Category Archives: earthquake

Seven Adorable and Precious Angels

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I attended my good friend, Felda’s son’s Rite of Baptism with my oldest

daughter and her son, Micah. We were in awe of the beauty in St. Mary’s

Catholic Church and I took some photos of the Virgin Mary, lovely stained

glass windows and most importantly, the seven little angels who were

doused with big dollops of water and the Holy Spirit.

I feel sharing the seven little cherubs’ first names will help you to picture

them better, include them for a moment in your thoughts and it will help

me later on, to remember their names in my prayers.

Jackson

Cooper

Hudson

Grant

Zachary

Jacob

Elena

There was an abundance of baby boys as you can note from their names!

Zachary was blessed to have his grandmother come from New Jersey, she

is disabled and has difficulty getting places. It was so kind of her son,

Zach’s father, Jason’s brother to drive her for this special event. Felda called

it  a “christening” on her invitation given to me, to share with my oldest

daughter and family. The single sheet or program, passed at the door gave

a different title, “The Rite of Baptism.”

There was a beautiful black and white (resembling pen and ink) drawing

of an angel with wide outstretched wings on the program. The priest

who performed the service was a lovely African American man named

Rev. B. Augustine Okpe. He went around to each famiy before the service

and greeted them, asked for the name of each baby so he could try to

remember their last names’ pronunciation.

The first part of the service, I felt you may be interested in knowing is called,

“Liturgy of the Word.” This part encompassed scriptures, a homily, general

intercessions and the litany of the saints. The last part of this portion included

an explanation of the “Oil of Catechumens.” This is a blessed oil by honored

and respected persons above the level of the priest, Archbishops come to

consecrate the oil.

“Celebration of the Sacrament” includes blessing of the baptismal font,

renunciation of sin and profession of faith. It also had the beautiful individual

baptisms of each baby. The first family who was presented the baby was not

the least phased by the water splashing, each one after were a little fussy but

no great wailing ensued! I wondered about the temperature of the water, I

also wondered of the ease of the babies accepting the splashes of water. It

was not like the Episcopalian baptism my oldest daughter was given, with

a sprinkle and a cross drawn on her forehead with the reverend’s thumb

gently placed. (She wondered about this, I told her after the service, she

was only three months old and her godparents were nontraditional, in

that we chose both my brothers. My youngest brother married about 12

years later, telling his wife she was a “guest godparent!”

The next part was titled “Explanatory Rites”

In this part, the anointing after Baptism, using the oil and called, “Chrism”

was performed. The words,

“In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost” are said while the oil

is put on the baby’s forehead in the sign of the cross.

Instructions regarding baptismal garment were given, the godparents

were told to come forward to light a candle from the “Baptismal Candle”

and take it back to where the baby’s families were seated. The next part

I did not hear the explanation or missed it, maybe Micah “squirmed” or

caught my eye but this part sounds interesting, you may investigate on

your own, or if Catholic, explain in the comments section:

“Prayer over Ears and Mouth,” called the “Ephphatha ” was the last of the

Explanatory Rites.

The Conclusion of Rite included the Lord’s Prayer, Blessings and Dismissal.

In the dismissal, attending friends and family were told that there would be

a Reception of the Children, in the rear of the sanctuary. This was more of

a receiving line, than a reception (in my mind that would include food and

drinks).

We proceeded to the Fire Station, located on  S.Rtes. 36/37 where we helped

prepare the room for Felda, Jason, Kridia Dawn and Zachary’s arrival. Mary

Jane, her husband, James also helped. “M.J.” looked lovely in her purple dress

and James looked very handsome in his suit. They were named Zachary’s

godparents.

I have permission to use Zachary’s names (but not his last name.)

Zachary James Nelson (and there is a last name, too!)

I am going to list the delicious filipino dishes, along with the ones we

and guest brought, too.

Filipino food included:

“adobo” or “humba” (pronounced hoombah) which can be either

chicken or pork, cooked in a spicy sauce that includes soy sauce.

There were rice noodles by themselves.

“lumpia” (egg or spring rolls) where the meat is prepared ahead with

different vegetables and drained well. Then the phyllo is laid out and

the “stuffing” put in.  Felda fries them in a light canola oil until they

are turned light brown on all sides. These are delicious and not heavy

tasting,  the lightness in flavor is very nice indeed!

“pensit” is a mixture of rice noodles, meat and vegetables. This tastes

very good with an Asian sauce that is like sweet and sour but spicier.

Felda says they go to an Asian store on Sawmill Road in Columbus,

Ohio to purchase this. The meat used in this “pensit” is an apple cured

pork belly, it has strips of fat within the meat. It is very tasty!

There are certain gelatin squares that look like jello but are chewy that

are put in their “traditional fruit cocktail,” along with coconut milk and

coconut.

The “flan” tasted much like my Mom’s recipe for Mexican or Spanish flan.

