-skating, culminating with the illumination of Nathan Phillips Square and giant Christmas tree with 100,000 festive lights. The Lighting Celebration kicks

Visit One of Canada’s Famous Ski Resorts: So you say you have the will, but do you have the way? If you do, make sure you check out Blackcomb / Whistler ski resort in British Columbia and site of the nordic events of the 2010 Winter Olympics; Banff & Lake Louiseoutside of Calgary, Alberta;

off Saturday, November 26, 2011 at Nathan Phillips Square.

Don’t be afraid to venture outside of

and Mont-Tremblant, 90 mins north

For more information visit: http://

the GTA for more winter wonderland.

of Montreal in Quebec. These are the

If you’ve got the will and the way,

three most famous ski destinations


be sure to check out these great

in Canada. If you’re a skiing and/or

activities and places too.

snowboarding fanatic, these resorts

Free Ice Skating at Nathan Phillips Square: Whether you’re a pro or just a beginner, Nathan Philips Square’s


are excellent by any standard –

Skiing & Snowboarding:

long runs, sharp drop offs, and

Whether it’s Downhill Skiing, Cross

spectacular scenery plus a range

Country Skiing, or Snowboarding,

of activities, such as heliskiing and


glacier skiing.






Winter Season Québec Winter Carnival, Quebec City It has been said that the habitants of New France, now Quebec, had a rowdy tradition of getting together just






and be merry. Now, the Québec Winter

Carnival is



winter carnival in the world and is celebrated annually at the end of January until mid-February. It’s a

comfortable 28° to 23° Fahrenheit

Dogsledding is an activity available

(-2° to –5° Celsius). If you can’t stay

mostly anywhere in Canada that

the night, make sure you go for a

gets lots of snow. Check out Call of

tour and a drink at the ice bar.

the Wild ( for more information on dogsledding

The Quebec Ice Hotel is rebuilt each year, opening its doors from January to the beginning of April.

Winterlude, Ottawa:

excursions. And then you have the tried and true




highly recommended for beginners, experts, for those who have money,

great event for family and groups of

For the first three weekends every

or don’t have a lot. Before the

friends to enjoy. The $10 pass per

February, the nation’s capital puts

season ends make sure you grab a

person gets the holder access to

on a winter festival that features

friend or two and try tobogganing

most activities for the day.

ice sculptures, a snow playground,

and building snow forts and igloos.

concerts and ice-skating on the

You already have the snow in your

world’s longest rink, the Rideau

backyard; you might as well take

Canal, Ottawa. Every winter, Ottawa’s

advantage of it!

Quebec Ice Hotel, just outside Quebec City: After taking in the Quebec Winter Carnival, make sure you bundle up twice as much when you make your way here. The Quebec Ice Hotel is exactly as it is described, a hotel made out of ice. The cathedrallike hotel is carved entirely of ice, including the furniture and even ice candelabras hanging from the 18 ft ceilings.  The Quebec Ice Hotel is

Rideau Canal becomes the The Rideau Canal Skateway and at 7W.8


km (just under 5 miles) the world’s

season of the year in Canada. Don’t

largest skating rink. Skate rental,

be like a bear and hibernate. Have

sharpening and boot checks are

fun and participate! T

available. You can also try renting a





sleigh if you and your family/friends would rather sit and push each other along the canal. Have any other Canadian winter wonderland adventures and activities to share? Tell me about it

rebuilt each year, opening its doors


from January to the beginning of

Bet you haven’t tried this activity

April. The walls are 4 feet thick

before! Dogsledding is one of the more

and insulate the hotel to a crisp but




and send me an email: Source: canadatravelplanner/tp/winter_Canada.htm


Family Life

My Play Area

BIG Families, BIG Traditions By Claire Dela Gana

Daddy Boy and Mommy Dea with their children and in-laws during the celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary.


only have two kids – an 8 year-old and a 2.5 year old. As you can see, my family is not that big but we are big on building family traditions. To name a few, the two kids take turns affixing the star on top of the Christmas tree. Good thing kids have very good memory. My husband constructed our very own belen from craft materials, with the help of the eldest child, and they take pride in setting it up every year. We gather with other not-so-big families like us every year before Christmas. That way, we devote Christmas Eve and the day itself to our own family. Boring? I know. Makes me wonder how big families do it. And here’s what I found out.

The gift-exchanging game called ‘monito-monita’ eats up a lot of time of the Resplandor’s Christmas Eve party. It goes up to the wee hours of the morning. Why? To call out their monito or monita, they have to sing a Christmas carol integrating their monito’s or monita’s name into the lyrics. Rolando and Lourdes Resplandor, fondly called Daddy Boy and Mommy Dea, respectively, have 5 children and 10 grandchildren. What makes the family even bigger are 3 extended families that join them every


year in their holiday celebration. The entire Resplandor family attends the Christmas Eve mass altogether. After which they all go to the house of the family hosting the party. And whoever has the biggest house, hosts the party. Well, the host does not necessarily prepare the entire Noche Buena feast. They just need to ensure that they have enough garbage bags to gather gift wrappers at the end of the evening. All the members of the family, including extended families, bring their share to the potluck feast table. Potluck. Roast beef has become a Noche Buena staple over the years. Unlike Daddy Boy and Mommy Dea whose children and grandchildren are here in Canada, Ernesto and Lourdes Yu, affectionately called Tatay and Nanay by their children, have 1 child in the US and the youngest is in the Philippines. The rest are all living here in Canada. For the Yu family, Christmas is all about the kids. “Pinadadalhan naming ng regalo (ang mga apo namin). Siempre, yung mga apo ko dito nakakatikim ng regalo kaya dapat meron rin sila. Kahit malayo sila hindi nila maiisip na hindi namin sila naaalala.” Sending gifts to their grandchildren


tion c e l l o Our c ng-bahay o of lut will surely that sfy your sati ino Filip uds! b taste Lolo and Lola with some of their grandchildren during a family cruise last summer.

