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“Baby Palangga”

I only love and get hurt by several men right at this point in my life.

 First, I will never get tired of being a Papa’s girl. Despite our breaches, I will never falter to do my hardest not to disappoint him. He is the only person in the world I will always try to please. Second, I will always be the sweetest sister to my brother Caloy, even when sometimes we fight over few things. Third, I think I will never adore any man more than I adore my best friend, John, even when he is mostly the reason for my insanity.

 Finally, I think I will never ever love and be hurt at the same time by a boy I just met a year ago.

 He has the sweetest smile among these men I love. He captures most of my attention whenever we are together and I just purely love it whenever I hear him laugh. He has the tiniest lips and the softest fingers. He has the most innocent face of all. Whenever I look at him, my heart overflows with love and pain, always at the same time.

 His name is Hans Reycel but I call him mostly “Palangga”, an endearment which means “Loved One” in Bisaya. He is the loveliest boy I hold unto so dearly.

 But he has the largest head I have ever seen, in my entire existence.

 At first, I needed people to blame for his condition. I hated my parents because if they have only been very careful, none of this would have happened. I hated the doctors and the nurses who did not do enough to prevent him from getting sick. I hated God for castigating him. Dear Lord, he is just a baby.

 I ask God every single day, “Why him? Why us?” Did we do something to deserve this hardship? Is Hans being punished? Is this our punishment because we are poor? Do rich kids get sick like this, too? Well, I think they do, but at least they have the resources to find cure. I sink in envy and detestation when I see kids, unattended by their caretakers, in the streets, running, playing, begging with their bony, naked bodies. I think to myself, God must be joking. He knows we can take care of normal kids better than these selfish parents, we can give them almost everything that they might need, and instead, He gives them to families who could only care less.

Of course, I believe that there is a seamless reason for everything in life. Though at this point in time, I can’t fathom it yet. What I think is that God is so unfair to give us something He knows we will struggle to find solution with. I fear the worst. What happens if we fail to save him?

But I figured, I can’t mope around, sit in bitterness, hopelessness and despair. He needs people like me to be strong and find help for him. So right now, he needs comfort the soonest possible time because he is very, very ill.

Though sometimes, reality hits me hard, right on my very face.

 Help does not come easy.

 And so, I look for solutions. I do my hardest to find help. Then I gaze, and see that there are two worlds out there: the generous and the apathetic.

 I cry in joy at the world who gave time, effort and something they have worked hard for in order to help. Nothing was a small deed for me, only the ungrateful would not appreciate how one gets out of his way in order to contribute.  I am even surprised to realize that most who extended help to us, aside from few close friends, are also few acquaintances and strangers.

 I stare at the other world and contemplate, “I can’t believe they can only do nothing.” Some just stare, some ask but disregard. However, the most painful part was when I realized that even the people you expect to lend a hand did nothing to help lighten the situation. Nonetheless, I also think maybe they ponder that this is not happening to them anyway, so why would they bother?

 As for me, I do something, but I still hate myself for not doing enough. Because if what I do were enough, then his suffering must have ended a long time ago now.

 Sometimes, I find myself staring at him for a long time. I drift away, thinking of so many possibilities, beautiful things that can happen to him and those that he can experience if he gets well soon. Of course, I can’t help but discern the other inevitable possibility, too. I can only flinch at that thought. But who knows? Nobody can tell how ever this will go on.

 Hurt comes in so many faces. This hurt I feel whenever I see, think and touch him will never cease, unless the universe conspires to give him what’s best for him, or if I stop asking why, or unless I start learning to know and memorize by heart the real meaning of “accepting and letting God.”

 Lest somebody cares and lends a hand, my Baby Palangga will never get the chance to know how much he hurts me innocently and how dearly and unconditionally I love him.

Baby Hans during his baptism, on March 22, 2015. He is only 7 months.
Baby Hans during his baptism, on March 22, 2015. He is 7 months old.

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I tell stories.

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