Issue of November 5, 2017

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Te amo mi hijo

Anton Luis was born on Nov. 3,1990 and he almost did not make it as birth complications marred his entry to the world. Thankfully science, medicine, and a lot of prayers saved him from choking and off he went to the universe which welcomed him with open arms. He was a cute little baby boy as one should be, inheriting the chinky dancing eyes of his grandfather Arturo.

The name Anton is Latin loosely translated “Worthy of praise; of value,” derived from Saint Anthony, the patron saint of poor people. Luis is Spanish, Portuguese which may be translated to “famous warrior” or “famous in battle” or in German “famous fighter.”

A crude interpretation of his name would be “a valued fighter for the poor” but of course the real version of how he got his name was because of Ate Vi. Vilma Santos was one of the two big stars of the ‘90s, the other one being Nora Aunor. Starting as a child star in Trudis Liit, she became a teen star when paired off with Edgar Mortis in a variety show called “The Sensation” where the theme song blurted out that it was where the action was. She then went on to have a show which she always ended with “I love you Lucky,” the nickname of her son Luis, with Edu Manzano and somewhere along the way, Luis became the chosen name for our second son. Anton was a prefix as her mom wanted a strong first name. Anyway, when I worked with then congressman now Sen. Ralph Recto who married Ate Vi, they had what they called the Congressional Spouses organized by Gina de Venecia and in one of the meetings, I ribbed him about the real spelling of Lucky to be “Laki” and he never talked to me again.

Tonton was a good boy all the way, growing up to be an altar boy-sacristan at the St. Vincent Church at Campo Filipino. I thought then that he would become a priest and fulfill my ambition to be one but alas, like me “he was called, but he was not chosen.” He was a model student and was into music at his young tender age. At the Science class of my Alma matter Saint Louis Boys High, he balanced academics with his classical music lessons at Musar. In the interregnum, he represented the Cordillera in the NAMCYA competition at the Cultural Center and while he lost the championship, won the heart of Steph, an upcoming soprano from the Baguio City High School-Special Program for the Arts.

From Boys High, he went on to the Ateneo de Manila for his BS Math major in Applied Mathematical Finance. Obviously he inherited his Math prowess from me. His love for music did not stop there as he sang with the Ateneo Glee Club and travelled to Europe with the group, nearly missing out units for graduation. He made up by becoming a recipient of the Loyola Schools Award for the Arts conferred by the Ateneo de Manila University School of Humanities.

He went on to work with Thomson Reuters in Makati but obviously bored or tired, went back to his first love and went back to school, this time at the University of the Philippines College of Music where he studied guitar under the world famous Demetillo. Last summer, he took up lessons in New York, courtesy of his uncle, Dr. Ronald, with another master whose name I cannot pronounce or remember or both.

Then three years ago, out of the blue, he decided to take up Law which even on his third year, he now combines with gigs as an ensemble musician and accompanist to Steph in elitist music concerts. He has a lot in his hands, but Friday was his birthday and he deserved a happy one. May Allah remove the flea from your armpit. Cheers! Te amo mi hijo. Sigh!

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