Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Legend of the Republic of LasPinas

Dear Sabine, I realized I have yet to write you a letter in this blog. So this is the first of many, Anaki. Anyway, I was just browsing the websites / blogs of other parents and saw that they write beautiful poetry when inspired by their children (Case in point: CL.) I don't write poetry anymore because, well, I no longer have the blues. But I remember writing a short story about Christmas. It was written a month after you were born in 2003.
My friends in this picture are wearing RED because we wanted to be identified as a group when we celebrated Christmas 2003 at PhilHealth. It was my 1st Christmas with them and, more importantly, with you. It got me to thinking why Red is the color of Christmas. I really don't know why so I invented a reason. The result: The Legend of the LasPinas Republic.

One Christmas Eve, during the Revolution, a spanish officer was ordered to lead his squad in killing ALL Filipino patriots in Las Pinyas. But before doing so, he decided to visit his pregnant wife who was about to give birth. When he opened the door to his house, he was shocked to see KATIPUNEROS, dressed in RED, waiting inside for an ambush. Knowing that his fate was sealed, he begged for the lives of his family to be spared. Ignacio, the Supremo's cousin, spoke "They're safe. But our orders are to execute ALL Spanish soldiers in this house." Just then, a voice from the master's bedroom barked at the men to stand fast, "STOP!" It was Tandang Sora. The sagely woman patiently reasoned with them. "Within this room, this Christmas Eve, we are beyond the orders of any power who wants us to kill each other." She then went back inside to midwife the birth of a spanish child. Just a few moments later a cry was heard. Tandang Sora re-entered the room holding her enemy's child in her arms. Everyone who saw the newborn child, saw the faces of their own children in him. "I'M NOW A FATHER!" cried the Spaniard. That night there was endless merriment within the four corners of that small room in Las Pinyas. At midnight, one drunken soldier stood up and declared "Tonight, we are not pawns who blindly follow orders. Tonight, we are our own REPUBLIC. We are now citizens of the REPUBLIC OF LASPINAS." Upon hearing this speech, Filipinos and Spaniards toasted each other like old friends. They were citizens of their own republic that lasted until they parted ways at the first RED glow of Christmas dawn. Later, they did carry out their orders to KILL EACH OTHER in the battle of Bitukang Manok. But legend has it that every Christmas Eve, these men gather again; singing, dancing and drinking with the angels somewhere in the heavens where the glow is REDDEST. And they call their corner of the sky--THE REPUBLIC OF LASPINAS

When you grow up enough to read this entry, Sabine, you will realize that this legend is based on what actually transpired in the trenches of world war I. I wish you'd find both stories to be equally inspiring even though only one of them is true.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Dear Baby, Your Mom had an ultrasound last night. It seems that you will join our complete set of Power Puff Girls! This is actually the 5th ultrasound Mommy had this year. I remember the first one very, very vividly because you gave us quite a scare. When your Mom tested positive on her pregnancy test (which you will later on know that it detects only the B-HCG level in the urine but can not say if the Baby is ok or not) we immediately had an ultrasound done at the hospital. The inner lining of her Uterus (the endometrium) looks like it is ready to receive a baby or atleast the beginning of one (the gestational sac) but try as she could, the OB-GYN could not find you. That scared us both a lot because one possibility is that you might be lodged somewhere other than your Mom's uterus which is very very bad. we feared it was an ectopic pregnancy. Fortunately, it turned out that the ultrasound was done very early in the pregnancy hence we couldn't find you then. I've seen you grow from a small point in your Mom's tummy to a small child with an estimated weight of barely 2 kilos. I'm so proud of you. I thank God you are Ok.

All I ask from the Lord is to take care of You and Your Mom. I didn't ask him for a baby with a Y chromosome. But there is still a possibility you are a Boy at this point. When Ultrasound reports say that the fetus exhibits a hamburger sign (Female genitalia) the possibility that it is inaccurate is HIGHER compared to an ultrasound report that says the fetus has a turtle sign (Male). If you turn out to be a Boy, that'd be ok too. Basta I wish both you and Mom are healthy and will go through this pregnancy without any hitch.

Womyn in our society have come a long way, baby. I'll do everything I can to give more freedom to women in whatever small way I could- For Ate Sage's, Ate Sabine's and for your sake too whether you are Boy or Girl. because...

