To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom. Dietrich Bonhoeffer:


Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.---RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.---ABRAHAM LINCOLN
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.---ALEXANDRE DUMAS
“It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones" --- Alexander Solzhenitsyn quotes (Russian novelist, Nobel Prize for Literature (1970), b.1918)
“Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.” ---Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Christmas Day '10

Oh, I had the longest celebration this year. It started from the the Christmas eve mass  where I went to two different churches. First, to Mary Help of Christians and then to St. John. I attended the mass at  St. John's as the other church had the mass in Thai.

I had great a time  in MHCC though, as they had a Christmas program of some dancing and singing. There was also of course this Filipino group joined by Rev. Fr. Tamayo singing the Christmas Carols.

I got early at St. John. I went there alone and found a seat for myself. It was good to know  that my colleauge in the university was also attending the mass. She was with her husband. I found out from her  that our work holidays would be extended although she told me she wasn't so sure about the info. Anyway, we finished the mass and had St.  John's traditional Christmas eve potluck. It was so great to have various Filipino dishes and the mood for feast was just so perfect. I did love the food and I did love the crowd.  I knew a couple of Filipinos in there but I was basically all by myself. Good thing being with Filipinos is that despite of you being alone, you'd never feel that way.

Christmas day, the 25th was at work. We had series of parties and games for kids, exchanging gifts, too. The kids were all happy and you know, it really feels a lot better being surrounded by young ones. Their energy and their innocence are just fantastic and that becomes double when they are happy.

There were foods, balloons and  freebies.... those made the day really fun. Our students are generally Buddhist but they, too celebrate Christmas and still in the same spirit of joy and giving.

I was definitely at work on Christmas day eerr........I had Christmas day at work and I did love it! 

Christmas Day Gospel

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1-18)

What is so special about the gospel today is the realization of what was foretold. In the previous readings, this moment was spoken about and that is happening right now.

 The first reading is from the book of  Isaiah 52:7-10

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion, “Your God is King!”
Hark! Your sentinels raise a cry, together they shout for joy, for they see directly, before their eyes, the LORD restoring Zion. Break out together in song, O ruins of Jerusalem! For the LORD comforts his people, he redeems Jerusalem. The LORD has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations; all the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God."

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
R. (3c) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
his right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.

Second Reading
Hebrews 1:1-6
Brothers and sisters: In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways  to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe, who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word. When he had accomplished purification from sins, he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high, as far superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
For to which of the angels did God ever say: You are my son; this day I have begotten you?  Or again: I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me? And again, when he leads the firstborn into the world, he says:
Let all the angels of God worship Him.

Holy Gospel
John 1:1-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. 

He came for testimony, to testify to the light,  so that all might believe through him. 
He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 
He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. 
He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation  nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision  but of God. 

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. John testified to him and cried out, saying,  “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me  because he existed before me.’” From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses,  grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,  has revealed him.


I  discern how lucky we are being treated this way  aside from having this gift of life and many had to sacrifice for the benefit of mankind. On the other hand, I felt bad that the baby Jesus who's birthday  is  in this very day was just  born in a manger and whose parents were even refused of shelter that time. I can imagine the burden, pains and suffering Mary and Joseph had  for the birth and even Jesus Himself as he was born and lived in this life. I may mention up to His death.

Christmas indeed is the time for JOY to us yet, as I see how the Holy Family made to Christmas, it was never easy. The difference: they were on obedience and selflessness not minding what could they benefit on the sacrifices but what their pains could do to the rest of humanity. I hope we all DO Christmas as they did, and that to really give joy to others.

Misa de Gallo / Christmas Novena - Ninth Day

 December 24, 2010

I finally have the time to write now, at least, the past days have been so eventful and  full of memories and joy. I'm so grateful for everything this Christmas has been great though being away from home. There are thoughts in  mind that I should have gone home I can't deny that; nonetheless, I'm thankful that despite the distance, I still feel the best Christmas as I always have even when I was still a child.  As a routine  referring to Misa de Gallo,  let me share the words on the ninth day of the novena mass.

"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and  and set them free"  Luke 1:67-69

The first reading was from Samuel 2. I find this quote meaningful.

“Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you.”

From the responsorial Psalm:
R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. 
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever; 
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”; 
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.

