March 23, 2023

Dear Manang,
After a year, my daughter’s in-laws came to get the baby. A year ago, I wanted them to take her because I thought I couldn’t manage having a baby in the house because my daughter and her husband suddenly found work in Abu Dhabi. My selfishness came to fore because a child would keep me from the lunches with friends and an addiction to K-dramas. It turned out that this darling granddaughter became a partner in eating and watching the dramas too. Now, she has gone and to live with the other grandparents and I miss her warm body beside me. This is karma.
Lu of Guisad Surong, Baguio City

Dear Lu,
God gave you a lesson on selflessness. When you thought that He didn’t see how egocentric you were, He gave you warmth and company to make you check on that self. You’re supposed to be happy that you finally got what you wanted. Yet, you found out that He gave you something better than eating out with friends and watching your favorite shows. There’s Facebook and chats that you can make with the grandkid. You can call and keep the connection. Make time so you don’t have to miss her.
Keep in touch,

Dear Manang,
This pandemic came in time to make the grand finale of stumbles in my life. Getting jobs has been easy. The restaurants and the eateries have always been short of hands and are often willing to hire people like me. One to six months was my limit in one place. I saw this as my way to travel to different places. Then now, there are no restos hiring new people. I got my pay check on March 15 and left the canteen. There are no students and no openings for a college drop-out like me.
Camelia of New Lucban, Baguio City

Dear Camelia,
This unusual time with the quarantine is a wakeup call for almost everyone. No one is coming out unscathed. Many businesses have closed. Jobs have been lost. Money is tight. Sometimes life has a cruel sense of humor and this is an obstacle course. Have courage. Everyone is struggling, not just you. Have the will to walk and God will be pleased with your stumbles.
Keep going,