Doc tells me you’ve grown a little more demanding since the last time I saw you. You give your father endless headaches when he is with you and your mother, always asking him to change the nipple of your bottle only to find another excuse not to drink your milk immediately after it has been changed. The anecdotes Doc brings back to Manila end my day on a lighter note, and keeps a smile on my lips when I lay down to rest.

Life, contrary to how others see it, is a huge comedy. You are too young to realize that, but in time, you will. I myself was not aware of it until after some time in college.

My view of things before then was cynical, typical of dilettante youths who are too eager to take on what they do not understand. I was also rash, often jumping into the oppositionist bandwagon. And when I carried you for the first time—you were sleeping so peacefully and contentedly—I prayed to the gods that if it were possible, your innocent eyes may never open and thus be stained by the sight of this world, even at least this country. I prayed that you would not grow up to witness and know what is happening around you, and forever remain a babe, with a pure and unblemished soul. Forgive me.

We have just had a national election, Waki. That is when we as a nation choose who is to be the leader of our country for the next six years, which is a long time and a short one, too, really. We call the leader the President.

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Our President is a woman, and her name is Gloria. It has been five days after she talked to us through her state of the nation address. Like every other President’s address that I have witnessed, it was met with both warmth on the one hand and repugnance on the other. People will always disagree.

But perhaps, she has plans for our country, and we should support her. We should do away with our attitude of opposing those who are in the position we think we should be in. Other people may be better suited, yes, but an entire nation suffers when we pursue individual interests at the sacrifice of the welfare of the greater number. She did win the election.

No one knows how we will fare in the years ahead. And for our own sakes, we cannot go into different directions. That would be the death of this country; it is hanging on for life, as it is.

I have learned, like I said, that life is a comedy. You live through it, all joy- and tearful moments of it, always a spoonful of sugar at the ready. This is at least how I see it. You may have luckier breaks, who knows?

There will be mistakes, misdeals, misgivings. Count on it. The leader of our land herself has had her share of nasty miscalculations. But we cannot be stagnant. That was one necessary truth our President said in her recent address: we must go on, look forward, and just do what we need to do to save this nation from ruin. Old gripes, when not banished, will only drag us down. And neither should we turn old gripes into stereotypes. We must hang on to our faith in miracles.

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I hope you do not see me pretentious. I do not mean to be. I do not assume to be full of experience. People can just be more caring than strangers will ever know. But what I have discovered in my stay so far in this world, is that we can be foolish for a time, and later laugh when we would be the wiser—at ourselves, how stupid we have been, and how young.

But for now, let you and your antics be the things we can laugh about.

I now can’t wait for you to grow older. Soon, you will learn new things both great and iniquitous. Learn them with my and your parents’ blessings. Then learn through them. When in times you are not sure, remember that we are here.

We will laugh together, and soon.

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