Tag Archive: celebrations by filipinos


Paraw Regatta Boat Race

Paraw Regatta Boat Race

Every year, thousands of local and foreign spectators who have a passion for boat racing, fishing, sailing, and sailboat designing line up the beaches of Iloilo city to witness, participate, and celebrate the annual Paraw Regatta Festival.  It is the oldest traditional craft event in Asia, and the largest sailing event in the Philippines held in Iloilo every year since 1973.  Paraw Regatta is actually an exciting boat race from the island of Iloilo to the island of Guimaras using a boat called Paraw with the wind as  its source of power and motion.  Paraw is a Visayan double outrigger sail boat  which consists of the outrigger, the hull, and the sails.  This native boat is a strikingly fast boat, making 20 to 30 kph through the waves and used by the locals everyday as a means of inter island transportation and a source of livelihood.

Paraw Racing attracts a lot of participants from different provinces and also attracts thousands of tourist from around the world.  The boats have to sail more than 30 kilometers distance and is divided into three categories according to waterline length. During the event, people feast their eyes on the hundreds of beautiful, bright, vibrant and colorful paraw boats speeding and chasing each other to the finish line.  The objective of the Regatta is to celebrate the skills of the paraw sailors, and bring a fiesta spirit into their lives.  And with the colorful painted sails, this spirit is brought into the lives of participants and tourists as well.

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Pasko Na Naman

Malamig na ang simoy ng hangin, ibig sabihin pasko na naman.  Sa ordinaryong mamamayan kasabay ng pagsapit ng pasko ay ang dagdag na gastusin sa naturang okasyon.  Dahil na rin sa kinagawiang tradisyon sa Pilipinas, hindi maiiwasan na hindi maghahanda sa pasko, at lalong malungkot kung wala tayong maibibigay na regalo sa mga kamag-anak lalo na sa mga mumunting bulilit na umaasam-asam ng magagandang regalo galing kay Santa Klaus.  Sa mga mayayaman, okey lang, mas masaya kasi nga magkakasama-sama ang pamilya habang pinagsasaluhan ang marangyang pagkain sa noche buena habang nagbibigayan ng regalo sa isa’t isa. Sa mga dukha, sa mga batang kalye, sa mga pulubi, sa mga ulila, malungkot talaga lalo na’t walang makakaalala sa kanila tuwing kapaskuhan.

Ang ating mga kababayan na OFWS na hindi makakauwi sa buwan ng Disyembre ay malungkot ring ipninagdidiwang ang napakahalagang okasyong ito dahil sa sila ay malayo sa kanilang mga mahal sa buhay sanhi na rin ng kahirapan sa Pilipinas.  Isinasakripisyo ang kanilang pansariling kaligayahan, iiwanan ang kanilang mga magulang, mga, anak at asawa kapalit ng dolyar na dulot ng pangingibang bayan.  Di bale na, kahit wala ang Inay at Itay sa pasko, marami namang handa at maraming mamahaling regalo ang matatanggap mula sa kanilang pawis at pagod na syang puhunan sa paghahanap ng pera sa ibang bansa.  Ang regular na padala ay nadodoble pa tuwing pasko kaya sobrang tipid at dobleng kayod ang gagawin para mapunan ang luho at mga hiling ng mga minamahal sa Pilipinas tuwing kapaskuhan.

Kada buwan ng Disyembre, ang lahat ng mga bilihin ay tumataas bigla.  Ang presyo ng mga gulay at prutas ay halos hindi na kayang bilhin ng ordinaryong mamayan.  Ang mga inaanak ay ganun din. Nag-aantay ng mga bonggang pamasko mula sa mga ninong at ninang na naaalala lamang pagsapit ng pasko.  Kapag hindi ka makapagbigay ng kahit na munting regalo, “kuripot” ang magiging bansag sa iyo.  Ang pagbibigay ng regalo tuwing pasko ay isa sa mga kinagawian ng bawat Pilipino at ito ang nagpapasaya sa bawat isa tuwing pasko.  Ang lahat ay abala sa paghahanda ng mga regalo at ang iba naman ay nag uumpisa nang magshopping bago pa man sumapit ang buwan ng Disyembre.