offshore has been their way of reaching out to them and expressing their love during the holidays. According to Tatay, “Paano ka nila makikilala na lolo kung hindi mo naman ipinapakita ang pagmamahal mo.” They do a lot of games and karaoke singing. But as soon as the clock strikes 12, all the grandchildren gather on the floor waiting impatiently for their Christmas gifts from their parents and most of all from Lolo and Lola. The children have grown up, ages ranging from 10 to 26, but they still have that twinkle in their eyes while eagerly waiting for their presents. Tatay and Nanay stresses the importance of bonding among their children by helping each other out in times of need and gathering as a family on important occasions. They have full hope that this will be passed on to their grandchildren too. It does not really matter if you have one or one dozen kids and whether they are near or far. We always find ways to connect during Christmas time. There will always be plenty of food on the table for noche buena. Roast beef, ham, fruit cake, cookies, lechon, leche flan, at marami pang iba. Still much to take home. The joy of opening gifts is the same whether you receive a lot or just a few. May karaoke o wala, masaya pa rin basta sama-sama. As a Filipino family, what matters most is the time to be able to spend it with friends, family and loved ones on the most wonderful time of the year. T

cial – e p S o Combeakfast, r e Br Dinn & h Lunc

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I am pretty sure you and your family have your very own Christmas family traditions. Do you want to share it? I would be more than happy to hear your story. Email me at Who knows, your story might make it to my next holiday article.


Family Life

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Where to go... your side or my side?

By Cocoi Javier


ho would have thought that Christmas causes a lot of stress? The holiday traffic, to shopping and planning for your celebrations can be a Grinch that will steal your Christmas joy away. One issue that couples face annually is where to celebrate the holidays. “Where will we go? Your side or mine? “, are just two of the truckload of questions that need to be answered. Let´s take a look at some of the factors that can be considered in making a sound decision and some alternative ways of celebrating Christmas. Nothing beats being with your family for the holidays. For us Filipinos, it is truly a time with the family, but when you have your own family and your spouse´s family, the Christmas conflict arises… where should you go?


Deciding where to spend Christmas should be made early on and not left off for the last minute. If settled early, feverish temperatures will not be hit when Christmas arrives. But how do we settle where to go? It can be handled in several ways as there are several considerations: The Distance Issue Do the two sets of grandparents live far from each other? Would you be required to go on a long travel like a drive out of town to your or your spouse´s parents? If such is needed, then Christmas would be spent only with either the mom or the dad´s side. To even things up, one side could have it this year and the other, the following year. It could also be that this year´s Christmas will be with one side and the New Year´s celebration will be with the other´s side. In this case, the

children get to see both sides during the long holiday break. Then in the following year, you could switch the arrangements. If both grandparents are within a short driving distance, the following arrangement could also be made. You can divide the Christmas celebration for both sides meaning, one side can have the Noche Buena and on Christmas day itself, you drive to the other set of grandparents. Whoever said you can´t have the best of both worlds? The Time Issue With whom has your family have spent more time with in the past year? If your children were more with their grannies on your side, then it might be a good surprise and Christmas gift for your spouse´s parents to have them over for Christmas. It will also be a good gift for your children to spend time with

their grandparents whom they have not seen in a long time. The Money Issue In as much as Christmas is a time of joy, it is also oftentimes (but not necessarily) an expensive season. With the financial crunch, spending less would be wise for the coming holidays and it could mean settling for the shorter drive. Spend wisely and save on gas! Use that money somewhere else and keep the environment green! Celebrating Christmas Differently Amidst all the Christmas can creatively!

considerations, be celebrated

One would be to stay at home and decide to spend it just with your spouse and kids. You can invite a set of grandparents to come over for Noche Buena and the other set for lunch on the day of Dec. 25 or better

A fitting way to celebrate Christmas at this time is to remember how blessed you have been and be a blessing yourself to those who have not been as blessed as you are. You can go with your family (include the grandparents if possible) and set up something for those in need. Have a simple Christmas lunch or dinner at a local orphanage or shelter for less privileged people. This is a great way of sharing the real essence of Christmas, which is unconditional love. This will leave a great impression on your kids and they will learn a valuable lesson in life. Let this Christmas celebration be a teaching moment for you and your family.

As they say, home is where love abounds. It is where you can be yourself and be loved for who you are. Spend it with the people you love and who loves you the most. That is your home. Be home for the holidays. T Cocoi Javier, a father of 2 (Pablo and Ben) soon to be 3, a lay missionary for Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life (CFCFFL), has lived in and travelled all over Europe for 7 years. His passion is serving the Lord and young people and seeing families get better and grow in their relationships.

