A letter to my son

Your father and I found out last week that you are, with 99% accuracy, a baby boy. I think it’s fairly safe to say you are… our son.


I can’t tell you what growing up would be like for a boy. I didn’t have brothers and was only able to see my male cousins on a few weekends and holidays in a year. I had a boy neighbor whom my sisters and I used to play with when we were younger but I can only recall how much I disliked his attitude problems and how much I feared getting chased by his family’s geese.

When I was in grade school, boys would be nice to me and talk to me about their crushes (which could coincidentally be me) or they would be mean and call me “Loser” then refer to the prettier girl as “Winner.” Yet, I don’t remember having any serious conversations with boys until I was in high school. Even then, I didn’t have a clear picture of how being a guy must be like. I mean your father has told me countless stories about his childhood and teenage years. Still, I’m no expert and will leave it to him to give you more insights on becoming a man.


My only wish in this matter is that you grow up to be a good man. Your father and I will play a huge role in that but we will not always be by your side to watch and guide you. During those times, treat people with kindness and at the minimum, respect. My mother, your grandma, often said (in Tagalog) “If you can’t tell us (your parents) about it then it’s probably not the right thing to do.”

I was bullied a lot growing up. I developed a lot of self-image issues from being told I’m not beautiful or I’m getting too fat. Please don’t be one of those guys, well, those people in general, who don’t think before they speak. Your words could have a lasting impact on people and yes, sometimes, the truth hurts but always consider if it’s necessary to say it.

For instance, before commenting on someone’s weight, think: are you assuming that person is blind or doesn’t see his/her reflection everyday? Are you suggesting that this person should be unhappy with how s/he looks? Are you implying that s/he must not be trying to lose weight in the case that s/he does in fact want to lose weight? I know it’s quite complicated but your grandma has another wise and simple rule: “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.”

As for me, I still struggle with my self-image but don’t feel sorry for your mother. I don’t let it get the best of me like I used to and let’s just say being geographically away from insensitive people helps. I’ve gained and lost weight through the years and now, I need to have a healthy weight gain while pregnant with you. However, I want you to know, that heavy as I appear, I have never felt more beautiful as I do, now that I am carrying you.


I love you, son.


My first Mother’s Day


I never thought I’d be a mother. It’s not that I never wanted to have a baby. I just never fully believed I could be a good mother. Since I was young, there had been signs: I had cut my younger sister’s hair all wrong, I had dropped my toddler cousin, I had given up on caring for my rabbit after it chomped my finger… Up to now, I still detest cleaning up, I still feel awkward around children and I still fear the limitations that come with being a parent.

So why am I now having my first ever Mother’s Day? Because I knew that compared to all these doubts, the regret from not even trying to have you… will be so much greater and will most likely be too unbearable.

People say one can never really be absolutely ready for a baby. I agree. But that won’t stop me from hoping that when you come out into this world, I am the strongest mother I can ever be.


Yellow Umbrella


No, it was not under a yellow umbrella in the rain. The day your father met me, I was a “jolog” before it was even a term. The new girl in class, I introduced myself as a big fan of Judy Ann Santos, hence, the mockery that followed.

Our love was neither instant nor easy. Your father and I had to do a lot of waiting to be together. And now, here we are again… anxiously but excitedly… waiting for you.