FIRST Sunday of 2019, January 6: Three Kings / Epiphany / Yordanovden:

On the First Sunday of the Year – the day when Christians celebrate “Three Kings” or Epiphany:

I just had to visit church in thanksgiving – and say a fervent prayer for God’s continuing guidance and daily bread.

The church was full – I got to look in only from the side – and so I did not see the Nativity Scene featuring the Three Kings or the 3 Magi visiting the Baby Jesus in his cradle.

But I got to see the Baptism Scene at the River Jordan – celebrated in Eastern Europe as “Yordanovden” on this same date!

The Immaculate Conception Parish – in our adopted provincial place in Rosario, La Union just downslope of Baguio City – commemorates the Baptism of Jesus Christ by Saint John the Baptist at the Jordan River – with Jesus and his baptizing cousin St. John on a pedestal in an enclosed space dedicated to this holy event.

A baptistery stands in foreground of the Baptism Scene.

Budol-budol still around!

Let us remain vigilant in any crowd – “budol-budol” gangs are still around.

Kudos to the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) – particularly the Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD) and the Traffic Police Unit (TPU) – for assisting the latest victims of the “budol-budol” – helping them go home.

May the “budol-budol” be next – in being sent home to where they belong – in jail!

This reminds me of my donated time in a quasi-volunteer post with the Baguio Tourism Council (BTC) sometime ago where we also dealt with suspects and victims of the “budol-budol” type – especially at crowded Panagbenga time. While reporting as Baguio Correspondent of the Philippine STAR in the early 2000s – before teaching at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) – I doubled as the office OIC (officer-in-charge) of the Burnham Park Tourist Information Center of the BTC then headed by former Baguio City OIC Vice Mayor Nicolas Tabora.

There – at “volunteer” rate – I networked with various offices/groups including the BCPO (Baguio City Police Office) and the BECG (Baguio Emergency Coordinating Group) on tourism-related incidents, especially during the annual Baguio Flower Festival.

That is, aside from welcoming and assisting tourists who came by our office for various advice – i.e. accommodation, tours, and tourist spots.

And there – in such OIC post – I hope to have made a difference with what I gave in time and effort.

Giving is—about making a difference

“Giving is not about making a donation. It is about making a difference.” –Cathy Calvin

Beautiful, meaningful posts from the various stations and offices of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) of the Philippine National Police (PNP)!

Complete with apt quotations/quotes/lyrics/poems – with the authors/sources rightfully mentioned and/or given credits!

Plus hashtags to boot! #PNPGOODDEEDS #PNPPATROLPLAN2030

The above quote was shared by the BCPO’s WCPD – from its post about helping out.

“Giving is not about making a donation. It is about making a difference.”

First Friday of the Year

January 4: First Friday 2019: Benedictine Priory: Rosario, La Union:

On the First Friday of the Year 2019, we visited the Benedictine Priory headed by our fellow Baguio Girl – Prioress Sister Simonette Valencia who welcomed us to their otherwise private Adoration prayers.

We were happy to be welcomed at the chapel gates by Sister Fatima Morales (of the Province of Basilan) who was then visiting from her new mission location (Binmaley, Pangasinan).

[Sister Fatima had earlier supervised the laying out in 2015-2016 of the Benedictine Priory’s Prayer Garden – with the Prayer Labyrinth (that we supported) as its center piece.]

We were also welcomed by Sister Teresita – the Sub-Prioress and Head of the Benedictine Priory Oblates.

Sister Monica – who played the piano organ during their Adoration prayers – gave us the Benedictine Priory’s tokens for the Priory’s benefactors. The tokens were greeting cards featuring paintings by Monet – plus her sketches with inspirational Biblical quotes.

Many thanks, Sisters!

A cross up in the sky on New Year’s Day!

2019 January 1 Tuesday: New Year’s Day: 8:56 a.m.:

A cross!

A cross in the south-eastern sky on the first day of the year!

Upon waking up, I looked out the windows in search of the rising sun – but it was not visible from any of the windows. Still, I took photos of the New Year sky – specifically the sky above the crowns of remaining pine trees in the subdivision park. I scanned and clicked from the top tree crown – with a bird flying overhead – then clicked leftwards toward the location of the hidden morning sun.

A cross!

A cross in the sky!

A cross in the sky on New Year’s Day!

May the sky cross mean blessings for all of us – at least in lighter loads on our shoulders.

Zero casualty!

Good news from the BCPO:

Zero casualty in Baguio City in New Year’s Eve revelry!


And in our family, this was the first time in history that my brothers did not feel compelled to procure the loudest and the longest-exploding “Judas Belt” firecrackers nor the brightest fireworks!

In fact, we did not explode any firecracker at all – contented with one “torotot”!