life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节) stories

The only thing I am excited about in September is mid autumn festival. Love the dice game (even if I rarely win) as well as the mooncakes. I actually keep my favorite (lotus 1 egg/ made form lotus paste and with one duck egg) mooncake/s for breakfast, and eat another one come afternoon, as my afternoon snack.

Photo from thailandtatler

Photo from thailandtatler

As a child, I remember walking to a auntie neighbor’s house to see her making mooncakes, as she makes them to sell come mid autumn festival.  The smell of the cakes cooking wafting from her house is just yummy. I usually get a freshly baked mooncake from that auntie as a treat for keeping her company.

My mum and this auntie are friends. She even invites my Mum to cook with her. My mum usually declines and just buys lots of her mooncakes instead. This certain auntie tells me lots of stories regarding mooncake festival while she bakes.

Here are the stories/folklore told to me by our neighbor.

 

Chang E’s story (the moon goddess)

Chang E was a beautiful young girl working in the Jade Emperor’s palace in heaven, where immortals, good people and fairies lived. One day, she accidentally broke a precious porcelain jar. Angered, the Jade Emperor banished her to live on earth, where ordinary people lived. She could return to the Heaven, if she contributed a valuable service on earth.

Chang E was transformed into a member of a poor farming family. When she was 18, a young hunter named Hou Yi from another village spotted her, now a beautiful young woman. They became friends.

One day, a strange phenomenon occurred – 10 suns arose in the sky instead one one, scorching the earth. Hou Yi, an expert archer, stepped forward to try to save the earth. He successfully shot down nine of the suns, becoming an instant hero. He eventually became king and married Chang E.

 

But Hou Yi grew to become a tyrrant. He sought immortality by ordering an elixir be created to prolong his life. The elixir in the form of a single pill was almost ready when Chang E came upon it. She either accidentally or purposely swallowed the pill. This angered King Hou Yi, who went after his wife. Trying to flee, she jumped out the window of a chamber at the top of palace — and, instead of falling, she floated into the sky toward the moon.

King Hou Yi tried to shoot her down with arrows, but without success. Once on the moon, Chang E has only one companion, a (jade?) rabbit, is constantly pounding the elixir of immortality in a large mortar.

 

 

The story of the moon rabbit

The story goes about a god reincarnated into a poor old man and begged food from a fox, a monkey and a rabbit.

When an old man begged for food, the monkey gathered fruits from the trees and the otter collected fish, while the fox wrongfully pilfered a lizard and a pot of milk-curd. The rabbit, who knew only how to gather grass, instead offered its own body, throwing itself into a fire the man had built. The rabbit, however, was not burnt. The old man revealed himself to be a god  and, touched by the rabbit’s virtue, drew the likeness of the rabbit on the Moon for all to see.

Or the  alternate ending that, the god was so moved by the rabbit and sent it to the moon to become an immortal jade rabbit. Ever since, the jade rabbit stayed in the Moon Palace to accompany Chang E and pounded immortal medicine for those living in the heaven.

 

For today, I am going to see my grandama and the rest of the family  later to celebrate mid-autumn festival, and eat mooncakes.

 

*Try to look at the moon tonight, its at its roundest and brightest.

**Mid-autumn festival occurs every 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar.


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the long awaited retreat

So the retreat still pushed through (in a different venue), even if it is delayed we managed to learn a lot from our speaker Bro. Raymund Sanchez. Our main verse was Matthew 6:33.

FTF

Brother Raymund Sanchez

Brother Raymund Sanchez

He talked to us about the importance of placing God first, and even gave us a shining example in the person of Mr Samuel Truett Cathy of the Chick-fil-A fame.

If you have the time, read Samuel Truett Cathy’s story. It is very inspiring. 

I’m very thankful for the opportunity to attend a camp. I learned a new perspective in life, made new friends and get to know some of my friends better. Also, a refreshing break from city life.

Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay

Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay

We only stayed overnight at Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay. A nice cozy place that also has a mini farm with cute animals!

I kept on going back to look at the owl. Also marveling at how amazing God’s creations are.

hotel kimberly farm animals

Hotel Kimberly’s Farm Animals From top left Hotel Kimberly farm signage, left bottom a brown owl, top right a herd of sheep or ram, bottom middle rabbit, bottom right a family of ducks

The Hotel also sells their plants. So before going back to Manila, I brought two plants.

herbs for sale

herbs for sale

A mint plant and a bird eye chili/cayenne plant (locally known as siling labuyo). I plan to grow them for future use. A potted herb garden is also something want to have so, I have to start somewhere.

The mint was brought for 60php as a replacement for my chocolate mint plant given to me by my sister that was destroyed by the last typhoon. Hopefully this would grow big enough to supply mint leaves for our tea. On the other hand I have the chili that we got for 150php a bit pricier, but it already has tiny green chilies. A bit of time they would turn red and will be ready to harvest.

I plan to use it for creating the ubiquitous soysauce-chili dimsum dip.

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience. My retreat is kindly sponsored by Sis Aileen.

Hotel Kimberly is at Amadeo Road, Barangay Kaybagal North, Crisanto M. De Los Reyes Ave, Tagaytay, 4120 Kabite

 

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33