For every woman who is tired of acting weak when she knows she is strong,there is a man who is tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable.
For every woman who is tired of acting dumb, there is a man who is burdened with the constant expectation of "knowing everything."
For every woman who is tired of being called "an emotional female," there is a man who is denied the right to weep and to be gentle.
For every woman who is called unfeminine when she competes, there is a man for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity.
For every woman who is tired of being a sex object, there is a man who must worry about his potency.
For every woman who feels "tied down" by her children, there is a man who is denied the full pleasures of shared parenthood.
For every woman who is denied meaningful employment or equal pay, there is a man who must bear full financial responsibility for another human being.
For every woman who was not taught the intricacies of an automobile, there is a man who was not taught the satisfactions of cooking.
For every woman who takes a step toward her own liberation, there is a man who finds the way to freedom has been made a little easier.

with credit to Nancy R. Smith but without her permission

Ate Sage first heard of this Poem in school, while still in Nursery. She said she liked it. Me too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Toy Library

Dear Sage, Your Mom and I noticed that even at a very young age, you treat the mall as some kind of a "Toy Library." When we go to one, you make us take you to a toy section then you choose several toys to play with without breaking or putting a dent on any of them. After a few minutes of playing you put them back one by one to where you got them. Most of the time you don't ask us to buy the stuff for you. You just wave goodbye at the toy then go to the next aisle to play with another toy. You know that the toys won't go away. Next time you visit they'll still be there- just like a book in the library, or the Princess magazine in the magazine section of National Bookstore. Ofcourse you sometimes ask us to buy you very, very expensive toys. But Do you know that you've broken the heart of a lot of sales clerks? One time after trying out a toy by riding it around a mall booth several times, a sales clerk was so delighted when he saw you eagerly asking me to buy you a life size replica of an All Terrain Vehicle. (A lot bigger than the one pictured here). When I told you that the price was way beyond our petty cash you just told me that next time we'll have to put it in the budget. Then you waved goodbye at the clerk and his ATV. Poor guy.

Anyway, I also sometimes ask you for a toy. I told you that when you grow up, I want you to buy me a vineyard in Bordeaux, a Harley Davidson, and don't forget that F-16 Falcon I've been asking you since last year. your response to my requests is always a sweet smile and the words "Dad, let's put it in the budget, ok?"

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Soul Sistahs, Faerie Friends

Dear Sage and Sabine, Sibling rivalry and jealousy don't exist as far as you guys are concerned. Especially you, Sage. Whenever you see a camera pointing your way, you always grab your sister and strike a pose worthy of a mag cover. Just like this shot.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Before Harry Potter

Dear Sage, when I was a little boy, just a little older than you are right now, the first Full-length animated fantasy film I saw was the "FLIGHT OF DRAGONS"

The animation was mediocre compared to what PIXAR can do today with digital technology. But the story line was unforgettable. Somehow it touched a nerve. It was the first time I saw a story that glorified Rational Thought over Fantasy and Magic. And yet in the end, it showed how much we need Faith in our Hearts, and Magic in our lives. I'm not going to do it any justice here if I reveal more. I want you to see it personally someday, either with me and your MOM or with your own Barkada.

BTW, I remember writing a Poem about it that same night I watched the film. I called it "The Lost Ages." Pls. forgive your old man for reminiscing about his stint as a bard wannabee.

I dream of castles, giants, and elves
mysterious sorceress, brave knight errants,
and dangerous quests,

I live in the dream where chivalry was at its fullest
and the romance of war
in the hearts of the noblest

when a shining armour was a dangerous omen
to fire-breathing dragons that devour fair young Maidens,

When oracles reached the zenith of its powers,
while science is unheard,
logic disclaimed
Locked in the highest Ivory tower,

Once life was an adventure
and Death a companion

Dawn of the sunlight
beyond the horizon

this is the age shrouded in mystery, clothed in white...
lost in antiquity.

In my life, I've chosen the path of science, Sage. But always remember, You and Mom and Sabine and the new Baby in Mom's tummy are God's gift of Magic to me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sage in Kindergarten uniform

Taken during their trip to Avalon Zoo. She dutifully avoided being too close to the creatures in the aviary.

Jong, Thanks again for the Picture!

Letters to my kids about their childhood adventures

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan