Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 56: EDSA Boy to Freedom Man


Even before February 25 became a memorable date to millions of Filipinos, it was already a special one in our family. Thirty years ago, on February 25, 1981, my parents' unico hijo and my only brother, was born. He was a "pahabol" baby, surprising both Mommy and Daddy, since they never expected to still conceive six years after my younger sister was born. In many ways, he was the miracle that Daddy was hoping and praying for...a boy to carry on his name. 

Christened PAULO REY NIÑO, his name was carefully chosen and had a lot of meaning. PAULO - to commemorate the visit of the late Pope John Paul II to the Philippines just a few days prior to his birth; REY - obviously named after Dad without having to add a "Junior" to his name and NIÑO - as a reminder of Mom and Dad's devotion to the Sto. Niño.

Onin (family nickname), was fortunate to be born at a time when the family's finances were at a boom. "Lavished upon" would probably be an understatement to the kind of lifestyle that he grew up in. Whatever he wanted or needed, he got. He was doted upon by everyone. Despite all the attention and material things bestowed upon him, he grew up relatively well-mannered and quite innocent. He may have been spoiled but he didn't grow up to be a brat. I might have a reservation or two about his being brought up too sheltered and protected but all in all, my parents did the best they could. 

He was my sidekick during my college days, oftentimes hanging out with me at the Buklod-Isip tambayan whenever I pick him up from the Ateneo Grade School. I have plenty of memories from that time in our lives and I choose to dwell on them rather than get distracted by the harsh realities of now.

In the past 8 years or so, Onin has undergone two tremendous heartbreaks, both incidences having endings that are much too alike. It is the kindhearted part of him that gets broken and it continues to pain me knowing this. Despite his shortcomings and weaknesses, he certainly didn't deserve to be treated the way he did. Most would probably give up after suffering such powerful blows in life, but Onin remains strong, steadfast and upright.

It is this strength in him that I see which makes me believe he is definitely capable of doing great things in his life - if only he believes it and acts with bold faith in God and himself. At this important milestone in his life - the big 30, may it signify his transformation from being identified as EDSA Boy to Freedom Man. As I've mentioned to him many times before, he needs to spread his wings and just fly.

To dearest Onin - Happy 30th Birthday!!! May God continue to work His miracles in your life  and give you the true desires of your heart...Ate loves you very much!

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