MattAndJojang's Blog

God. Life. Spirituality.

2018 Christmas Letter

with 6 comments

The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

2018 is a surprisingly busy year for Matthew and myself.

We are grateful to Sr. Sonia, who encourages and inspires us in our spiritual journey. Through her, we met two wonderful people, Ricky and Corito, who have become endeared friends. We are grateful for their love and friendship. In the words of Matthew, “I am always energized by the visits of Ricky and Corito.”

We are also thankful to Sr. Marijo who, in spite of her busy schedule, makes it a point to visit us at least once a month for fellowship, prayer and sharing. Her constant presence in our lives has been always a source of support and joy. We are always happy to see her.

Through the efforts of Sr. Marijo, our parish priest, Fr. Edgar Lumanlang, visited us on Matthew’s birthday when he turned 60! He prayed for us and gave communion to Matthew. The best gift ever is to receive Jesus through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist!

The year began with Matthew’s delightful and unexpected reunion with Jun who came with Sr. Marijo. It has been 40 years since they last saw each other. Sr. Marijo introduced Jun and Matthew and a small group of students to Zen meditation. They had a wonderful time of catching up with each others’ almost a lifetime of spiritual journey.

After Jun left my sister Cristy went up to Baguio. We had fun sharing stories and taking photos of each other. After Cristy’s visit, Luth, who is based in the US and whom I have not seen in decades, went up to Baguio for an overnight trip just to see me. I am deeply touched by her gesture of taking time to be with me. We spent a full day catching up on our lives.

As soon as Luth left, I met up with my dear friend Wawi and her family who also went up to Baguio for a visit. We enjoyed our time together during breakfast at Chocolate de Batirol in Camp John Hay and bought some pasalubongs in Good Shepherd. Not to be missed is Wawi’s favorite, the raisin bread from Palaganas Bakery!

We were happy to see members of the Sacred Heart Community, who dropped by on April 1 to celebrate Bro. Paul Aguas’ – Matthew’s Dad – birthday! This enjoyable bunch of happy brothers and sisters is so much fun to be with.

Still in April, I went down to Manila to be with my best friend, Natalie and her family, because of the passing of her Dad. It was also an opportune time to meet up with my siblings whom I have not seen in a while.

Matthew was delighted to reunite with members of Sacred Heart Community in the 1970’s – Pia, Jean, Flor, and Helen. Everyone had fun reminiscing the good old days! Since then, we have now reconnected through Facebook.

June was a special month for us. Besides celebrating Matthew’s 60th birthday and our 16th year wedding anniversary, we were happy to meet up with Binky’s parents. I have happy memories of them when Binky and I were still office mates and I would go up to Baguio for a visit. They have big hearts and have always made me feel loved and welcome. It was sad though, because that was the last time we were going to see Tita Rose. A month after, she passed on.

September was a stressful month for us because I had to rush Matthew to the hospital where he was confined. He had an allergic reaction to a diabetes medicine that was prescribed to him. But we thank God, he was able to recover albeit slowly. We were happy to see Gie and Mel, who also dropped by the house.

Come October, I had breakfast with Candy and Riley who went up to Baguio for a quick visit. After they left, my cousin from the US, Ate Ely came to the house with Ate Genie and Bobbie Malay (Ate Ely’s good friend). I was excited to spend time with her since I have not seen her in more than 10 years. Her company brought happy memories of my childhood.

Beth was a high school chum whom I have not seen since 1977 when we both graduated from High School. We met up because she was vacationing in Baguio. It was so much fun and it seemed like we didn’t run out of stories. She had to postpone an appointment two times because we could not seem to get enough of each other!

At the same time that Beth and I were together, Matthew was spending time with Leo at home. We always look forward to Leo’s visits because his pleasing personality makes him great company!

Finally, we cannot end this letter without mentioning our blog. Now on its tenth year, we have grown to have 350+ followers and have reached an astonishing  497,000+ hits! We are amazed and delighted because people from around the world are visiting our blog, liking our posts and our cyber community continues to grow.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and blessings for the New Year.”

— Matt & Jojang


Written by MattAndJojang

December 10, 2018 at 11:01 am

6 Responses

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  1. always grateful for the times our paths have crossed on this pilgrim journey. our friendship has only deepened through the years…merry christmas matt and jang ❤️

    binky abesamis

    December 11, 2018 at 12:27 am

  2. The good Lord has blessed me with your friendship and also that of your family. Thank you, Binky. Blessings to you, Butch and the rest of the family. Merry Christmas and a grace-filled new year. ~Jojang


    December 11, 2018 at 8:40 am

  3. It’s so hard to believe that another year has passed. It surely has been an eventful one for you! Thank God your health issues are resolving, and it’s good to hear that you’ve been able to be in contact with people from your past.

    I’ve been so grateful for the insightful things you post here, too. Even though I don’t always comment, I always give them the attention they’re due. While I haven’t jumped into social media, I do appreciate this blogging adventure, and the part you play in it.

    Best wishes for the coming year! I hope it brings you every good thing: health, deepened relationships, and the simple enjoyment of living. Best ~ Linda


    December 11, 2018 at 9:14 am

  4. Heart speaks to heart, and we know that which has engaged us together through silent years was just this realm. Subtle yet so very real! Empty-full!… Your life reminds now of Pope Francis’ mantra: God is misericordiando (mercy-ing)! Here now. Merry Christmas, dear Matt and Jojang.

    Sr. Sonia Punzalan, r.c.

    December 11, 2018 at 11:30 am

  5. Yes, Linda, time flies so fast.

    The past years has been a time of connecting with teachers, mentors and friends whom we haven’t seen in a long time. During this year so many friends came over our home. It was such a joy to see all of them and catch up with what’s happening in our lives.

    Thank you for visiting our blog. It always makes us happy to be able to reach out to kindred spirits, like you, through cyberspace. And it warms our hearts that you find what we post here insightful.

    We wish you, too, and your loved ones a Blessed Christmas and a Grace-Filled New Year!



    December 12, 2018 at 2:54 pm

  6. Sr. Sonia, in the realm of the Empty-Full we are always one. I am so grateful that its mysterious pull brought us together again after almost 20 years. Your visit last year was a happy occasion for us – full of grace and blessing!

    Thank you for keeping in touch with us. Thank you for encouraging us in our spiritual practice.

    A Blessed Christmas to you and the sangha at Bahay Dalangin!



    December 12, 2018 at 3:00 pm

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