Anna Velas-Suarin

Gratitude Wall (inspired by Geminids Meteors)

HAPPY NEW YEAR, friends and readers! (And happy birthday to my niece, Jarmaine Abby Trilles!) May the new year bring you many more reasons to be grateful about.

Thank you, Lord, for the beauty and magic of the universe!

Thank you, Lord, for the beauty and magic of the universe!

I began writing this post last December 14 so please forgive me that this may sound a little stale. 🙂 That early morning, I fell asleep with gratitude in my heart and a smile on my face. Hubby and I just came back from UP Observatory to watch the Geminids meteor shower, the memories of which still linger in my mind.

I do not have a photo to share as proof of our beautiful experience that early morning in the UP Observatory but you may view some photos at That magical morning reminded me and JR once again that the mystery, beauty, and vastness of the universe are strong proofs of God’s existence and his great love for us. Whoever created such indescribable beauty must really love us so much, huh? 🙂 So I fell asleep that early morning with nothing but the deepest gratitude in my heart. I think I was even whispering repeatedly, “Thank you, Lord…thank you, Lord…thank you, Lord…” until I fell asleep (the quality of my sleep that night was probably among the best in my entire life!)

As many sky watchers know, the sight of a meteor is exhilarating, empowering, and enigmatic. You would always feel that sudden surge of joy (may be compared with adrenaline rush?) when you see one. In fact, based on how I felt each time a meteor appears on the horizon, I become so awed and captivated that I’d always forget to ask for my wish! ;D It is funny. In that split-second, you forget everything, even the wishes that you want to ask from God and the universe. “Never mind,” I said to myself. I saw 50 meteors that morning and that was enough. More than enough. I am willing to share those 50 meteors with you, my dear readers, and ask for your wishes. Consider them granted. After all, God and the angels who also stayed up that evening and dawn of December 13 and 14 must have watched intently from above, smiling at us, knowing that all is well on earth. If His children can still watch meteors all night–never minding the mosquitoes and other strange bugs hovering around–then everything is ok and going as planned.

It was wonderful to chat with a mother and son who also went to the Observatory to watch the meteors. We did not know their names and it was so dark to even try to look at their faces but it was enough that we shared the moments with strangers who must have also felt the same wonderful feelings that we felt. The bond between them (after all, how many mothers and sons still watch meteors together, right?) is inspiring. When JR and I have our own children already, we hope and pray that they will grow up equally in the same way that the young son had become–grateful of God and the universe, loving to and respectful of his parents, and always in awe of the stars, meteors, and the sheer togetherness of families.

One amusing ‘side story’ that evening was when a TV network (I won’t say which network!) crew member fell asleep on the make-shift ‘banig’ of old newspapers strewn beside where JR and I were lying down (we brought our own banig!) when there were thick clouds over the horizon and most people must have fallen asleep. Lo and behold, as I continue to wait for the clouds to clear, this crew member began…SNORING! That must have been such a sweet time to “sleep on the job”, right? ;D Nevertheless, I am pretty sure that getting assignments such as waiting for meteors and watching the stars is not that bad. In fact, it is very very good!

I end this post with a simple “Thank you.” Thank you, Lord, for the blessings and wonderful moments of 2012. Please continue to bless my family, friends, and country.


Here are basic information about Geminids meteors and the 2013 showers. Save the date!

Geminids meteor streams are groups of meteoroids originating from dust grains ejected from Asteroid 3200 Phaethon. These small dust grains (meteoroids) are distributed along the parent asteroid’s orbit concentrated close to the asteroid nucleus with fewer grains farther away from the nucleus. Every time the Earth passes through this stream of dust particles (i.e., meteor stream), we experience what is known as a Geminids meteor shower. These brief streaks of light from meteors, sometimes called “shooting stars”, peak on Friday night the 13th December 2013 when earth moves through the center of the dust trail left behind by the asteroid.

How to view the Geminids

Go outside, find a dark spot and look north north-east near the constelation of Gemini for the Geminids radiant. Meteor showers are strictly for night owls or early risers. The best time to view the Geminids is from around midnight to dawn. They are of average speed but very colourful. You should be able to see 120 streaks an hour or more during the peak. The Geminids meteor shower is active from the 7th Dec to 17th Dec with fewer activity either side of the peak time. (Source:


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