Some friends are opting for a stress-free Christmas this year. They're not going shopping, they just ordered gift cards online; they're not going into a cooking frenzy, they're just ordering food or eating out; and they're staying home to do what the spirit of the season should be about -- enjoying each other's company. What a liberating concept, don't you think?
But if you're like me who gets energized by the crowds and the frenzy, you'll want to partake of the recipes we're sharing from innovative chef Rolando Laudico, from our food writer Elizabeth Ann Quirino and from Goldilocks USA to make your Noche Buena table groan with enough dishes to feed a battalion.
Shifting to the Holy Land where it all began, a Filipino priest, Fr. Angelo Beda Ison, OFM, officiates joyously among Filipino immigrant workers as well as Christians and Muslims of all nationalities. First-time contributor Noni Mendoza tells us his story in "Happy in the Holy Land."
Meanwhile, in Chicago, Filipino heritage is celebrated and documented with The Field Museum's 10,000 Kwentos Project -- storytelling sessions about various regions in the Philippines in conjunction with the museum's extensive collection of Philippine artifacts. Rey E. de la Cruz elaborates in "Ten Thousand Stories in Chicago's The Field Museum."
For those who are seeking avenues for sharing this holiday season, how about sponsoring the education of an underprivileged child in the Philippines for 40 cents a day or $150 a year? Check out our Partner post this week on the Philippine International Aid. PIA recently held its annual fundraiser with a fashion show featuring the creations of Criselda Lontok. Beyond the glamour and the festivity, however, is the very real (and well-documented) charity work of PIA which TV journalist Lloyd LaCuesta fittingly captures in our Video of the Week, "The Special Children"
A technical glitch last week cut short my blog so we have reposted the complete version of "The Gravity of Vanity."