Ito ang tunay na pasko sa Pinas.  Masaya, magastos, malungkot, halo-halong emosyon ang mararamdaman ng bawat isa.  Ngunit ganunpaman, tuwing pasko, ang sambayanan ay nagkakaisa para sa isang mithiin.  Ito ay ang pag gunita at pagdiriwang sa pagkasilang ng Panginoong Hesus sa pamamagitan ng mga kinagisnang tradisyon bilang Pilipino at Katolikong mamamayan.  Kinakalimutan muna ang mga alitan, ang mga problema at kung ano ano pang suliranin dahil ang mensahe ng pasko ay kapayapaan, pagbibigayan, at pagmamahalan.  Sana marami po tayong mapasaya ngayong  pasko.  Maligayang pasko po sa inyong lahat!

Mga Simbolo ng Pasko Sa Pilipinas
  1. Christmas Tree – hindi kumpleto ang pasko pag walang Christmas Tree
  2. Parol – maliwanag na parol ang simbolo ng bituin sa Belen
  3. Belen – kung saan ipinanganak ang Panginoong Hesus
  4. Santa Claus – nagbibigay ng regalo sa mga bata
  5. Christmas Caroling – pamaskong himig and dulot sa sambayanan
  6. Misa De Gallo – simbang gabi tuwing ika –16 hanggat ika 24 ng Disyembre
  7. Noche Buena –  espesyal na mga hain sa bisperas ng pasko (24 ng Disyembre)
  8. Christmas Party – kris kringle, monito monita, exchange gifts, atbp.
  9. Puto Bumbong at Bibingka – paboritong pagkain pagkatapos ng simbang gabi
  10. Christmas Gifts – inaantay ng lahat tuwing pasko

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Are you hunting a job abroad? Are you willing to give up anything to work outside your home country? If yes, then you are not alone. Millions of people around the world aspire to migrate and work in different countries othen than their own to earn big so that they can support their families back home. This is the current scenario in Philippines. Millions of Filipinos desire to work abroad because of poverty, small income generated from their current job, employment instability, and lack of job opportunities especially for the new graduates. Mostly, young Filipinos either land up in the contractual job, on-the-job-training without pay for a year, they endure job-hopping from one company to another trying to find the right one, or end up wasting their time till the opportunity comes which will take months, and at times, years before they could get a decent job. Thus, the only option is to search for work outside the country.

At present, the most popular destination countries for Filipinos are UAE, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, USA, Qatar, Malaysia, UK, and Canada. For the nurses, the most popular destination countries are Saudi Arabia, USA, and UK because they are in great demand, while majority of Filipino managers, office workers, & domestic helpers either go to UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, & Malaysia. In UAE & Qatar most Filipinos flock because of the tremendous job opportunites in the sales, f&b, & hotel industry sector. There’s a booming demand for expatriate office workers and business support functions, IT, and also engineering, while construction workers are in great demand in the middle east. Taiwan and Korea are destination countries for factory workers and technicians.

If you wish to get hired you can apply through Philippines Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) licensed recruitment agencies, in both local and foreign firms. Learn the terms and conditions of the employer, and avoid scams by not paying any fee to any person or agency unless the working visa is in your hand and you have signed the employment contract. Below are the list of requirements from the applicant, but may need more as requested by the recruiting firm, and the expenses shall be borne by the OFW applicant.

• Passport
• NBI/Police/Barangay Clearance
• Authentication of School Documents
• Birth Certificate
• Medicare
• Trade Test, if necessary
• Immunization as required by host country
• Medical Examination fees

If you get hired directly without the aid of any agency, or you were able to secure an employment contract through referral, or have directly applied to the company, you still need to process the passport, work visa or work permit, employment contract verified or authenticated by the Philippine embassy or Philippine consulate in the country of your destination. You are also required to undergo a medical examination by a DOH-accredited clinic or hospital and a pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS).