With this generous celebration, you would also be able to take off the

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focus on who is getting the attention (whether it is your parents or your in laws) and focus it on the real meaning of Christmas. In the end, it is up to a healthy relationship with your spouse, a good communication and positive outlook towards time being shared with parents or in laws is what will create a tense free Christmas celebrations. You may spend it wherever you want but never lose sight of the reason for the season, Jesus Christ.

yet, a joint celebration! The more the merrier! Just with your siblings first (as they may have plans as well with your parents) and be prepared for a bigger Christmas feast.

ial Ham c e p S



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Milner Ave Hwy 401

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Do we need to have minerals in our water? When compared to food, our drinking water is a minor source of minerals like Calcium and Magnesium. A balanced diet, with an abundance of fruits and vegetables can ensure that you have all the minerals your body needs. To ensure pure water, we have to remove all dissolved solids in your water, including bacteria, viruses, organic and inorganic chemicals, heavy metals, volatile gases and other contaminants that could be present. In order for this to happen, minerals must also be removed. If all the nutrients we need are found in our diets, why not choose water for its true purpose, cleansing and detoxification of the body. Why do we need extra oxygen in our water? The simple answer, why not! Pollution has taken its toll on our atmosphere. Today, the air we breathe is lower in oxygen content. Also, stress is on the rise with the fastpaced lifestyle we all share. Oxygen demand is higher. Some of the reported benefits of oxygenated water are increased energy, improvement in physical stamina, fewer muscle cramps and a reduction in recovery time after physical exertion. With stress and pollution on the rise, extra oxygen in water can only benefit you. Municipal Water A major concern with drinking municipal water is the high content of Chlorine. Tap water is treated and we can say it is in actual fact better than drinking most spring water as it is treated with chlorine to kill bacteria – however chlorine is known to be directly linked to cancer – among other illnesses. Another concern with tap water is how it is being transported to your home – through lead or aluminum piping? How old is this piping? For tap water one of the biggest concerns today is the medication the population takes that is not completely absorbed by the body and that gets flushed back into our rivers and consequently back into our cycle of drinking water. WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS ON OUR HEALTH ? Unkown

There is also the disrespect for nature and many people pour down our drains oils, paint, thinners, chemicals, medicine etc. etc. The Risks of Chlorination By-Products Lab animals exposed to very high levels of THMs have an increased risk of cancer. Several studies on humans have also found a link between long-term exposure to high levels of chlorination by-products and a higher risk of cancer. For instance, a recent study showed an increased risk of bladder and possibly colon cancer in people who drank chlorinated water for 35 years or more. High levels of THMs may also have an effect on pregnancy. A California study found that pregnant women who drank large amounts of tap water with high THMs had an increased risk of miscarriage. These studies do not prove that there is a link between THMs and cancer or miscarriage. However, they do show the need for further research in this area to confirm potential health effects. Spring Water or Mineral Water The problem with drinking spring water or mineral water is that everything is solvent with water so any pesticides,air pollution , acid rains etc. mix with water ( specially springs near farming areas ) Spring water contains minerals which are inorganic minerals, we should have organic minerals which come from you fruits and vegetables ( purest form of minerals ) Many people prefer the taste of minerals in the water. Bottled water companies realize this and add minerals back into the water just for taste – not for health benefits. Inorganic Minerals in Water The minerals in tap water and bottled spring or mineral water are inorganic minerals, a form that the body cannot use. If you cook scrambled eggs in an iron skillet and the iron flakes off into the eggs, is that okay? No, of course not. It’s not the right kind of iron. Inorganic minerals can build up in the body and become toxic. Carlos Costa Tel: 905 761-1990

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Family Life

My Kitchen Amazing stories behind delicious recipes

Daddy Nicanor, Digiana, Emma, Ruby, Natividad, Janet, Vivian, Mommy Norma

Miles Away for the Holidays By Clarisse Rajappan


he unfavourable economic and political circumstances in the Philippines have made migration an appealing option to many of its citizens. The Philippines has a legacy of landlessness and poverty in the provinces, as well as deep economic inequality. Successive “democratic governments” in the Philippines have wrought corruption scandals, electoral fraud and violation of civil liberties and human rights. In the last three decades, 1 in 5 of Filipino immigrants to Canada arrived through the Live-in Caregiver Programme (LCP). This program has major adverse effects on the lives of Filipinos within the immigrant community. First, the majority of the Filipinos who gained immigrant status through this program are women. Many of these women were occupying positions


requiring high levels of education and skills in the Philippines and despite their high levels of human capital, upon arrival in Canada, end up in an occupation with marginal socio-economic status. Secondly, the LCP has other far-reaching consequences. Due to the structure of the Filipino society and due to adverse socio-economic determinants, many Filipino immigrants arrive in Canada in circumstances of heavy indebtedness. Many participants are separated from their families for extended periods of time. As a result of the continued responsibilities towards their families in the Philippines, these overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are universally obligated to send money home to their families, which further attenuates their economic hardship. Our interviewees find consolation in their

faith. They are aware of the sacrifices they are making in terms of personal relationships with their family and the emotional price they are paying for those sacrifices. Christmas season is the hardest time for all our interviewees. Natividad has been away from her family since 2007. During these years, she suffered homesickness and loneliness. Hence, celebrating Christmas away from the family is the saddest thing she ever experienced. She regains some happiness when she is able to send money to her family. “Their happiness is my happiness as well.” Janet has been away from her family since 2005, the first few years in Dubai, and now in Canada. For Janet, being at a place where Christmas is not celebrated (Dubai) made her very sad during the festive season. On top of that, her employer in Dubai didn’t

