As I write this blog, I am aboard a flight back to Manila from Cagayan de Oro. It was a scheduled visit to my grandmother who had an operation about a month ago. It was nice to see that she has been recuperating nicely. It was also nice to see her smile as we tugged her along as we went around the mall. You see…my lola, at 81 years old, is really not in tip top shape. She looks and sounds weak. There are times that we have to force her to eat and even drink. She speaks a word or two when you ask her a question and during better days, she will remember your name.That is why I am happy to see her very receptive to my visit. She ate a lot and she remembers me. It was really time well spent with her.

It was also nice to get to see my cousins who were all grown up now. I had the chance to meet the girlfriend of my cousin Jules, the little boy that I tried to take away his fear of water by making him jump into the pool. He has grown up to be a handsome man now. It was also nice to spend time with my cousin Trisha who gamely tagged along as I rediscovered the city. We both enjoyed going through Macahambus Cave. It was a first for me and it was really short but fun.

As I look back at the past two weeks, I learned more about the value of family. Our constitution clearly recognizes that the family is the core unit of our society. It recognizes the family as an important block in nation building. The values imbibed in every Filipino is a function and a responsibility of the family that we belong. This belief is so strong that we are in a society that values our elderly that having someone to take care of them is widely frowned upon.

Family is family and that is reason why crucial decisions and concerns are shared amongst everyone. Members feel betrayed when informations are withheld especially when it will affect relationships in the future. That is also why we value the opinions of family members and that we seek approval of the elderly or the ones closest to us in making our decisions. The primary driver of this is that in the end, it is the family that will stand for each other and keeping a steady and harmonious relationship with everyone will definitely matter.

As I continue to write on this matter, it cannot be denied that misunderstandings and conflicts arise in the family, just like in any relationship. At this time, the family play a crucial role in making the erring member realize the mistake committed and everyone makes an effort to patching things up. The process can be painful especially when there is a stand off between the parties but one thing that I also realize is that apologizing is three forths of the way to solving the conflict. And it can also be the most difficult thing to accept and do.

I am not an expert about the family. I am neither a counselor nor a psychiatrist. I do not even come from a family that is ideal in its sense, in fact, I come from a broken family. But the past weeks have been an eye opener for me on what a family should be. Family is family – through thick and thin, it is them that will stand their ground for you so take the time to appreciate them.

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Rave: Christmas is still a holiday away and yet you can start to feel the Christmas spirit. In house music inside malls have already started to play Christmas tunes and I can’t help but start to feel that giddy feeling whenever the yuletide season is ushered in. Filipinos have long been known to celebrate the longest Christmas. I hope that this early celebration will also usher in the kindness in everyone including our government officials.

Rant: Next year’s election has already ushered in the rise in senatorial candidates. Although some parties have already announced their partial line ups, a lot of politicians have already started their campaign earlier on. I just hope that Filipinos will be smarter voters this time around.

Rave: I love the new campaign “Anti-epal”. The campaign goes around criticizing government officials brandishing their faces and claiming for public projects that are funded by the people, making it look as if it was their own. I like the fact that it already has elicited favourable response to among public officials.

Rant: I am totally in disagreement with the inclusion of libel provisions in social media and blogs in the Cybercrime Prevention Act. Some officials really can’t handle the criticisms and I can’t take their stupidity. Enough said.

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