How To Avoid Illegal Recruiters & Scammers

Plenty of Filipinos have been victimized by illegal recruiters in the past and lost a lot of money in the process, sold their sole property, incurred huge loans because they fall into the sweet promises and lured by the prospect of non-existing jobs abroad. Avoid being a victim by checking out the list of ways to identify scams and how to spot one:

1. Illegal recruiters don’t have a permanent office address.
2. Agencies that demand advanced payment.
3. Illegal firms would ask an applicant to call a third party number. Be wary.
4. Ask for references, if the agency could not disclose any information then be suspicious.
5. Check the reliability of the recruiting firm if too many complaints happened in the past.
6. Avoid firms that operate solely via telephone or mail.
7. Find out how long the employment company has been in business.
8. Get all promises in writing.
9. Research any information the firm provides to you before you make a commitment.
10. Ask if you will be eligible for a refund.
11. Never send cash in the mail, and be extremely cautious with firms that require a money order. This could indicate that the firm is attempting to avoid a traceable record of its transactions.
12. Do not hesitate to ask questions. You have a right to know what services to expect and the costs involved.
13. Keep a copy of all agreements you sign, as well as copies of checks you forward to the company.
14. Do not give your credit card or bank account number to telephone solicitors.
15. Do not be fooled by official-sounding names. Many scam artists operate under names that sound like those of long-standing, reputable firms.

Although the process of obtaining a job abroad takes a lot of sacrifices, patience, a lot of guts and prayers, in the end the rewards are really great once you are settled in the new country. The OFWS around the globe is estimated to be at around 12.5million and the remittances made these people into Philippines has really improved the lives of their loved ones back home. The OFWs also helped to boost the Philippines economy. Imagine the balikbayan boxes sent by these OFWS to their families every other month. There are Filipinos in every country, and chances are, there are Filipinos traveling in every known sea. If you wish to be one of them, to be called as global pinoy, overseas filipino worker (OFW), bagong bayani – then prepare yourself physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Once you are out of the country there is no turning back…

 

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Trivia Time

1.  Watermelons, which are 92% water, originated from the Kalahari Desert in Africa.

2. The poisonous Puffer Fish (Fugu) is a great sensation in many restaurants of the world. Only very qualified and trained cooks are allowed to prepare it, because if something goes wrong, it could be your last meal! Fugu has become one of the most celebrated and notorious dishes in Japanese cuisine.

3.  In the movie “Gandhi” 300,000 extras appeared in the funeral scene. Of the 300,000, approximately 100,000 received a small fee, and the other 200,000 did it for free.

4.  An owl has three eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy.

5.  A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, a group of geese in the air is a skein!

 

 

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Trivia Time

1. Royal Caribbean’s 142,000 ton behemoth, “Voyager of the Seas,” is the first ship ever to have its own zip code (33132-2028). Hosting up to 3,114 passengers, it’s approximately 42,000 tons larger than the U.S. Navy’s largest aircraft carrier, and features a 15,000 square foot fitness center, 9-hole golf course, 200-foot rock-climbing wall, two-story library containing over 3,000 books, and a regulation-size ice skating rink!

2. Why is a wedding ring worn on the ring finger? The Western practice of wearing a wedding ring on the third finger (not including the thumb) began in Greece in the third century B.C. The Greeks believed that there was a vein, named the “vein of love,” that ran from what we now call the ring finger directly to the heart. As a result, they placed the ring that symbolized love on that finger. Later, the Romans, adopting Greek science, copied the custom and took it one step further. Roman physicians used their ring fingers to stir medicine, believing that since the ring finger was connected to the heart, it could detect toxicity.

3. The design of the Eiffel tower is based on the design of human bone.

4. The first “bathing suits” for women were introduced in the early 1800’s. At that time it was still considered improper for skin to be any color but creamy white. The first “suits” were composed of long sleeved bathing dresses with woolen bloomers underneath to weight the dress down. The only “swimming” a woman did at that time was to jump waves at the edge of the water and dip her feet, and occasionally legs, into the water.

5. Two people breaking a wishbone is said to lead to good luck for the person with the larger piece.

 

 

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Trivia Time

1. A jumbo jet uses 4,000 gallons of fuel to take off.

2. Farmers’ Market is one of the best west markets in Philippines. It is located in Cubao, Quezon City.

3. The Amazon River is the mightiest on Earth – 17,500 liters of water empty out of it every day. The Amazon is also the 2nd longest river in the world.

4. Women have about four times as many foot problems as men; lifelong patterns of wearing high heels often are the culprit.

5. Male anglerfish physically attach themselves to females early in life. The females continue to grow but the males don’t. The males are parasites. Over time, they lose most of their inner organs and depend on the female’s bodies to survive. Two males may live off one female.