allow her to cook food neither was she permitted to call and greet her family. Janet says “But I feel happier whenever I get paid, so that I have money to send to my family”. Janet celebrates Christmas with friends in the community. All of her friends are in the same situation. It is important for Janet to give back the joy and happiness she receives from God. Ruby worked in Saudi Arabia, where celebrating Christmas is prohibited, which “made it exceedingly difficult emotionally”. In Saudi, they managed to celebrate Christmas with doors and windows tightly closed and all openings to the outside tightly covered with cloth. She exercises emotional control so as not to be overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness. The OFWs choose to spend time away from family to give the kids a better future. Ruby misses celebrating Christmas with the family, exchanging gifts, and being with the family during this special season. “I feel so sad for my kids that they have to celebrate Christmas without their mother by their side”. Emma, Vivian and Digiana are aware of the sacrifices they are making so that their family will have a better future. They advise other OFWs to focus on their primary goal (provide a good life for their family) when leaving their family to go abroad. Always focus on the goal, no matter what, and “don’t be misled”. They also advise to save for the future and be wise in terms of money. The difficulty of spending the happiest days of the year away from their families is comforted with each other’s company. They find solace in gathering together for a Noche Buena on Christmas Eve and filling the dinner table with overflowing food. These ladies are more than happy to share their recipes and hoping that your Christmas will be filled with love and joy, not just this season but the whole year through. Acknowledgements For the motivation and inspiration for writing this article, I am heavily indebted to the following research paper “Explaining the Deprofessionalized Filipino: Why Filipino Immigrants Get Low-Paying Jobs in Toronto” (2009) written by Philip F. Kelly, Mila Astorga-Garcia, Enrico F. Esguerra, and the Community Alliance for Social Justice, Toronto, Published by, CERIS – The Ontario Metropolis Centre.

Buko Pandan to the Max!

Ingredients: 7 cups cooked gelatine w– cut into cubes 1 cup cooked green tapioca pearls (sago) 4 cups young coconut strips 1 can condensed milk 1 can all-purpose cream 1 cup evaporated milk vanilla ice cream (optional) Procedure: • In a big bowl, combine condensed milk, all-purpose cream and evaporated milk, and then mix well. • Add in the gelatine, tapioca pearls, and young coconut while mixing gradually. • Keep in the refrigerator for few hours. • Put in individual cup and top it with vanilla ice cream


Ingredients: 1 kilo ground pork 6 pcs hotdogs, cut in half lengthwise 3 pcs hard boiled eggs, sliced into four 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish 2 pcs raw eggs 2 cups cheddar cheese, cut into smaller pieces 1 1/2 cup raisins 1 cup carrots, minced 1 cup onion, minced salt and pepper 2 cups flour Cooking Procedure: 1. In a large container, put in the ground pork. 2. Add in the carrots, onion, pickle relish, raisins, and cheddar cheese, and mix thoroughly. 3. Add in salt and pepper according to taste. 4. Add in the raw eggs, and flour. Mix well. 5. Put the meat mixture in the aluminum foil and flatten it. 6. Put in the one or two slices of hotdog and boiled eggs alternately in the middle of the mixture. 7. Roll the foil to form a cylinder like shape. 8. Lock the ends of the foil by twisting them. 9. Cook in a steamer for 1 hour. 10. Slice and serve hot. Clarisse misses celebrating Christmas together with her family; by meeting other Filipinos she tries to make up for what she misses during the Christmas season.


Family Life

My Library Philippine Culture - Legends, Literature and Life

I still remember my Lolo sternly reminding me to stop playing and leave the Pagadian seashore before it got dark. “Especially when it’s full moon”, he would wag his finger at me. I was nine, and for the life of me, I didn’t understand why the innocent moon would be dangerous. Science explains that high tides happen when the sun and moon are on the same side of the earth (New Moon) or when the sun and moon are on opposite sides of the earth (Full Moon). But our Ibanag elders have this interesting, surprisingly romantic story that tells us how it all began.

Why There Is High Tide During A Full Moon By Joi Lardizabal


ong, long ago , only gods lived in this world. The earth, seas, and sky were ruled by three different powerful gods.

The sun god, who ruled the sky, had a very beautiful daughter, Luna, the moon. Luna enjoyed going around the heavens in her golden chariot. One day she found herself taking another path which led her outside her kingdom. She wandered on until she reached the place where the sky met the sea. Beautiful and unusual sights greeted her eyes. As she was admiring the beautiful things around, a voice startled her. It asked, “Where has thou come from, most beautiful one?” Turning around she saw a young man who looked much like her father though fairer. She wanted to run away, but when she looked at him again, she saw that he was smiling at her. Taking courage, she answered, “I am Luna, daughter of the sun god.” The young man smiled at her and answered, “I am Mar, the son of the sea god. Welcome to our kingdom.” Soon the two became good friends. They had many interesting stories to tell each other. When it was time for Luna to go, they promised to see each other as often as they could, for they had many more tales to tell. They continued


meeting at the same spot until they realized that they were in love with each other. One day after one of their secret meetings, Luna went back to the heavens full of joy. She was so happy that she told her secret to one of her cousins. The cousin, jealous of her beauty and her happiness, reported the affair to the sun god. The sun god was angered at his daughter’s disobedience to the immortal laws. He shut her in their garden and did not allow her to get out. Then he sent a messenger to the sea god informing him that his son Mar disobeyed the immortal law. The sea god, who was also angered by his son’s disobedience, imprisoned him in one of his sea caves. Luna stayed in the garden for some time. She was very sad at not being able to see Mar. She longed to be with him again. Feeling very restless one day, she escaped from the garden. She took her golden chariot and rushed to their meeting place. Mar, who was imprisoned in the sea cave, saw her reflection on the water. He wanted to get out to meet her. He tried hard to get out of his cave causing unrest in the sea. Luna waited for Mar to appear, but he did not come. Then she went back home very sad. Each time she remembered Mar, she would rush out in the golden chariot to the meeting place in hopes of seeing him again. T

