Saturday, December 31, 2005

Glorious Weather

Dear Sabine, Another Ninang sends her greetings from Sunny Bahamas! To Tita Lalal (left) andNinang Gigi, Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005


Dear Sabine, On Christmas Night (2005), your cousin, Ate Eya, lost her cuddly Chihuahua. "Jasper" apparently took a stroll out in the streets when everybody was busy celebrating the occasion. He is a very, very friendly dog- doesn't even bark at strangers. Ate Eya cried buckets of tears. She was unconsolable. Even you and Ate Sage couldn't stop her from crying. It also didn't help that her mother, Tita Grace, was crying with her because she treated the dog like her own son. Jasper could've been taken by one of those enterprising kids and sold for a few thousand bucks. Or he could've been road kill. Or "Pulutan" (it was Christmas.)

These didn't happen (Hey, it's the Christmas Season. I don't have the stomach to write about something that doesn't have a happy ending.) 3 days later, a stranger responded to the equivalent of an A.P.B. She said the Chihuahua followed her home on Christmas Night, 3 blocks away from home. She is a Cat lover and breeds Persian Cats. She said that Jasper got along nicely with her cats and with the other species in their household. Keeping him for herself crossed her mind but she knew that Jasper belongs to a little girl and that little girl is now crying because of her loss. Years back she also lost a persian cat and also cried an ocean before she was reunited with it after the one who found the cat decided to look for the owner.

She went to the Baranggay Hall and reported the dog she found. Hence the Reunion of Ate Eya and Jasper became possible.

A stranger empathizing with a kid who lost a pet. Hardly the stuff legends are made of. I don't think you'd see her picture in the dictionary under the entry "HERO." But you know what, that is what real heroes are.

Don't let the newspaper headlines tell you who your heroes are. Most of the time those are Press Releases paid for by the ones on the headlines. Don't let the movies and broadcast media tell you what heroes are supposed to look like. Don't let the history books tell you that heroes are GREAT PEOPLE WHO DID GREAT THINGS. If they had met Alexander (the so called "Great") those history writers, who drool over him and his achievements, would probably never like the man behind the myth since history records he was a megalomaniac- same description they use to describe Usama Bin Laden and Michael Jackson.

Simple empathy goes a long way. The girl who returned Jasper was empowered to do the right thing by her experience when she lost her own pet. She was empowered to act "heroically" by a stranger who returned her own lost Cat. Simple empathy could inspire other strangers to act above their own selfishness and pettiness.

I want you to know this because Today is national Heroes Day (DECEMBER 30, 2005)

It's not about Supermen who lived a hundred years ago or some fancy character from a galaxy a thousand light years away. This day is not just about the heroes identified in the newspapers, broadcast media, movies and history books. This day is about Real Heroes. It's about YOU. In fact, everyone you'll ever know has what it takes to be a hero without having to die for it. Just ask Ate Eya.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Dr. & Mrs. Robert Young

Dear Sabine, Your Ninong and Ninang just sent you their Holiday Greetings from across the Pacific Ocean.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to both of you too, Robert & Jenn! Welcome to our Blog!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Peace Be With You

Dear Sage, About a decade ago I saw a very beautiful picture in a news magazine. It showed red haired kids, who were probably your age, shouting excitedly while watching a sporting event (probably football.) It was taken in Northern Ireland. The Kids were both Irish Catholics and Protestants. Theirs was a generation untouched, unsoiled, unbloodied by the violence of the previous ones.

A decade later, Ireland is relatively peaceful (compared to Afghanistan and Iraq.) I can't help but think that those kids have something to do with it.

SeedsOfPeace.Org is an organization whose ideal is to bring Peace to the generations to come. Maybe peace will come slowly, every generation realizing a piece of that dream. Hopefully in yours, there will be more children playing and watching soccer games without caring whether they have red hairs or black, Protestants or Moslems, Children of Southern Developing Countries or Scions of the Northern States.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Blue Bound

Dear Sage, Congratulations are in order for your classmate, Matthew Canonizado. He's the son of Tito Jong and Tita Suzette (Lola Letty's Berks). Just before Christmasday they found out that he passed the highly competitive entrance exam to the Ateneo Prep!

Way to GO KID!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NO WAY Virginia.

Dear Sage, At 5 years old when I ask you if Santa Claus is real, you respond by saying that santa is just like a jollibee mascot- there's somebody inside the costume pretending to be jollibee to cheer you up.

I wanted you to know as soon as possible that the Santa Claus in this world is an Idea. And it's not a bad idea but a very, very nice one. Like Jollibee. But it's up to us to cheer each other up just like the man inside the Mascot. Even though he is just a man, you've seen how he lights up Sabine's eyes when she meets him again and again as a Mascot.

