Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I know its 5 AM in the morning and time to get up when I hear my toddler humming his morning song. He will twist and turn in the bed checking if his companions are awake. And if they are not, he will be sure to wake up his mommy and daddy by poking at their faces, tapping his daddy’s tummy like a drum or pinching his mommy’s nostrils.

It’s the start of one more day at our one bedroom unit at Tribeca. Sleep still tries to overpower me as I have just gone to bed midnight due to my office work. Automatically, I will get up and get a change of diaper for Bonn. Straight to the kitchen, I’ll be preparing Bonn’s morning milk. As I get up and head outside the room, Bonn is sure to follow me around while his daddy goes to the bathroom for his bath to prepare to leave for work in Quezon City.

With a typical breakfast of coffee, hotdogs, eggs, toasted bread, jam and butter, Bonn will be insistent to sit on his daddy’s lap and join us in the table. He would completely whine if you insist he sits on his high chair and will totally ignore the oats Mommy prepared for him in favor of the juicy hotdog he sees us seemingly enjoying. Of course, later on when he starts watching his DVDs after his father leaves, he will finish his oats.

As soon as his daddy approaches the door, Bonn will hurry up to get his shoes, give it to me so I can put it on him. Soon as it is on, he will hurry to his daddy to carry him out of the door.

Once the door opens, he will let out a squeaking sound of glee and wave his arms up in excitement. He will gamely push the “down arrow” button in the elevator and watch in amazement the neon light change from G to 2 to 3 to 4 and finally G and the door finally opens.

Going down, he presses the “G” button and wait in anticipation for the door to reopen.

“dingdong” ,The elevator announces that we have reached ground floor. Bonn echoed the sound and also joyfully sang “dingdong” in such a cute baby tone.

We will head directly to the playground . Daddy will then leave us there and Bonn will wrap his arms tightly around Daddy ‘s neck in an attempt to stop him. But I will gently coax him out of his Daddy’s arms and hug him tight so he will not cry. Daddy will kiss us both goodbye and I will silently say a prayer in my mind for his safety.

The playground is empty and its just Bonn and myself usually at this early hours of the morning. This will not stop him from running around one playhouse to another playing peek a boo with his mommy from inside the little windows of the make believe fire stations, car shop, parlor and cottages.

He will then insist to climb up the yellow slide wherein I will simply lift him up a little so he can slide down with me holding him tight. He will then start climbing the wooden ladder and I will follow him, up and down…then up and down again until he loses interest and start playing with the sand on the sandbox. After some time, I will feel tired and I will grab him and sit him on my lap as we do the swing. But his energy will seem endless so I will just watch in one of the bench as he kicks his small football around.

Sometimes, a plane will hover from the sky and he will automatically stop what he is doing to look up. “ Plane” , I will tell him.

After non -stop running around, I will notice his moves to slow down and I will gently carry him back to the unit . He will so charmingly lay his head against my shoulders to rest in agreement.

Soon as inside, he will pick up a couple of his books from the bookshelf and carry them with him up into the bed. I will get one and read to him as he lie down quiet sleepy. Once the book reading is over, he will wrap his arm around my neck, hug me and close his eyes. I, too will close my eyes as I hum lullabyes. Soon both of us will be sound asleep.

One more morning has passed and we both groggily get up from bed to greet “almost” noon. I will put on his DVD of “Your Baby can Read” and he will sit quietly watching the TV as I mouthed the words along for him. He will have his yoghurt milk drink and biscuits in both hands and in some points will lose interest. I will then get his LEGO blocks, build a structure so he can tear them apart. He loves tearing the lego blocks apart instead of the other way around. Before lunch will be filled with playing with his toys …riding in his toy car around the small sala space mostly with Mommy pushing him around as the remote control has been defective for a time now. That or we will be downstairs at the swimming pool doing “ Catch me, Mommy” sessions in the water with his floating red car and his friend, Dolphin.

We both will have rice meal for lunch and then take our baths after. I will do a little TV watching mostly on ETC channel or 2nd adventure while he tinkers with his toys on his own.

It will be really hot around this time especially with the aircon off so I will take him to the room, turn the aircon on, close the door and begin the process of making sleep again. In a while he will be sound asleep once more.

At that time, I will get my laptop and do work as I watch him sleep. Sometimes, I will stop for a long time and just stare at his sleeping figure overwhelmed with affection for the little active tyke.

A couple hours and he will be up and perky again, ready for another round of play. After a quick snack, we will head back down for playtime in the soccer field. He will used up his energy running around the field, kicking his soccer ball around.

Shortly, 6 PM will arrive and his Daddy will be home. Dinner will be served. Milk will be prepared. Bonn will have his sponge bath and night clothes and I will rock him sideways again to sleep with Mommy’s routine “go to sleep” songs. As I leave him in his peaceful slumber, I will be able to concentrate on work once more til midnight. At times, when I have early evening calls, it will be his Daddy who would put him to sleep.

Midnight, I’ll climb to the bed where my sleeping boys are. I will stare at their sleeping faces for a while and mutter a quick thank you to Above for the blessings I have.

This is a slice of my life in a small box. It can be routinely unexciting but somehow, there’s this inkling of contentment. Because my world is my child and I am endlessly amazed at how fast he grows every day. I am just glad I am here beside him to witness this miracle everyday.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Naw Ruz Reflection

Lately, I have been afraid to write about things that are really important, about things that matter for the reason that I am afraid not to give justice to it or diminish its value. I wanted the words to be perfect and the intended message extremely loud and clear. I have been so used to writing about myself, my feelings, my thoughts with nary an intention but self expression. Writing , with the goal of reaching out to people and communicating an urgent message that impacts their lives is to say the least, difficult , scary and intimidating. But at some point in time, I have to gather my nervous guts into doing it.


On March 30, I will be flying to Bangkok to a seminar on “Involvement in the Life of Society” as a Philippine external affairs delegate for the Bahai Philippines Community. The seminar has been called upon by no less than the Universal House of Justice.


I have been involved with the community for a little less than 2 years. Sometime ago when I declared myself as Bahai, I knew it was not a decision I made just because I wanted a unified marriage and family life. I was leaving behind a whole set of beliefs and a way of life I have been passionately involved in for all of my life until that moment. I was terrified. I remembered crying a lot about it. It was then, according to my God-given logic and intellect, an obvious path to be taken. Someday, I said, my heart will follow.


The other day, the Las Pinas Bahai Community celebrated NAW RUZ. It signifies the end of fasting and the start of the Bahai New Year on March 20, 2012. Hosted by the Reyhanis, our resident Persian Family, we were treated to exquisite Persian dinner and dessert. Pizza and cake, however, were made available for those with western tastes. The occasion, as other Bahai holidays, was marked with chants, prayers, readings from the writings and a brief talk and reflection.

In a country where Christian traditions and celebrations are deeply felt across an entire nation, maintaining the festivity of the event for me is a challenge to the community. Still, the simple celebration in comparison reverberates with a subtle sense of simple joy and peace to everyone present. At least from my end, that is how I felt. I am happy I am able to complete the required 19 days of fasting from sunrise to sunset. It was my first year and I am thankful to my husband for his support and faith in me.

Fasting, similar to the Christian’s holy week commemoration, is an opportunity to cleanse one’s body and soul to prepare for the coming New Year.


Words, sometimes, are like hidden tools more potent in creating understanding and empathy amongst readers. I have always been a very social person but I do not wish to be in dichotomy any further and be a dual person. I remain who I am as before being Bahai. Although I hope, now, I’m just a bit more of a better person with a conscious effort to be a contributing individual to the betterment of society. But all such goals are realized only through prayers and so I end with this prayer.

O Thou most glorious Lord! Make this little maidservant of Thine blessed and happy; cause her to be cherished at the threshold of Thy oneness, and let her drink deep from the cup of Thy love so that she may be filled with rapture and ecstasy and diffuse sweet-scented fragrance. Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful, and Thou art the All-Knowing, the All- Seeing.

                                                                                              - Abdul- Baha