Mga Pamahiin

(Folk Beliefs of Superstitions)

As promised, here are a few Pinoy superstitions about colours:

Ang pulang kotse ay magiging malapit sa mga sakuna o aksidente. (A red car is prone to accidents.) Sorry to red car owners!

Ang isang taong maitim ang gilagid ay sinasabing seloso. (A person with dark gums is said to be the jealous type.) Or a chain smoker.

Ang paboritong kulay ng isang tao ay nagpapahiwatig ng kanyang personalidad -- dilaw para sa pagiging seloso, pula sa pagiging maliksi, puti sa pagiging matahimik, berde sa pagiging puno ng pag-asa, at asul o bughaw sa pagiging malungkutin. (A person’s favourite color reveals some facets of her personality -yellow for being jealous, red for being

energetic, white for being peaceful, green for being optimistic, and blue for being lonely.) Nothing on purple though. Or pink. •

On our next issue, we will learn from the Ifugao literature about the legend which explains why the dead do not come back. We will also tackle more interesting pamahiin, related to courtship and marriage. Feel free to share interesting, funny or strange pamahiin beliefs or legends your parents or grandparents shared with you. E-mail them to

Kapag napanaginipan mo na ang iyong mga kaibigan ay nakasuot ng puting damit, ito ay nangangahulugan na sila ay magpapakasal. (If you dream of your friends wearing white dress, it means that they will get married.) Or they plan to work in the medical field.

Legends and beliefs taken from (with permission): tagalog/Tagalog_mainpage.htm

Kapag ikaw ay nagsusuot ng itim na damit kahit na hind ka nagluluksa, isa sa iyong mga kamag-anak ay mamamatay. (If you wear black clothes even though you are not in mourning, one of your relatives will die.) But I look thinner in black!

Despite the warning, Joi Lardizabal dreams to drive a red Murano someday.

Learn Tagalog! Let`s practice saying the colours in Tagalog: ube [OOH-beh] - purple

dilaw [dee-LAO] - yellow

asul [a-SOOL] - blue

berde [BER-deh] - green

Some Tagalog slang words:

itim [ee-TIM] - black

adidas - chicken feet dish

puti [pooh-TEH] - white

tsokolate [choko-LAH teh] - brown

pula [pooh-LAH) - red

apir - a form of greeting similar to American high-five, where the arms are raised and the palms touch as a sign of “okay”, “cool”, “good”

abo [ah-BOH] - grey

bughaw [boog-HAO) - blue (formal)

apog –idiom for someone who is dense or shameless

astig - a thug, a brute; macho, cool (inversion of the word tigas, meaning hard)

askal – mixed breed dog, literally means “street dog” (shortened form of asong kalye)

atat - extreme eagerness to do something

atik – money. Synonyms: datung, bala, bread, carmona, dais, tong


Family Life

Let’s Go Carolling Pasko Na Naman

Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit

Pasko na naman, o kay tulin ng araw.

Ang Pasko ay sumapit, Tayo ay mangagsi-awit

Paskong nagdaan, tila ba kung kelan lang. Ngayon ay Pasko, dapat pasalamatan. Ngayon ay Pasko, tayo ay mag-awitan.

Ng magagandang himig, Dahil sa ang Diyos ay pag-ibig

Pasko, Pasko, Pasko na namang muli!

Nang si Kristo ay isilang, May tatlong haring nagsidalaw

Tanging araw na ating pinakamimithi. Pasko, Pasko, Pasko na namang muli!

At ang bawat isa ay nagsipaghandog ng tanging alay

Ang pag-ibig naghahari!

Bagong taon ay magbagong-buhay Nang lumigaya ang ating bayan

Noche Buena Kay sigla ng gabi, ang lahat ay kay saya; Nagluto ang Áte ng manok na tinola; Sa bahay ng Kuya ay mayro’ng litsonan pa! Ang bawat tahanan may handang iba’t iba! Tayo na giliw, magsalo na tayo Mayro’n na tayong tinapay at keso. Di ba Noche Buena sa gabing ito? At bukas ay araw ng Pasko.

Tayo’y magsikap upang makamtan Natin ang kasaganaan Tayo’y mangagsi-awit, Habang ang mundo’y tahimik Ang araw ay sumapit ng Sanggol na dulot ng langit Tayo ay magmahalan, Ating sundin ang gintong aral At magbuhat ngayon kahit hindi Pasko ay magbigayan

Sa May Bahay Ang Aming Bati Sa may bahay ang aming bati Merry Christmas na maluwalhati Ang pag-ibig ang siyang naghari Araw-araw ay magiging pasko lagi Ang sanhi po ng pagparito Hihingi po ng aginaldo Kung sakali’t kami’y perwisyo Pasensya na pagka’t kami’y namamasko. 44 TAHANAN


From the Experts


Ways to Stay on Track with your Fitness Goals this Holiday Season

By Christian Alvarez & Carlo Balagasay Personal Trainers & Owners of Strength-N-U Fitness Centre


s the winter approaches, it’s very common to find even the best of us getting lazy. In addition, once the holidays start to roll around, those fitness goals quickly fade into alcohol and food consumption. Every year, many people go through the “winter weight gain”. Yet, with some planning and dedication to action, this can be kept to a bare minimum or held off completely. These 10 tips will help you stay on track with your fitness goals while enjoying the holidays.