 

 

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The last week of Lent is known as Holy Week. It is a significant religious festival in the Philippines. In this predominantly Roman Catholic country, Holy Week is known as Semana Santa, Mahál na Araw, or Cuaresma. Beginning Maundy Thursday, businesses in the Philippines either shut down operations until Black Saturday or have later opening and earlier closing times. Work is suspended in government offices and private businesses nationwide. Most stores are closed and most people in the cities head to the provinces for the long Easter weekend. Local televisions and radio stations close down out of respect, or have limited broadcasting hours during the week, and those that do operate replace normal programming with special religious content and news coverage of religious ceremonies, or prayers, and biblical programs. The Church keeps the day solemn by not tolling the church bells, and no mass will be celebrated. Pilgrims visit famous religious places as well.

There is one tradition in the Philippines which is very spectacular during Holy week. You have to see it to believe it. It gets a mixed attention all over, some find it good, others find it a taboo. It is the traditional Nailing on the Cross (some people are tied-up by a rope on the cross instead of using nails for safety purposes). Mostly men, will be nailed to a cross to honor the crucifixion of Christ. Some do this for re-enactment purposes, some people do this to atone for there sins. Others do this as their pledge to God for keeping them safe from harm. Those who believe that they need atonement for their sins, need repentance and forgiveness voluntarily offer themselves to suffer, to carry the cross, and to be nailed on the cross. Some believers opt to carry the cross during Black Friday, others chose to whip themselves during the procession until they bleed, with thorny crowns on their head.

Starting the day of Lent, Filipinos abstain from rich foods and meat products. In some places, all animal products are strictly forbidden, while others will permit fish, eggs, and still others eat only bread. In some cases, believers abstained from food for an entire day; others took only one meal each day. Some people opt to stop their gambling habits, or give up some bad habits like drinking and smoking during the lenten season. Fasting is observed for a period of 40 days, beginning on Ash Wednesday, and ends on Good Saturday. However, the main practice is to fast, abstain from worldly things and luxuries, sacrifice, repent, and renewal or strengthening of Catholic faith during the season.

Lent is a moveable feast which means the date changes from year to year. In 2012, Lent season started on 22nd February and Easter Sunday (8th April 2012) is the culmination day. Most Filipinos go for a long week vacation, go to their home provinces, and travel to different places in Philippines to observe the Cenaculo, Penitencia, Pabasa, Salubong, and other activities to commemorate the season. Famous places in Philippines to visit during Holy Week are Angono, Arrevalo, Iloilo, Baliuag, BantayanIsland, Guagua, Pampanga, Makati, Marinduque, Meycauayan, Paete, Paete, Santa Rita, Pampanga, San Pablo City, Sasmuan, & Vigan.

Easter morning (Sunday) is marked with joyous celebration “Pasko ng Muling Pagkabuhay” or the Pasch of the Resurrection) the first being the dawn “Salubong”, wherein large statues of Jesus and Mary are brought in procession together to meet, imagining the first reunion of Jesus and his mother Mary after Jesus’ Resurrection. This is followed by the joyous Easter Mass. During Easter, people celebrate by preparing a feast, they celebrate it outdoors, cook traditional food, while others go to beach resorts and celebrate easter as it is the end of fasting and penitence.

No matter what, Filipinos’ observance of Holy Week is really unique because it combines religious devotion with superstitions and even pagan practices, a truly phenomenal tradition which is practiced every year and being passed on from one generation to the next, a truly distinct legacy. Here are some superstitious beliefs during Holy Week which are still being “observed”, if not, feared or still believed to exist in Philippines.

1. Don’t make noise during holy week, loud music is forbidden, shows disrespect to God.
2. Avoid using sharp object as wounds tend to heal very slow, or not at all because God is dead.
3. Don’t take a shower on Black Friday especially at 3pm.
4. Healers, magical spirits, mediums, bad elements, monsters, witches are very powerful during the week, or they acquire power during Holy week.
5. Amulets, charms, magical stones and potions are powerful or very effective on Black Friday.

 

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Trivia Time- February, 2012

Approximate 80,000 components come together to make an F1 car. The cars have to be assembled with cent per cent accuracy. If it were assembled 99.9% correctly, it would go on the track with 80 components wrongly placed. TOP F1 pit crews can refuel and change tyres in around 3 seconds.

