Tonight, we shifted back our Thursday Family Home Evening to the usual Monday evening to join the nation in celebrating FaMEALy Day - a family dining every 4th Monday of September!
As supported through Presidential Proclamation 1895 declaring the commemoration of the Filipino Family Day every 4th Monday of September, Lucky Me! (my fave brand of noodles) launched in 2008, the first National FaMEALy Day - Araw ng Pagkilala na Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga through a photo-essay contest. I submitted my entry, and helped my three sisters-in-law in submitting theirs. Lucky Us! Two of our entries were picked as winners and my article was published in the September issue of the Philippine Star. The contest won for us 8 tickets for a Buffet Meal at HEAT, EDSA Shangrila Hotel for more bonding moments.
I am republishing here the winning essay:
"One of the Ojeda Family traditions is the monthly get - together, usually on the first Saturday or Sunday of each month. This is done either at my parent's house in Bulacan, or at a special restaurant if there's something exciting going on coinciding with the date of the get -together.
I always enjoy and look forward to our monthly family dining experience (even if as the family grows the expense grows too). It is a tradition that I started with the family, because it was during mealtime that I learned important lessons from my parents while growing up. At the dining table, my parents taught me to be curious, to ask questions, to treat people respectfully, to work very hard and to always do my best. They believed that no matter what I chose to do with my life, these skills would help me. They let me know in dozens of little ways that they trusted my decisions, trusted me to stay focused on my goals, and trusted me to lead an upright life.
I also learned to value education. My parents were poor and obliged to work immediately after high school. College was out of the question and an impossible dream. Despite this they desired an education for their children. It is one of the great joys of my life that I did not disappoint my parents. I am a lawyer now for almost ten years, and currently a corporate attorney in a global corporation sole. Because of the values I learned mostly during my dining experience with the family, I graduated valedictorian in law school, cum laude in college and became a recipient of academic and extra-curricular achievements and recognition both in school and at work. As we continue this family dining tradition, I am able to show my parents my gratitude for all their teachings. Also, it provides opporunity for my nephews and nieces to learn and pick up values which will help them too as they grow up".