1) Have your goals and fitness agenda planned. Planning your workouts, knowing your cheat days/meals ahead of time will allow you to stay on track. 2) Have someone that can keep you accountable; a training partner or someone with similar goals. Having supportive people around you is imperative to any successful program. 3) Stay active throughout the day. The cold and short days tend to make people too comfortable on the couch. Get up, go for a walk, be active and move your body for at least half an hour, aside from your fitness routine. Just make staying active an all-day routine.

4) Keep water intake high. This will constantly stimulate the body to keep moving. The body’s metabolism is triggered just to heat water to body temperature. Constantly hydrating yourself also helps to detoxify the body. 5) Keep nutritious food handy. From raw vegetables, raw natural nuts and seeds, or even protein replacements will help. Small nutritious snacks throughout the day will keep you from reaching for bad foods.

6) Start your day off with a workout whenever possible. 46 TAHANAN

Being active upon waking automatically kick starts the body’s metabolism. The body’s fat burning properties become more efficient throughout the day.

7) Plan cheat-meals/days. While staying on your fitness regimen, ensure that you schedule your cheat-meals or days accordingly. Plan if you are having a meal or a whole day of indulging. Do note however that each person’s body is different; a whole day may be detrimental to many. 8) Keep alcohol controlled. Though alcohol can seem harmless, the calories add up. Especially if mixed with a sugary drink you can easily triple the damage. Add to that the hangover feeling the next day which can easily encourage you to stray from your goals. 9) Remember that feeling of starting your program all over again? Keep it in mind and how painful that trip was. Many us go through this re-start process as New Year’s resolutions with no end. Don’t fall into this trap. 10) Exercise in the cold. However, do cover up, especially the head, neck, hands and feet according to temperature demands. It has been proven that physical activity in the cold makes the body work harder just to adjust its temperature. Do a thorough warm up prior to the workout so as not to risk injury, and ensure you make the time for an appropriate cool-down time afterwards. These are just 10 tips to assist you in staying on your road to fitness as the cold and winter months work against even the most disciplined of people. For more information and tips on staying healthy and fit this winter season visit our website at www.Strength-N-U. com, or visit us at 80 Milner Ave. Unit 10, telephone number (416) 886-9462.


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Family Life

Joanne Lorenzana: Between Seasons By Joi Lardizabal

“I’ll do it.”


ll 18 pairs of curious eyes shifted towards the smiling girl who uttered those brave words during our Speech/Oral Interpretation class (UP Diliman, 1987). It was Joanne Lorenzana -- a young, rising and already famous singer, who volunteered to take on a Shakespeare character with the most number of lines to memorize for our play. Wow, where would she find the time to do that?, we all wondered. So, when I contacted Joanne via Facebook if she could do an interview for TAHANAN magazine, I wasn’t surprised when she cheerfully said “I’ll do it” again. Joanne was always like that – prompt, perky and positive. Here’s how our dynamic interview went: TM: How did you get started in the music industry? JL: Four people were instrumental in my ‘discovery’ or exposure early on: My ‘Tita’ Chona Trinidad, a well-known newspaper columnist in the Philippines; my cousins Joey and Lulu Avellana, composer-musician-arranger Nonong Pedero and my sister Beth Lorenzana-Fonacier. Nonong and Beth were both responsible for my first big break in entertainment: front-acting for the international group Shakatak, at the PICC (alongside Ms. Jam Morales), April 1986. Soon after, other people, producers and companies, like Pepsi, took notice. Thus the birth of the PEPSI NEW GENERATION along with other new and upcoming names who would later largely characterize the music of a generation in Philippine Music. TM: What were your fondest memories when you were just starting as a professional singer?


JL: First, when I first auditioned as a jingle talent for my first mentor and manager Nonong ‘DERO’ Pedero. Second, my first (launching) concert entitled ‘Her First Time’, my maternal grandmother (the late) Lola Naty Bernardo (stage and film actress of the likes of LVN Pictures and SAMPAGUITA Pictures), and was still acting through the 70’s), was emotional through a considerate portion of the show. And the third was landing a TV guesting at Penthouse Live which was hosted by Martin Nievera & Pops Fernandez.! TM: Who were your mentors in the music industry and why? JL: My grandma who first noticed that I was expressing interest in singing. Professionally, it was undoubtedly my first manager

Legend Louie Reyes would be my first voice coach, and later on Jai Sabas-Aracama became my vocal coach. In the area of performance, I would say I learned a lot from Directors Freddie Santos and Roxanne Lapus. And in the other areas of the profession, my sister Beth, who was my manager after Nonong (and handled me the longest, about 7 to 8 years), was also very inspiring.