2. New York City is nicknamed the Big Apple after an early swing dance that originated in a South Carolina club called The Big Apple.

3. The blue whale is the largest animal on earth. The heart of a blue whale is as big as a car, and it’s tongue is as long as an elephant.

4. Overweight people spend an average of $485 more to clothing, $828 more for additional seating in an airplane and to $36 more on gasoline, than skinny people.

5. The Pitcher-plant is a carnivorous plant, a meat eater. Carnivorous plants usually live in nitrogen poor soils. They have ‘learned’ to augment the inadequate nitrogen available in the soil by capturing and consuming insects!

 

 

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To some, it was absurdly stupid, to those who are in love, thanks a lot to that short, fat and cute cuddly Cupid. In Philippines, Filipinos are always romantic at heart, and it is a trend to openly celebrate February 14 as the Day of Hearts. It is not an official holiday but people consider it as a Special Day for everyone. Each year Valentines Day is celebrated, not as part of the religious belief but due to its popularity, influences from the west and nationwide media participation. Being open-minded and willing to embrace the latest trend, February 14 of each year becomes a phenomenon. Young and old at heart celebrate by giving something to the most special person in their lives. That special person can be the fiancee, spouse, children, best friend, or even pets. The most romantic part is when couples choose to marry on this date. In fact, two thousand couples got married in Philippines on February 14, 2012.

Valentines day is always associated with the image of cupid, hearts, flowers, chocolates, greeting cards, stuffed toys, and heart shaped balloons. And to those who are single, they also celebrated it by organizing blind dates and going out with close friends who are either single, or to those who have no “dates” in that particular day. TV programs, movies, and even radio stations go along with the theme to capture the spirit of Valentines day. Schools in Philippines also organize Valentines Balls and parties for their students. Shopping malls are filled with valentine offers and discounts for the entire month of February, riding on the popularity of the occassion. Hotels and restaurants are always fully booked & crowded, as people tend to go out and celebrate. It is a truly special day for Filipinos.

In US, Americans celebrate February 14 in various ways. Just like in Philippines, it has become a largely commercialized phenomenon. Department stores and shopping malls stock Valentine’s Day-themed stuffed toys, food and snacks, gifts, greeting cards, and many other products to capitalize on the holiday’s popularity. Popular Valentine’s Day gifts include cards, chocolate candies, flowers, jewelry, and other tokens of affection. Many make handmade gifts for their friends, families, or significant others to express their affections. Teenagers and adults often look for dates or go out as a couple to celebrate it, just like the way Filipinos do. Outings can range from a dinner and a movie to weekend vacations at resorts or in nearby cities. Adults may also hold private parties or attend public parties to celebrate with large groups of friends on this occasion. Other people tend to create crazy and out-of-this-world ideas on how to make the day unique and memorable.

According to NRF survey conducted in US on January 4 to 11, 2012 and polled from 9,317 consumers, men were expected to spend $168.74 on clothing, jewelry, greeting cards and more this year — almost twice as much as women who spend an average of $85.76. The breakdown on products includes: $1.8 billion on flowers, $1.5 billion on candy, $1.4 billion on clothing and $1.1 billion on gift cards. Besides the flowers and chocolate, 70 million Americans prefered to dine out for Valentine’s Day. Daily ‘valentines day’-related searches have increased 35 percent over last year, according to Google. Among the top searches are valentines day meals and DIY valentines gifts.

Did you know?

1. One billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making it the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
2. Teachers receive the most valentines, followed by kids, mothers, wives and sweethearts.
3. Hallmark produced its first valentine in 1913.
4. 15 percent of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
5. The Catholic Church struck St. Valentine’s Day from its official calendar in 1969.

 

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Trivia Time_January 2012

1. What can be considered as the world’s sweetest mango is produced in the island province of Guimaras, Philippines. While other countries have different varieties of the tropical mango, none of them tastes like the superbly delicious Guimaras mango.

2. A violin contains about 70 separate pieces of wood!

3. Peppers has three times as much vitamin C as an orange and twice as much iron as spinach.

4. While sleeping, one man in eight snores, and one in ten grinds his teeth.

5. Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled… Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden, and thus the word G.O.L.F. came into the English language.

 

 

 

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