The Holy Gospel is the continuation on Zechariah from Luke 1:67-69. He praises the Lord and speaks of His promises such as  to free from enemies, free to worship without fear and being holy and righteous in His sight  all the days of our lives.

I think we've attained these promises at present, surely we have the freedom to worship and despite the dangers this world has sometimes, we can still say that we live in a safer world and finally we have the best options to do the right things in our respective lives, in case we fail, no one pressures anyone. Indeed righteousness is a presonal thing, in one's guilt and conscience.

Both Freedom and Freewill are our gifts, we live in these times that we are bound with all the beautiful gifts around us, it's up to us what to pick and what to enjoy; however, along with the pleasures we are also reminded on our our faith  and reverence to our creator.....not necessarily of fear but of love and  trust.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Misa de Gallo / Christmas Novena - Eighth Day

"Your ways, oh Lord, make known to me;  
 Teach me your paths,
 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
 For you are God my savior."

Those above were from the responsorial psalm for Dec. 23, 2010 readings. The quote is remarkable for Christian faith as it calls for prayers...yes, for us to bend our knees and to call for His guidance and help. That we just have to humble ourselves and pray for the things we desire balancing the truth and goodness according to His will. It also speaks on God being the way to all our concerns, may it be in sin and being the upright as He is, he has the heart for the humble who seek his guidance. The responsorial psalm also reminds us on the covenant and keeping His inturctions for better living.

The first reading was from Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24 . It speaks on the Lord's coming. I personally think this is a bit scary how the Old Testament presented this reading. But anyhow, I think the message is CHANGE that if we know we are in a terrible situation or may have enjoyed sin these times, the Lord reminds us to change and do better things. And that we don't have to be afraid of changing our evil ways and do good instead and He himelf reminded us to be good, do good and turn our hearts to God.

The Gospel is  from Luke. Again, it speaks on Elizabeth, this time on giving birth to a son. If we can recall in the previous gospels, the Angel mentioned to Mary that the baby be named, John and in this gospel despite the pressure that the baby be called Zechariah after his father. Elizabeth  contested that the baby be called John and when  the father was asked what the baby would be called, Zechariah worte in a tablet saying  John is His name.

And you know what?  Zechariah was MUTE that was why he wrote his desire in a tablet for the baby's name  following the will of God and right after that very moment, he began to speak again! It was indeed a miracle his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke of blessings from God. Everybody who were there in that moment were amazed for they knew that God was at work, first of giving Elizabeth a child despite her old age and letting the mute Zechariah speak.

I love the gospel. It speaks on the goodness of the Lord and truly nothing is impossible for Him. If we can notice, John is  Jesus's cousin who  was with Him in his journey that time. And he is the John in the  book of  New Testament  that we read. Anyhow, what's your Christmas wish? :)

"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. LUKE 11:9

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Misa de Gallo / Christmas Novena - Seventh Day

December 22, 2010

Wow! Two masses more to go and it's Christmas time once again.   I went back to MHC Church last night  as the mass was in English. There is this feeling of  "high" when you can digest all the things that are goin' on around you. It feels like each of them come to one's every veins and it feels tremendous.

The first reading was from  Samuel. It was on  a  mother named Hannah who offered her son, Samuel to the Lord.  She stated that she prayed for the child, and the Lord granted her  request and she gave her son to the Lord in return. As long as Samuel lived, he should be dedicated to the Lord, she left her son  at the temple of the Lord in Shiloh. This is momentous as  this reading manifests how prayers work and reminds us of being grateful on the blessings that we get. Hannah is such a grateful person and as a mother, we know that it isn't easy to be away from a child but because of gratefulness, she didn't mind the thougt and just trusted the Lord in everything believing that her child child would be in better hands.

And the gospel? Here it is, still a  sequel of Mary and Elizabeth.

Luke 1:46-56
Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.” Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home."

 It was  a concelebrated mass of Father Tamayo and Father Ledesma. Father Ledesma presided the mass and his Homliy was very inspiring. He shared that our history speaks on  the rich and  the famous. We can hear nothing about the poor of the old times but the bible starred the simple people of the past. Like Elizabeth, an outcast of  being barren and Mary who was just  a poor girl. Father Ledesma also spoke on freedom to one self. As many of us desire to change and improve this world but sometimes we fail to note that everything starts WITHIN us and in our respective families.  He also shared on thinking in a micro level. That sometimes we get so anxious in the world and the things around us, neglecting our very own selves forgetting that there are some things that we need to change and improve better in ourselves. And that our respective souls reflect in us and we can inspire more people by inspiring ourselves first. That we can change others, if we change ourselves first. And that we can't be kind to the rest unless we are being kind to ourselves.