TM: What other interests do you have aside from singing? JL: Song writing – I actually began writing songs at age 8 and that continued through my entire schooling even in college where we won at our school’s choral competition. Traveling will always be a concrete and lasting interest. In fact if I had not pursued singing and performing, I probably would have entered the tourism field which figures why when I lied low in entertainment, I ended up in the hotel and restaurant industry. Cooking and baking is a close third. TM: Who are your close friends in the entertainment circles? Do you still maintain communication with them? JL: Yes. This is one of the best gifts the entertainment industry has provided: Good Friends for life transcending the very industry and becoming friends in and for life, such as Carlo Orosa (my neighbout and co-artist under Agency Manila); theatre thespians Audie Gemora & Jake Macapagal, 80’s colleagues Keno (or Wolf), Gino Padilla and Sally Santiago (who would later pursue politics), Jamie Rivera (whom I actually have known since 1985!), Judith

Banal & Jo Ramos (RIP) and most Manila Genesis artists whom I got to work with for a lot for gospel concerts. TM: Tell us more about your current new CD. How did you conceptualize the whole package? JL: My husband Brant and I were not consciously working on an album but we were inspire to write songs simply with the new journey we embarked on together. But since we’d be asked to sing in family or friends’ gatherings, they would ask us if we were working on some musical project together. And with continuous queries, we said ‘Why not?’ And we made a pact that we will leisurely work on it, so in April of 2007, we went to the studio and recorded our first song.. TM: What is the recurring theme of the songs? JL: The album is titled ‘BETWEEN SEASONS’ which is a metaphoric expression of the various seasons mirroring the emotions one feels at that time – in between seasons. What makes the album more special is that it captures in song, the different moments in my life enriching the period I was hibernating from my music. But though it sounds pretty ‘cliché’, music for the singer or musician really always find its way back, better yet, art manages to always return to an artist at some point in his or her life. I am now a true believer of this and I’m genuinely glad I listened to a very close artist friend who advised me to ‘never make a farewell show nor announce retirement’ because quite frankly, rarely no one ever retires from music, and that applies even to the listener.. TM: Which ones are your favourite songs and why? JL: TECHNICOLOR – because it’s composed by one of my favorite Filipino composers Andrei Dionisio who happens to be a very good friend as well; BEYOND AGO – because it’s the very first composition my husband and I wrote and it carries a deep meaning for us both.. it’s actually the beginning of our story; KUNG KASAMA KA – a collaboration with another wonderful composer – Jimmy Borja – now a Nashville-based mainstream composer, the song reflects the sentiment of a migrant who is comforted by the awesome presence of the Lord in the midst of the struggles of finding one’s place in a new land, new job, new marriage; lastly, BEAUTIFUL – my first published, personally selected cover.. the song originally sang by Cristina Aguilera – the words are utterly powerful!

“Make music your motive and not its outcome. From the love of music come all else.” TM: What are your next projects? JL: A couple of concerts: one solo concert during the first quarter of 2012 and a continuing Visayan Promotional Tour for the album. Sometime next year too, we might have a collaborative venture with other artists which we may stage either here in the U.S. or in Manila as well.

Here in the U.S., we just revived my personal consulting service as part of the services we offer for our home-based business under our company NeoMONDE Productions which deals with artistic communications (writing & copywriting, editing, design) and music production services. For inquiries on our services, they can go to and there will be a link to NeoMONDE Productions.

Next year too, I hope to begin making local music in the Bay area where we are based and would love to be able to collaborate with local musicians (For information on my music, please go to my facebook page – JoAnne Lorenzana Friends via JoAnneLorenzana and my You tube channel – com/user/MissJo14 ). I sincerely hope we can crystallize this as music truly is such a universal and uniting force. TM: How do you see yourself in the next ten years? JL: Still making lots of music, whether it be still cutting records, holding concerts, being involved in wonderful collaborations, writing songs, music is part of my life. Hopefully too, actively teaching it to the young and to those who want to seriously pursue it as a career. Likewise, more participative in community endeavours that zero in on migrants. TM: What would you advise the young Pinoy singers today? JL: In a nutshell: Make music your motive and not its outcome, from the love of music come all else. Unfortunately, for some of the singers or entertainers these days, other things drive them (i.e. fame, money, access, privileges, etc.). It is quite sad, it’s almost like the art is dissipating. The art of music has to precede me or I can’t sing at all. That was one of the reasons I temporarily stopped for a while (which turned out to be 10 years). And to reiterate: It’s not about you, it’s about those who will hear you. TM: What is your opinion about the OPM songs in the last couple of years as compared to the OPM songs in the 80s and 90s? JL: Songs from these decades seem to have been more lasting than those of the recent years, perhaps that is why they’re constantly being revived. It is hard to say if other factors, such as how the industry has evolved or the constantly changing preferences of listeners have played a part in why songs don’t have the same longevity. We still have great compositions and when I’m in Manila and I get the chance to tune in to the radio, a beautiful song still gets my attention. Maybe with the new commitment of the industry as a whole in bringing back OPM as a musical staple, we’re on the road back to creating a new repertoire of potentially timeless pieces. TM: Tell us more about how your family celebrate holidays like Christmas. JL: As far as traditions as concerned, our family loves celebrating the holidays by food or travel and it makes celebrating possibly double the fun because my brother was born on Christmas day and I on Valentine’s and my parents most especially my Dad looks forward to every occasion. Seems like yesterday when we were in high school in Maryknoll, when our main concern was to barely pass Ge-oh-metry (as our teacher pronounced it). It is truly rewarding to behold an artist like Joanne, who has evolved from a committed singer to a multi-talented professional. Most of all, Joanne is always ready to maximize her gifts for God’s glory, whether in between seasons or not. All the best to you, Joanne! T BETWEEN SEASONS is available in the U.S. via the website OR downloads aare available on Itunes; in the Philippines, the album bearing the same title is distributed by UNIVERSAL RECORDS Inc. and is available in SM Supermalls record bars and other selected outlets nationwide


Nawa’y mapuno ang inyong tahanan ng kapayapaan at pagpapala ngayong panahon ng Pasko. May your home be filled with peace and blessings this Christmas season.


Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Mula sa inyong pamilya at mga kaibigan sa TAHANAN From your TAHANAN family and friends


Community Life


An inspiring gift from the Philippines: Press Releases and program profile from champion entrepreneurs, the Hapinoy team. Project Inspire

The Singapore National Committee for UN Women and MasterCard Worldwide awards Hapinoy, a micro enterprise development program in the Philippines, the top prize at the Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World Grand Finals. The winners were selected from 10 finalists chosen from 450 – youth-driven teams from Asia/Pacific, Middle East, and Africa, who had to pitch their ideas in a five-minute video or in a written proposal. Determined by a combination of public votes and judges’ scores from the live pitch, The Hapinoy Program wowed the public and judges with their life-changing social enterprise. Bam Aquino, who represented his team, presented Hapinoy to a live judging panel comprised of business leaders and experts in social development and entrepreneurship. When asked about his co-finalists, Bam


had nothing but good words to say. He said more than a contest competing for prize money, it brought together young and passionate people in pursuit of social change.

A Winning Program

Winning the grand Women Empowerment Grant, Hapinoy aims to further expand and include another 1,000 women “sari-sari” owners in the Hapinoy Program.

The Hapinoy Store Program partners with sari-sari stores (sari-sari is the Filipino word meaning various kinds), small neighborhood stores that sell daily needs, mostly basic commodities. These kinds of stores are almost always located within or as an extension of the storeowner’s home. With about 800,000 stores in the country, sari-sari stores make up 40% of total retail sales in the Philippines.

Asian Social Entrepreneur of the Year The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship awards Hapinoy’s Bam Aquino and Mark Ruiz, two of five Asian Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2011. “The selection of winners this year reflects an unprecedented diversity of Asian social enterprises whose work has transformative implications both locally and globally,” says Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “We see a proliferation of services for low-income consumers such as micro-insurance and micro-enterprise development. We also see a deliberate effort from social enterprises to collaborate more closely with companies to multiply that impact.”

The word Hapinoy is a play on the words Happy and Pinoy, the colloquial word for Filipino.

In 2007, MicroVentures Incorporated launched the Hapinoy Store Program with micro finance borrowers in mind. Upon realizing that 15 to 20% of micro finance borrowers use the capital to put up the sarisari stores, the Hapinoy Store Program first focused on aggregating these stores for bulk product discounts. Today, Hapinoy has evolved into a fullservice micro entrepreneur enhancement program: a network of micro, small, medium, and large enterprises where Hapinoy Community Stores and sari-sari stores serve as the hubs of a network of goods and services that are coursed through

the program and offered to its Base of the Pyramid target. The products and services range from basic commodities and grocery items to more specialized products with community impact like solar lanterns, medicine, and affordable technologies for the Base of the Pyramid. Storeowners are also able to access capital through partner microfinance institutions. 2008 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, CARDMRI (The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development), the largest micro finance institution in the Philippines, is the main micro finance partner of the Hapinoy Store Program.

On the ground, the Hapinoy Store Program partners with women micro entrepreneurs, who are fondly called the Hapinoy Nanays (Nanay is the Filipino term for mother). The program aims to help the Hapinoy Nanays: • Have a business




• Reap practical, tangible benefits from partners and microfinance institutions • Become knowledgeable with the help of training programs and support services • Become confident and empowered

“When we started Hapinoy, we saw it as our contribution to the Philippines, but with more help and support from our countrymen, it can be a Filipino contribution to the world.” By working with them, the Hapinoy Store Program not only helps increase her profits and help her operate her business more efficiently, it also helps her develop her skills, talents, and provide opportunities for her and her family.

by allowing her store to be a conduit for more affordable goods, needed services and valuable information. The role of the sarisari stores change as they become pivotal in building the sense of community in the town.

Through the program, she is also able to contribute to the welfare of her community

In 2011, MicroVentures Incorporated launched the MicroVentures Foundation

to focus on building the capacity and skills of micro entrepreneurs all over the Philippines, as well as provide needed expertise in leveling up micro entrepreneurs to potential small enterprises. Aside from providing the existing store owners in the Hapinoy Program through regular training and coaching, the MicroVentures Foundation is tasked with providing support to micro producers in terms of helping them upgrade their products to be competitive in the market. The Hapinoy Store Program is currently in 150 communities and will be in 400 communities by the end of 2011. Its 5-year plan is to be present in all cities and municipalities of the Philippines covering hundreds of thousands of sari-sari stores.

To Tahanan readers, from Bam Aquino “When we started Hapinoy, we saw it as our contribution to the Philippines, but with more help and support from our countrymen, it can be a Filipino contribution to the world.” Anne Wong knows how liberating it is, living in a land that breeds entrepreneurs.


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