Merry Christmas to all our readers!
For me, the best Christmas gift I ever got was visiting the Holy Land, very timely that we traveled to Israel two weeks before Christmas. From the capital Tel Aviv, we visited several places like the old city of Jaffa, Caesarea and the Roman Theater. We also got to see the Bahai Gardens at the port city of Haifa, Israel’s biggest port.
We had a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, then to Capernaum, the town Jesus Christ called his home. We also went to Tabgha where the Lord performed the miracle of the multiplication of loaves of bread.
We likewise visited the Mount of Beatitudes where the Eight Beatitudes are framed on stones at the site of the Sermon on the Mount. But the most significant was our visit to Bethlehem where we were able to touch the manger where Jesus was born, then on to Jerusalem – the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where he cried and got betrayed – then the Golgota Hill where he was crucified, buried and resurrected. We did not miss going to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Very touching was seeing pilgrims praying at the Western Wall or the Wailing Wall where you write your special intentions on a piece of paper and insert it in the different holes on the wall.
One of our friends had his intention granted in 12 hours, which got me goose bumps. The highlight of our trip was swimming in the Dead Sea where one automatically floats due to buoyancy. We applied mud all over our body, touted to be medicinal and good for the skin. Feeling good after the swim, this trip was truly unforgettable and most memorable.
Meanwhile, Beverly Hills-based businesswoman/philanthropist Vina Nacionales celebrated her birthday at an elegant party at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. Invited guests were friends from Los Angeles including Andy Edralin, Edwin Leviste and celebrities Vina Morales and Ricky Davao who sang several songs, among them.
Vina was also serenaded by the “Tony Bennett of the Philippines” Arthur Manuntag. Jonathan Badon then sang several Italian and French songs. Ballroom dancing followed to the music of the Nonoy Lopez and his band.
While in town, she was awarded as one of international photographer Rupert Jacinto’s Fabulous Women at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Hotel.
She plans to come back next year to be one of the models for a big fashion show. More celebrations to come, Vina!