Letters to My Little Lion #2: Hang on to Hope

Ionlikealion.com hopelessness

Hey baby,

I’m a bit under the weather today. My cold has gotten worse and has most probably turned into a sinus infection, judging from the results of my Google search. (And if WebMD were to be believed, I might be dying as my untreated sinusitis could “lead to meningitis, a brain abscess, or an infection of the bone.”) But I know that my suffering now doesn’t even compare to everything else that’s been happening to the world.

November just began but a series of unfortunate events has already unfolded.

The father of one of my high school classmates was shot and killed while he was getting his car washed. The motive is unclear and the killer still at large. It’s difficult to believe that these things actually happen until they happen to someone you know.

The Supreme Court has also approved the burial of the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. It’s a touchy subject; one that has led to countless arguments between me and your mamana and papawo. I stand by the truth that although Marcos was an ex-president and a war veteran, he is definitely no hero. (We disagree on some issues, yes, but in the end we respect each other’s opinions, no matter how outrageous they are.)

And of course, America just elected an inexperienced, hate-spewing, pussy-grabbing buffoon as president! I know the Philippines may be a thousand miles away from the U.S., but as they say “When the U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches cold.” Now we fear for our jobs, our families, the safety of women and minorities abroad, and our future.

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As your mom, I want to protect you from the world–from the hate and chaos, from uncertainty, from pain. But I also know that there are things larger than myself, larger than us, which I couldn’t protect you from. And that’s a terrible feeling for a parent.

Baby, I won’t sugarcoat it–this is indeed a terrible world we live in.

But.

I know that succumbing to hopelessness and helplessness is akin to defeat. And that is something that I can not, will never accept. So we will not do that. We will not let fear, despair, and apathy get the best of us.We will give each other the chance to shout our frustrations and even the space to cry if that makes us feel better, but we will not let our anger and tears cloud our vision. We will not be cynical of the future. We will fucking fight! (Langga, I know I talked to you about how it’s not okay to use such language, but there has never been a better time to cuss than now.)

But while our president has promised us and continues to bring us change, we ought to realize that change is also personal. So we’ll start the fight within ourselves. And as your mother, one of my biggest responsibilities is you, my little boy – to make sure that you grow up to be a loving, compassionate, and respectful person. It’s a tough task but I will do what I can to raise a man who believes in the innate goodness of people, who works hard not only for himself but for the common good, who values women and their contributions, who speaks up in the face of injustice, and stands up when life gets a little rocky.

Baby, life is short as it is unpredictable. Let’s make the most out of the one life that we have by not settling for less, not giving in to fear, and not giving up hope.

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Know that I will always love you my dear baby.

Love,

Your overly-emotional and sleep-deprived Mama 

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