Happy Chinese New Year!

2019 is the Year of the Pig.

Pig’s aren’t necessarily considered to be an overly smart animal – basically they like sleeping and eating and becoming fat. On the positive side, pigs behave themselves, have no plan to harm others, and can bring wealth to people.

People with Chinese zodiac Pig sign are considerate, responsible, independent and optimistic. They always show generousness and mercy to endure other people’s mistakes, which help them gain harmonious interpersonal relationships.

What about if you’re one of the other Chinese zodiac signs? What does the next year bring? Well:

  • Rat – A year full of happiness and prosperity!
  • Ox – A good year for Ox. A time with good opportunities to make money.
  • Tiger – Born in a strong and independent zodiac sign, as a general rule, you do what you please. This year through, you will need to learn how to come to terms with others.
  • Rabbit – An excellent year is waiting for you! A bit less wary than usual, you will easily get close to others and make new friends.
  • Dragon – For you, the impact of the Pig’s calmness will mean a year of reconsideration’s.
  • Snake – This year you’ll have to be combative and persuasive
  • Horse – The year of the Pig 2019 is going to be more auspicious than the Dog Year 2018 !
  • Goat – A 2019 year under the mark of chance, when all your ambitions will be fulfilled .
  • Monkey – A year under the influence of chance .
  • Rooster – This year you need to actually pay attention to the quality of your relationships with others, if you want to succeed.
  • Dog – This year count only on your own efforts in order to succeed.
  • Pig – The year 2019 is yours, right? Start by setting your priorities and then get to work: once you start moving, you will start seeing results.

Condolence Wreaths

I spoke with my friends at Little Flower Hut recently about the etiquette associated with expressing condolences when a loved one passes away and they offered their thoughts to me –

Flowers can be one of the best ways for you to express your emotions. They symbolize love, respect, sympathy, and condolence if someone you know or dear to your heart has passed away. This is the reason why flowers are common at funeral’s – they serve as a visible tribute to the deceased. If you do intend to send a condolence wreath to a relative or a friend, then it’s important you choose the right flowers and make sure that it is presented the best way possible to show the intended respect.

Reasons for Sending a Condolence Wreath

It is important for you to know the value of sending a condolence wreath for someone you know who has passed away. It can be a way for you to show how much you treasure the relationship that you have had together and as a final opportunity to show respect. With so many variations that you can choose from, you really have to know which one to have for the wreath to most fully show your support and sympathy for the deceased and their loved ones. Listed below are some of the reasons why it is necessary that you send flowers at a funeral.

  • Sentiment – The idea of sending flowers at a funeral is a simple action to show the value of sentiments. This can be a group of feelings and ideas that you have experienced.
  • Belief – Knowing that people before have already been sending funeral flowers, it is expected that you will do the same.
  • Freedom of Expression – The simplest way for you to express your emotions when someone dies is to send a condolence wreath. Besides, flowers are known to easily touch the heart.
  • Atmosphere – The best way to create a peaceful and warmth ambiance at a funeral service is by using flowers.
  • Spiritual Significance – Flowers don’t only signify love and sympathy but they also represent immortality and infinity.

People obviously feel depressed and down if someone they love died. So if you want to show sympathy and respect, then you can think of sending a condolence wreath. Flowers definitely have a symbolic meaning especially in situations where people feel extreme emotions. They are not only a symbol for the living but they also play an important role to the departed. You don’t have to travel from one flower shop to another when searching for a wreath instead you can go online and look for different condolence wreath from different florists where you can have lots of flowers and arrangements to choose from.

russellwalker little flower hut 1


Local Festivals in the Philippines for Jan. 20th – 26th 2019

Jan. 14 to 20: Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival

Festivities include a float parade, street dancing featuring indigenous music and participants in ethnic clothing, penitential procession, Mass and the transfer of Sto. Niño de Kalibo.

Jan. 20: Sinulog Grand Parade

Closing activity of the Sinulog Festival, which pays homage to Santo Niño.

The festival’s theme this year is “One Beat, One Dance for the World.”

The day starts with a Mass at Cebu City Sports Complex, followed by the grand parade, wherein participants strut in colorful costumes and props in the streets of Cebu City.

Jan. 25 to 27: Dinagyang Festival

The festival, set every fourth week of January at Iloilo City in Iloilo province, is also among the many events held in Western Visayas to profess devotion to the Santo Niño.

The festival started as Ati-Atihan festival, but organizers in 1977 changed its name to “dinagyang,” from the Hiligaynon word “dagyang,” or merrymaking.

This year’s festival theme is “Connecting Communities through Culture and Faith.”

Among the activities lined up are fluvial and foot procession and a tribes competition.

With thanks to Kathleen de Villa, Inquirer Research


Local Festivals in the Philippines for Dec. 16th – 22nd 2018

Dec. 16 to Jan. 2, 2019: Giant Lantern Festival

The city of San Fernando in Pampanga province lights up for the Giant Lantern Festival, locally known as “Ligligan Parul.”

Thousands of local and foreign tourists come to the city to watch the festive display of lights and lantern designs in the exhibition that will run until Jan. 2 next year. A giant lantern is usually 6.1 meters (20 feet) high and is made of colorful bulbs intertwined in wires.


Dec. 16 to 22: Paskuhan sa GenSan

A “fantasyland-themed” Christmas festival of General Santos City in South Cotabato province. With a budget of P4.5 million, the festival features the annual grand pyrotechnics competition at the Oval Plaza grounds.

Other events include light-a-tree contest, barangay “belen” competition, Christmas carol for senior citizens and drum and lyre competition.

Dec. 16 to 20: Pasaway Festival

Residents of Sipalay City in Negros Occidental province celebrate the mining industry that transformed Sipalay into a booming town that eventually became a city.

Copper was one of the main products of Sipalay, before several mining operations closed down.

Participants in the street dancing competition are clad in ethnic costumes with copper ornaments.

With thanks to Kathleen de Villa, Inquirer Research


Local Filipino Festivals 2nd – 8th Dec. 2018

Dec. 2 to 5: Palayan City’s founding anniversary

The city of Palayan in Nueva Ecija province celebrates its 53rd anniversary.

Former President Diosdado Macapagal issued Proclamation No. 495, designating Dec. 5, 1965, as the date of the formal organization of Palayan City, also known as the rice granary of the Philippines.

Activities include a job fair, community service caravan, first aid olympics, zumba fest and “larong Pinoy” (traditional Filipino street games).

Dec. 8: Pag-alad Festival

The town of San Fernando, Romblon province, gives thanks and praise to its patron saint, Mary Immaculate Conception, for blessings in the past year.


The Philippines’ top court hears arguments for legalisation of same sex marriage

This week, in an historic first, the Philippines Supreme Court is hearing arguments for the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

In a move that’s surprising to some, President Duterte has expressed his in-principle support to same sex unions.