Tomorrow is my little grandnephew Tian-Tian’s birthday. He’s turning 5 on Feb. 20th, and that’s today in the Philippines, since it’s a day ahead there. I should remember to video chat to greet him tonight; that’ll be around noon there, party time with family. He calls me Auntie, just like his parents, though I hope he’ll learn to call me Lola (Grandma) I’m the sister of his grandfather. Though I admit, Auntie sounds young, I want that extra special umph of the name ‘Lola’. A great deal of wisdom and warmth emitted by that name (not to mention the soft and delightful “privilege” of the hierarchy). But the little boy doesn’t know that, so it’s fine that he calls me Auntie.
❤ Happy 5th birthday, Tian-Tian! ❤
Tian-Tian (nickname for Sebastian) is a very smart and lively little boy, inquisitive and curious. Ask him for the capital of every country on the map, and he’ll answer you correctly with no hesitation at all. Singing is one of his talents. When he was three during my vacation in the Philippines two years ago, he sang me a sweet little song in Tagalog that lent homage to the brilliant moon. I fondly remember his rendition of “Sa ilalim ng liwanag ng buwan” – meaning, under the light of the moon. So whenever I see the moon, feeling enchanted, I hum Tian-Tian’s little tune and insert my own poetic lyrics — in the Filipino language, they sound haunting and spellbinding. Isn’t the quasi-mysterious aura of moonlit nights supposed to bind a spell? Well, in a way it does to me, that often, when gazing at the moon traveling the sky, a quirky habit creeps up. Randomly, I dispel poetry in the tunes I spin around “Sa ilalim ng liwanag ng buwan”. Moon-struck, you might say. I have Tian-Tian to thank for that.
But, something else extraordinary and cute.