Pasko in America

By Alex P. Vidal

“Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.”—Thomas S. Monson

IF there is a pasko in the Philippines or Christmas in the Philippines, there is also a Pasko in America.

The holiday-themed festival, an offshoot of not-for-profit Fiesta in America, the longest-running indoor Filipino event in the United States East Coat, projects an attendance of 15,000+ Filipinos from New Jersey, New York and nearby states, announced organizer New Jersey-based Fernando “Nanding” Medez.

It will be held on December 16 and open to general public, according to Medez.

Attendees will be bolstered by over 60,000 consumers of all cultures expected to pack for holiday shopping Court A of American Dream in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the second largest entertainment retail center in the United States.

Some people believe the best time to visit New York and New Jersey is during the Christmas season. Visitors are expected to get ready for high prices and huge tourist crowds.

If they enjoy the holidays, it can be a great time to visit New York, but it will be too cold to spend all of their time outdoors.

There’s nowhere in the world quite like New York City during the holiday season.

Rose Marie Walano and Elle Decor editors suggest if we think the Big Apple is bright and bustling throughout the year, it becomes that much more so during the winter months.


Between the decked-out department stores, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, and all the twinkly lights everywhere we go, Christmas in New York is nothing short of magical.

The only question is, which activities should be at the top of your list.

The temperature is likely to be a bit frosty, so we will be glad to hear that there are plenty of indoor options too.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art displays a stunning Neapolitan Christmas tree annually, while Lincoln Center offers multiple holiday-themed performances (including, of course, the New York City Ballet’s timeless “The Nutcracker”).

And there’s no restaurant in town more Christmassy than Gramercy’s Rolf’s—which, fun fact, is actually always in Christmas mode.

The city hosts a number of world-renowned holiday events and shows—the tree-lighting at Rockefeller Center, the Rockettes dazzling in Radio City Music Hall, FAO Schwarz’s extravagant toy displays, and more—but what truly makes New York burst with seasonal flair are the lesser-known sights and the people behind the attractions.

From brilliantly decorated homes in Brooklyn to an indoor winter market brimming with joy, Veranda’s Sarah Demarco said there are endless ways to celebrate Christmas in New York.

Whether we are a proud New Yorker looking for a night of yuletide fun or traveling to the city for the holidays, this list of activities and attractions will make us feel jolly.  Let’s bundle up and get exploring.


Below is the official statement of Department of State Spokesperson Matthew Miller on U.S.’s support for the Philippines in the recent South China Sea act of harassment:

Outside Scarborough Reef on December 9 and again near Second Thomas Shoal on December 10, People’s Republic of China (PRC) ships employed water cannons and reckless maneuvers, including forcing a collision, causing damage to Philippine vessels undertaking official supply missions to those locations, and jeopardizing the safety of the Filipino crew. 

The PRC ships at Scarborough Reef also used acoustic devices, incapacitating the Filipino crew members, and drove away Philippine fishing vessels. 

By impeding the safe operations of Philippine vessels carrying provisions to Filipino service members stationed at Second Thomas Shoal, the PRC interfered in lawful Philippine maritime operations and in Philippine vessels’ exercise of high seas freedom of navigation.  Obstructing supply lines to this longstanding outpost and interfering with lawful Philippines maritime operations undermines regional stability.

These actions reflect not only reckless disregard for the safety and livelihoods of Filipinos, but also for international law. 

As reflected in an international tribunal’s legally binding decision issued in July 2016, the PRC has no lawful maritime claims to the waters around Second Thomas Shoal, and Filipinos are entitled to traditional fishing rights around Scarborough Reef. 

As provided under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, the 2016 arbitral decision is final and legally binding on the PRC and the Philippines, and the United States calls upon the PRC to abide by the ruling and desist from its dangerous and destabilizing conduct.

The United States stands with our Philippine allies in the face of these dangerous and unlawful actions.

We reaffirm that Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty extends to armed attacks on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft – including those of its Coast Guard – anywhere in the South China Sea.


SUBTLE CLUES THAT SAY ‘I WANT YOU’: The over-the-knee rub which is crossing your legs farthest away from him on top. Then massage he spot just above your knee. This will catch his eye and tap into his brain’s arousal center. Source: Body language expert Janine Driver

SUBTLE CLUES THAT SAY ‘I WANT YOU’: As you’re sitting across from him, look at his mouth and flash a sexy, closed-lipped smile, like you have a secret. It’s a primal signal that you want your hands–and mouth on him. Source: Boy language expert Janine Driver

TAKE NOTE LADIES: If a guy hugs you by coming up behind you and wrapping his arms around your chest, it’s a sign he’s in love.

SLEEPING MACHO MAN. One in 20 men has fallen asleep during sex. (FHM)

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)