And talking abut kindness, I think it was so kind and nice of some Filipinos who had last night's novena mass for thanksgiving. They prepared dinner for everyone after. It was also a good chance to get to know some others and share a meal with them.

Fil style spag, pakbet, dinuguan anf fried fish

Misa de Gallo / Christmas Novena -Sixth Day

December 21, 2010

Have you ever had that feeling that you want to open your mouth to praise and sing but you just can't do both? How about expecting something and you just learnt that something else happened that you never thought of?

Sure we, do. I was early  last Tuesday thingking it was my time to visit St. John Parish for the Novena mass. I used to attend masses in the church as well as in Holy Redeemer  in Ploenchit in my early years here and I thought it was time for me to visit. I haven't visited St John this year until that day.

 Anyway, I got there earlier and was glad about it. There were about fifty to sixty churchgoers majority were Filipinos maybe just about ten were Thais.  As the priest showed up, I got the cllue that the mass would be in Thai as he is Thai.

And there it went, the mass was so good only I couldn't understand any word and  could sing with the choir. For many times, I was tempted to open my mouth and just say the prayers in English but it was just different.  If I can remember in my other writing that the blessings in the holy mass matter and that I should go on having the same mentation about attending mass in a language incomprehensible to me. It was funny though that aside from the reason of  visiting the parish again, I opted to go there, too as Mary Help of Christians Church's mass that time was in Thai. I was surprised I'd be attending a Novena in Thai still. Anyhow, I'm not complaining, I'm pretty aware that some things just happen and when they do, surely there are good reasons behind them. :)

On the sixth day, the  first  reading was from Songs of Songs. It expressed on the bloom of a new day. It spoke on winter being over and that flowers appeared on earth. To my reflection, it is the coming of the good news and that after days, a new better day has come and thus we exalt the goodness and greatness of the coming of a new time. The emotion here is in absolute joy as a lover brings hope to the other one. There is the feeling of joy, hope, love and contentment.  It feels like when one is in high emotion, he would want to sing for joy.

The gospel was from Luke. It's a succession of Mary and Elizabeth's story. The previous day talked on the mary being informed about Elizabeth's pregnancy despite of her incapability to have a child. This time, Mary visited Elizabeth. The baby reacted as soon as it heard Mary's greeting. Elizabeth couldn't believe still what was happening to her and she cried out in a loud voice to Mary " Most blessed are you among women, and blessed in the fruit of your womb."  This is also part of our prayer to the Virgin Mary "Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed in thy fruit of they womb, Jesus." The gospel indeed  plays an essential part in our prayers. I'd love to share, too the gospel's final message " Blessed are you who believe that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."

We can sense that the progress of the reading is getting intense and that the excitement is preciseltyrising, praise God we should be as just a few days from now mark when the CHILD was born.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Misa de Gallo / Christmas Novena - Fifth Day

The first reading is from Isaiah 7:10-14 speaks on the Immanuel prophecy pronounced by prophet Isaiah in the Kingdom of Judah. That  the prophecy  talked on the birth of Jesus Christ by the virgin Mary. It was also relayed  quite similar with the reading on the fourth day of Novena Mass.

 The gospel is of  St. Luke,  this time on the Annunciation marks the beginning of the fulfillment of a prophecy by Isaiah.  It was in the sixth month when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. This gospel is very improtant for the Catholics as we got from this our Hail Mary prayer. This is also in our Angelus that we pray at six in the evening. And more importantly, the message  "Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God".

If the situation of Mary happened this time, I think it wouldn't be easy to manage or maybe handle things in some way.  She was a virgin and would bear a son.  But then the angel assured her that she didn't need to be scared and that she was in the will of God. This was also the time when Mary was told about her cousin Elizabeth will conceive a son despite her old age. It was also her sixth month. It was a miracle, too as she was even called barren for having no capability of bearing a child. And what so special about Mary in the Gospel, was her response saying "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. may it be done to me according  to your word. "

I was personally touched on the homily Father Tamayo shared on couples who had had  babies but just surprisingly died. The first couple was even active in a helping community and for once in their lives they couldn't believe that such  trials could happen to them. And so the second couple almost lost hope on the pains they've been through of losing their babies.  Such things that may appear very undesirable for us let us down and sometimes make us question about God's existence; however, if we believe in His blessings, plan and will, we  see the brighter perspective and even be grateful on things that we find catastrophies.

God has his own plan, we just have to surrender and offer our ambitions, dreams and goals to Him and He will lead us to a better way. It's taking away fears in us and just have faith in our dealings. Nothing indeed will be impossible for God.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Misa de Gallo / Christmas Novena - Fourth Day

Sunday is the Sabbath  day and it's the Lord's day.  This is also a special day for me so  I'd like to account the day on the Gospel and devotion.

The Fourth day is  devoted completely to the figure of Saint Joseph of him being  a righteous man  and he as a witness to Mary's virginity.  The Gospel also speaks of the story of Jesus Christ through the eyes of  Saint Joseph. St Joseph looked into the future and  disregarded his own goals  entrusting himself to God and to stand by Mary.

It's the fourth Sunday of Advent, the gospel is from Matthew. The first reading is from Isaiah of the Lord speaking to Ahaz. The Lord himself told Ahaz to ask for  a sign from God in any manner though Ahaz refused to do so, the sign of Jesus Christ coming was  shared and thus be called

My reflection, I believe this is a call for us to pray. That sometimes in our lives and especially in doubts we can surely communicate to God and ask for enlightenment. We shouldn't  keep any distance intead reach out for He is always with us. And even at times we don't pray, we are still guided and that reflects how loving our God is. He never turn His back.

Second reading is from the book of Romans.  It speaks on Paul being called to be an apostle. The message of the reading is calling us to be Holy, calling us  to do good in our daily lives.

The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to  St. Matthew is of Joseph that he even doubted at first, thought of  staying away from Mary when he learnt of her being pregnant, util the angel appeared  in his dreams  telling him not to be afraid to take Mary and they shall call the son Emmanuel which means God is with us. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel commanded and he took Mary, his wife home.

My reflection, it may not be easy to trust all, but we have to do especially to our Church. And thus we have to stregthen our faith. The readings display and inspire the faith people had in the past, I believe there's no much difference between the past and the present on how one can put his faith in better value...even at least having one.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Misa de Gallo / Christmas Novena - Third day

I had my third at  ABAC  church and it was my first time to get there. It took awhile for us to locate the place as surprisingly the cab driver didn't know where it was. It was so funny we asked a couple of people where ABAC was and the last person replied with his hand pointing  on the right. We both really didn't see the building until that point on the finger.

The church is on the second floor of the graduate school building. Lights were still off when I get there but there were already some people inside, my friend and her husband, the nuns and the priest waiting for the time.

I find the experience memorable as aside from being there the first time, it was also my very first to hear mass from an Indian priest, in fact the nuns are Indians as well. There wasn't any choir yet the acapella songs were heavenly and I think it made the whole novena more solemn. There were many Filipinos around and cute kids as well. 

They handed in some copies for songs  except the readings. As the reading started, I realized that the mass was still on day two as the church didn't start as MHC.  I told my friend that we were having the same readings as last night, we just went on and finished it anyway. It was the blessing of hearing mass that matters.

I've just checked a Catholic site and read the gospel for the third day Christmas Novena mass. The first reading is from Genesis and the holy gospel is from Mathew 1:1-7 speaking about the  genealogy of  Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.  It is of fourteen generations; from David to  the  Babylonian exile, and another fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Christ.

We had snacks after the mass, there were some bread, "pancit sotanghon" and some softdrinks. I was glad, too meeting more Filipinos  who are active in Couples for Christ.  We left the church at once and had good laughs on the road.

Misa de Gallo / Christmas Novena-Second day

It rained yesterday afternoon unluckily, I lost my umbrealla so I thought of not coming to the church and will  hear the dawn mass instead. However, it stopped by half past six in such manner I decided to get dressed fast and went to the church after all mass will be in English and I've been longing for it.