The Philippines, Felda told me, take their foods and flavors both from the

Asians and the Spanish cultures. I told her I am able to listen to her, M.J.

and May and hear many Spanish words, like “trabajo” is work, etc.

I love the caramel sauce that you make of burning sugar with butter

and the thick, custard like texture to “flan.”

Another dessert is called, “casava” which is a chewy, sweet “cake” but

is also more of a moist cake or almost like custard, too.

Felda admonished or advised to “try just small bites,” to my oldest

daughter and Micah, too. Each thing may need to be tried, since she says

the textures and flavors of filipino food is quite unique compared to our

“plain” American taste buds.

My oldest daughter went back for seconds on several of the main dishes,

but only ate small portions of the desserts, because she was getting too

full! Micah liked the potato chips, the rice noodles, the “pensit” and the

meat by itself.

The American food they had were dishes brought by us and others. This

included an apple cake, sour cream cake, barbecued chicken, barbecued

beef brisket sandwiches and cole slaw.  We had brought the chips, a raw

vegetable tray and cheese, sausage slices and crackers. These appetizers

were consumed while we waited for the guests to arrive. Several people

who were not at the church came to the filipino party and we all enjoyed

lively music. While we would have liked to stay more than 3 hours, Micah

was getting tired for his nap. We missed out on some games and karaoke

singing, too!

Felda and I added up the number of filipino parties I have attended since

I met her four and a half years ago, to the sum total of six celebrations!!

I had given her my grandsons’ babysitter’s name in Felda’s first week of

her working in the Bin Order Filler position and she has known Skyler

and Micah for all of that time, along with my oldest daughter, too. She met

my daughter in law and my son’s family downtown, we planned a meeting

and traveled around together for a fun First Friday about two years ago.

As always, this cool but sunny Sunday afternoon was filled with laughter,

loud and boisterous voices and delectable traditional filipino foods!

“A grand time was had by all!”

(Micah fell asleep as we were driving, in his car seat. Now that he goes to

preschool, age 4, he is back to being worn out in the afternoons. My

daughter says that it is a nice change from his giving up his naps at age 2!)

 

I would like to request that you keep the Philippines in your thoughts still

because there have been very high after-shocks and the levels following

the earthquakes are worse than the first ones. James, M.J.’s husband, led

us in a nice prayer before we ate and included the details of the disaster

that is still going on, as of Sunday, October 20, 2013.

 

Force of Nature

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When I arrived at work at 6:45 a.m. this morning, my good filipino

friends were chattering about something, with a distraught look

on their faces and a higher pitch to their native language. I have

spoken about my friends, Mary Jane (“M.J.”), May and Felda. I am

closest to Felda, due to her daughter going to my grandsons’

babysitter that I matched her with back four years ago.

It turns out there was an earthquake sometime recently, during

the night on the island of Cebu. Felda was awakened early with

a call from her siblings who said they were fine, along with her

dear, precious mother. I was relieved but could tell there were

others who may have some destruction… I inquired of Felda,

“Were there any other friends or family injured or houses

demolished?”

She held my hand, squeezed it and said, that her very special

cousin who is also in her late thirties had a big crack in the entire

house. Walls were crumbling inward, so they had to gather a few

of their memorabilia and leave for a different, safer location.

M.J. was still upset, so I asked her while she was speaking to May,

“Excuse me, how are both of your families?”

May said her parents and siblings were very well and not near the

epicenter of the quake. She was still worried about one sister who

was away at college on a different area from the earthquake. She

had not answered her phone. Mary Jane told me her mother was

nervous, she has had a heart attack in the last two years, her father

had passed away the first year M.J. came to work at Advance Auto

distribution center. I asked if maybe her husband, David, who is

sometimes off and not well, could connect with them all via Skype

or emails while we had to put our phones in our lockers until first

break?

Mary Jane (who can be sarcastic and funny, in a rather bawdy way,

answered, “Are you kidding me? Robin, that man is so lazy that he

won’t even consider helping me move a dish from the table back

to the sink, where I am washing dishes!”

We burst into laughter at her tone and emphasis! She is used to

being our “comic relief” during exercises, morning meetings and

even our upcoming Quarterly meeting (which is tomorrow, Wed.

Oct. 16th). She rolled her eyes, shrugged her shoulders and told

her 2 younger friends,

“Whatever happens is meant to be! Robin, say a prayer for our

families and homes, please!”

We all exchanged hugs then, the trio whispering a few contrite

requests I believe to God. (They are all devoted Catholics.)

We disbursed to get our equipment and find out our daily area

assignments since at 7:00 a.m. we would be doing exercises with

our boss and boss’ boss today.

Keep the Philippines and its people in your prayers and any other

surrounding areas that may be effected by the earthquake on Cebu.

Especially, if you are one to pray, include my three friends who are

all citizens, having married men who they mutually chose and fell

in love with here on the “mainland.”