I want you to realize that the real star of Christmas is Christ. He is not just an Idea like Santa. He is just like the BEEF in the Hamburger (Jollibee mascot attracts you to the fastfood center but the BEEF is the one that satisfies your hunger, right?)

IN the same way, santa attracts and introduces you to Christmas even before you realize what it really means.
God is as real as the Gifts, as real as Love, Sharing, Joy, Peace and everything that makes you smile during this Season and beyond. Christ himself made this possible for us. One Christmas I will try to explain to you how he made it possible to celebrate this season even after all the stars in the universe have burned up all their hydrogens so that nothing is left to fuel the nuclear fusionwithin their cores. How it's possible to celebrate it even when scientists of the future will need carbon dating to guess how old our remains are. .. Okay, maybe I'll start with Christ's sacrifice on the cross, then I'll tell you about the physics of imploding stars and carbon 14 isotopes later when you're in, uh, the 5th grade?

Following the leader, the leader, the leader...

Dear Sage, Last Sunday during the triple birthday celebration of your cousins (Kuya Darren, Ate Janine and Andre) you were very competitive in playing the party games. But during the game "name that tune" when they played the song "Following the Leader" you did not raise your hand to give the right answer (the tune was from the movie Peter Pan which you have seen for a million times.) When I asked you why you just sat there and watch your seatmates guess the answer, you said that you wanted to give others a chance to win since you've already won quite a lot of toys.

You are also becoming more and more confident in being in front of an audience. For the first time you volunteered to sing in our party last week. I even went with you onstage thinking that you might want to do a duet. But the audience was able to breath a sigh of relief when you insisted on doing a solo rendition of your song.

A sense of fairplay, charity, equal distribution of wealth and confidence...

I'd say that these qualities are becoming more and more evident in you. These are also foundations of character.

The Character of a Leader.

A Chorus Line

Dear Sage, our friend, CL, sent us this beautiful digital picture and linked her blogsite with ours.

Thanks, CL!

Monday, December 12, 2005


Dear Sage, this is a picture of Ninong Kevin, Jayden-Kai, and Ninang Jaycee. I'm not exactly a fan of american government's foreign policy for the past uhhh... hundred years. But like this gang, I'm a Yankee fan too. Someday, when the New York Yankee Dynasty reigns again, I hope we can all watch the 7th game of the world series at the Yankee stadium-- and party on once they've snagged the title. Jayden-Kai is wearing a Chicken Little costume. the picture was taken on October 30 this year- Sabine's Birthday!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Always Look at life from Different Angles

Dear Sage, the message of this entry is simple. IN the future, once you've realized what I'm trying to tell you here, then you have really grown up na, anaki. (Ludette, thanks for forwarding this picture!!!)

Happy Birthday Ninang Jenn!

Dear Sage, you are going to have your chorale presentation tonight at the newly renovated auditorium of your school. You'll be singing Jose Mari Chan's "Christmas in our Hearts" and Ryan Cayabyab's "Kumukutikutitap" (actually, that's the chorus. Sorry I forgot the title.) After that we will attend your Ninang Jenn's party at home. I'll try to post pictures of this special day on this site, this weekend - if you don't monopolize the use of our LONE computer.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Belated Happy Beeday Baydee!

Dear Sage, Six years ago...yesterday, Justine Pearl was born. It was also the day Ninang Myra and Ninong Reggie tied the Knot. Belated Happy Birthday! and Belated Happy Anniversary!

In the picture are Baydee, Ate Myka, Sage

Kissing the Sun

Dear Sage, This picture was taken at Roxas boulevard's "baywalk"
You look like you are kissing the famous Manila bay sunset. Despite of the poor quality of the picture, you are both spectacular. But if you'd ask me, even your shadow outshines the sun.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Christmas Truce of 1914

Dear Sage, I wasn't feeling well yesterday so we spent the whole day together. We worked on your assignment, drew a lot (mostly horses) while Sabine practiced her circles and semi linear creations. Whenever I could, I surfed the Internet with you. We came across a news report from CNN about the death of the last survivor who witnessed the Christmas truce of 1914 in the trenches of the Western Front. His name was Alfred Anderson, a Scotsman. He died at the age of 109. I think he died just a few days before my last post (The letter to Sabine below)Now the Christmas story of 1914 has really passed on to the realm of legend.

There are so many kinds of people. I'm sure you will come across some who will test your patience and sanity. You will learn to dislike some people and hate a few of them. Hatred has always been the seed of ALL wars. Just remember that all of us share a common desire deep within the core of our fragile humanity: We all want peace.

That's the Message of all stories this yuletide season. Merry Christmas 2005!

Letters to my kids about their childhood adventures

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan