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Mabuhay! I'm an Asian American writer (Back Kicks And Broken Promises, Abbott Press, 2012), martial artist and teacher who was born in The Philippines, raised in Hong Kong and ended up in New Jersey.

08 January, 2012


Today’s the Epiphany, the day the three kings got to Jesus and gave Him the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. I believe today is actually the day the Greek Orthodox celebrate for its Christmas celebration. For me, as a Catholic, it’s the end of the liturgical Christmas season and the day that my family takes down its Christmas decorations and puts our tree out into the curb for pickup.
It’s refreshing, in a way, to move on with regular life again (as if that hasn’t already happened with the return to work and the disappearance of Christmas carols from the radio and, just about, everywhere one can go in November and December) but it’s always a little bit of a bummer during the removal of Christmas lights from the tree and seeing the red and green all but gone from our living room. Perhaps it’s from some kind of unresolved childhood issue or missing a big family gathering like I used to have as a kid - and not just any family gathering - or maybe it’s from some other kind of longing that I can’t quite pinpoint or maybe it’s just from the holiday blues but I always have a sense of something isn’t quite finished, that Christmas was somehow incomplete. It has nothing to with the presents I did and didn’t get, did and didn’t give. Like I said, I can’t pinpoint it.
Regardless, this Christmas was probably the best I’ve had in years and, like I mentioned in a previous post, that’s largely because of Jude and his awareness of things and how excited he was. Next Christmas he’ll be more aware and maybe we can revel in his excitement all over again and do a better job of surprising him with his gifts and teaching him the miracle of the season.
Our New Year’s celebrations were a nice wrap up to the season. Other than when we visited The Philippines in 2010 for Christmas and New Year with our families, normally we just ring in New Year at home in a very low key manner. If memory serves me right, in 2009, I think we – Jude, Guada and I – actually went to bed before the ball drop on Times Square. Yes, we actually went to bed. We didn’t fall asleep watching TV and tried to stay up for the countdown. This year, our friends Ani and Sam came over, ate dinner, drank champagne and stayed the night. We stayed up, watched the ball drop, watched clips of Russell Peters on YouTube and laughed a lot. The following day, I got up and went for a four mile run with our dog, Bauer.
I didn’t make any resolutions for 2012 until later in the week. I stopped making resolutions years ago. Yes, every year I vow to get back into shape and improve my fitness. I vow to spend less. I vow to laugh more and be more social. I don’t make these as resolutions because I believe these are things that should be done all the time and not just promised on January 1. On January 2 or 3, however, Writer’s Digest Magazine tweeted if any of us writers had made any resolutions. With my novel coming out in the next few weeks, I decided that I would be a more disciplined writer in 2012.  To that end, I plan to write a screenplay adaptation of my debut novel, Back Kicks and Broken Promises, and finish the first draft of my work-in-progress, Sage of Heaven. Other than that, it’s a case of ‘same stuff, different year.’ I just want to do the ‘same stuff’ better.
So, as the season ends, I want to wish all of you best of success, health, happiness, contentment and whatever else you might want for 2012. If you’ve made resolutions, go for them and I hope things don’t conspire against you so you fail to keep them. And, for the last time until December 25, 2012 and January 1, 2013, let me wish you a final Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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