Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas

C

For the nth time, I will be celebrating Christmas away from home, away from my country. I stayed in countries where Christmas isn’t a spectacular event, the reason why I miss the said season.

For more than two decades, a personal experience of course, as soon as the calendar shouted December, carols begin to dominate the air. Reds and greens paint the town as if they are the only colors. Smiles and the words “Merry Christmas” are plastered on everyone’s faces. Kids singing their hearts out just to receive a peso or two – priceless! So much joy exudes from everyone.

But what I remember the most is the triple celebration our family usually did. LOL. I thought its because my parents just want to lessen the expenses. Its Christmas-birthday-New Year celebration all in one, unlucky for me as can only have one gift each year. Haha! Yes, my birthday is between Christmas and New Year. Oftentimes, my birthday is also our family reunion time. During these, I take my hats off to my mother who is the queen of the kitchen. Her foods are incomparable as my biased tongue would attest. To us, she is our Kitchen Señora.

In her backyard, gumamelas whisper
to each other as she mantles cold banana
leaves on the wooden table,
guarded by two acacia trees.

The bermuda grass curses
her careless steps --- dashing back and forth.
Like a sprint queen, she carries edible torches
and lays them on the platform.

The black-sauced pasta
and bronzed turkey, baklava cake
and chrysanthemum salads she prepares,
festoon the old lamesa

The approach of familiar voices signals,
she hand-strikes her hair, quickly wipes
her sweat and positions near the door,
Welcome, my dear children
another family reunion looms.

As I celebrate this Christmas alone (again), the thoughts of the food she prepared are enough to comfort me to celebrate this season. I’ll be seeing them again soon, maybe this March or May.

Merry Christmas everyone!

/totomai
12/17/07

25 comments:

  1. Welcome to WI!

    Hope this year you get as many gifts as you wish for!

    seasons of eternity

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  2. A delightful image. Made me feel quite hungry.

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  3. Lovely imagery.......

    We are all connected on Christmas Day......it's the magic of the Day that is filled with memories and the thoughts of others.

    Merry Christmas to you.

    ps. Owen Meany is one of my all time favourite books. just read your profile. :)

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  4. Ourt family had the triple celebration too. Your mother sounds like a great cook!

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  5. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday and Happy New Year! Try not to be too sad about it. I am with everyone and wishing I was you right now...hehe
    My niece is away from home and she hasn't been apart of the family Christmas for the last two years (she'll be back in feb)it's really hard. HUGS!!

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  6. s lovely.. triple celebration triple the fun!!!

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  7. Thanks for the visit and I hope you enjoy your vacation and take lots of pictures.

    Merry Christmas.

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  8. Merry Christmas everyone, Thanks for the visit.

    @awareness, yes, a prayer for owen meany never fails to pull my heartstrings. such a great book.

    @jen, thanks for the birthday wishes. thanks again!

    @gautumi, thanks for the welcome. perhaps, ill get more lens for my camera

    @keith, cheers!

    @CGP, yup, my biased tongue says so

    @paisley, less triple the expenses lol

    @brian, no worries :-)

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  9. I was made hungry in my mouth at least. I just had lunch so tummy isn't quite as enthusiastic, but about 5 or so it will sound even better. Yum.

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  10. Totomai!

    Welcome back! I can sense from afar you're recharged with a heart brimful of inspirations from your recent home-coming. It is sad that great moments has to end but it makes us look forward for the next.

    You know that I share your sentiments of celebrating Christmas alone, away from family, from home out of our country. But I know its going to be ok. My happiness now comes from the joy I bring to my family by giving. I have stored enough happy memories with them that could last me a lifetime and I can always open the box of memories whenever I need them, especially this season.

    Your reverence to your mother shine in this piece of retrospection and celebration. It is known to me how you love your mom, and you know I feel the same to my mother. Reading this piece miss my mother's home cooking. More than the food, its the love that our mothers serve in the table that makes the difference. One thing I should be thankful to my mother, she taught me how to cook and I could easily dine anytime with her by cooking the dishes she taught me. I even choose her favorite color for my kitchen and dining room here in chicago so I would always feel her presence in my meals.

    Happy Birthday, Totomai.

    We have so much to thank for than to ask for this season, even if we are away from home.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

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  11. Wonderfully warm words and special sounds...the haiga is lovely, too! Baklava cake. Oh, my!

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  12. Your Mother certainly is Queen of the kitchen - wonderful sounding food! And you've written a really good poem in her honour.

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  13. i loved the picture...

    sending a you a huge wish of merry christams, a happy birthday and a happy new year all rolled in one...

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  14. @mary, same here im satified with the written words

    @jeques, thanks man. yup ill be 30 soon. lol. aaaa.i guess, i will always be a mama's boy for life. hehe.

    @tumblewords, thanks. yes, yummy. lol.

    @STG, i guess so, to me she's the queen of the kitchen and my queen.

    @thinking aloud, thanks for the rolled in one greetings lol

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  15. Can't wait for our photo shoot session! :p

    See you in the following days!

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  16. Mom's cooking is always the best.. and what a tribute, loved the poem. Very nice, and three wishes combined to a fellow Capricornian ;)

    UL

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  17. @benj, well, see you then. hehe

    @UL, oh, a happy birthday for you too.

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  18. next time, you should schedule your vacation here extended up to new year.

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  19. @tukayo, hehe. oo next time. di lang kasi napayagan ng boss na puti hehehe merry christmas sa yo

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  20. Hey toto,

    I hope everyone there has had a Merry Christmas nevertheless, I know how hard it is to spend it apart. I would've swapped places with you.

    Give my regards to everyone there.

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  21. hi di, ok naman kaming mga pinoy dito. hehe nagcelebrate lang kami konnti. ikaw? hope na ok ka din diyan

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  22. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!...It was nice having you back here in Bacolod even for a short time..We will miss u totomai!!

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  23. @mamang, di ko pa masuksok ang polo kay sa waterfalls kami bwas sa bday ko hehe :-)

    thanks gid mang regards kay day suping

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  24. Hi Tomai! Happy New Year! It's been a while :) Anyway, I've always loved the poems you make for your mom. I have always admired people with such devotion to their mother.

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  25. @karis, belated merry christmas sa imo. hehe thanks guid. oo busy ka gid guro last time

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