 I took the taxi but still ended panting getting to the church,. The place where I live is the center of traffic jam and it had a couple of stops even just turning left heading to the church. Guess it took me five minutes to take the last turn alone. To make the long story short, I got there after the Gospel. Father Tamayo was the officiating priest.

The church provided  Euchalet for the  the Novena, it says "Stand Firm in Faith...Do all your work in Love". It was  a big help at least I could read the Gospel as I was late. The first reading was from Isaiah talking about salvation for all with the condition that we must "observe what is right and do what is just".  Let me quote this verse, I personally  find this  very inspiring "Thus says the Lord: Observe  what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. Happy is the man who does this, the son of man who holds it; who keeps  the Sabbath free from profanation, and his hand from any evil doing". 

Oh, well I think this is not very hard for us to do, it's fine to be fair..we all want to be treated fairly and so we don't really aspire to hurt someone else by our  wrongdoings. It doesn't say of not doing anything, just reminding us to be good as much as possible. We can imagine if we all think the same way, this world can be more beautiful and peaceful...:)

The gospel was  on  John 5:33-36. That the son came to earth was sent by the Father. And Jesus stated that all His works were done by the Father. That there wasn't any need for any testimony from a human being but He said it Himself that time that what He was doing represented and reflected the works of the Father. That He performed and worked in behalf of the Father that sent Him. Jesus perfomed miracles  and many gave witness to those.

Going back to the mass, I was so happy as there  were more people in there  compared to the first night and I also saw my friend who brought me to the church last month. She was the reason why I got to Mary Help of Christians Church. She was with her family. I was surprised, too that the organizers of the mass prepared hot drinks for us and was told to get some coffee and milo plus some bread, "palitaw" and "turon"after the mass.  Raffle tickets were also sold at 200 per stub, I got one for Christmas Eve party... I still have to ask what to with this lol!

I heard though I still have to confirm that tonigh't mass will be in Thai. I think they're having it every other night, Thai,  English, then Thai and so on.

I may  go to ABAC Church in Assumption university in Soi Moo Ban Seree in Ramkhamheang road for tonight's Novena Mass as it's in English, yes, still at 7pm.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Misa de Gallo in Bangkok / Christmas Novena Mass

I had my first Christmas novena last night at Mary Help of Christians Parish at Krungthep Krittha in Hua Mark.   The mass was in Thai at 7pm. The officiating priest related that they decided yesterday that it would be in Thai however tonight's mass will be in English still at seven in the evening.  There weren't much  people in there just  more or less fifty but it was great to be blessed. I didn't understand anything or could sing any  but thankful of them handing away a sheet of paper for the English readings and the Gospel.   The first reading was from Isaiah. It talked on us having lots of confusions in our lives yet  we  need to believe and have faith in God that everything will be better soon.  The Gospel was on  faith as well., and believing that  Christ has come, proclaim the good news and take no offense at Him.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My first 2010 Christmas Party

While the rest of the Thai people celebrated H.M. the King's birthday and father's day, some Filipinos in Bangkok added another event to that day and that was our Christmas Party last December 5.

Had it with other Pinoys I met in siampinoy online community and it was good to meet people for real. The highlight was the tasty lechon and gift-giving/exchanging gift. I have to add, the videoke was also one of the best parts. We had fun especially that we love taking photos and being photograph, too. It does happen wherever we are and with Fils. around posing and smiling are always amusing. Here are two of  the photos! :)

Simbang gabi / Misa de Gallo in Bangkok

Yoohooo!!! Ten more days and it's Christmas once again! I'm always fascinated of the glimmering Christmas lights wherever I go and of course, the celebration will never be complete for me without going to a Catholic church for mass blessings here in Bangkok.

We are quite lucky having more options in here, too it's either we can  go to the novena mass in the evening or at dawn.

Simbang gabi will start tonight, December 15 at St. John Church in Ladphrao Soi 2 and  Mary Help of Christians Church at  Krungthep Kritha Road, Hua Mark.  Mass will be at 7pm  from December 15-23.

Misa de Gallo or the early morning masses  will start on December 16 at 5:30am both in  Holy Redeemer church in soi Ruamrudee, Ploenchit and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Ramkamhaeng 184.

This should sound more fulfilling having more churches to choose from. I for sure can go to the nearest church from my home and indeed it feels better to feel  Christmass like in the Phils. even being away from home and family.