The month of January is special for many (people and places) in the Philippines,
for the many celebrations of the Santo Niño (Holy Infant):
Ati-atihan in Kalibo,
Sinulog in Cebu,
Dinagyang in Iloilo,
Fiestas in Pandacan and Tondo.
Some people see in this infatuation with the Child Jesus
the rather immature and shallow level of the faith of Filipinos.
Others see in it the reason why Filipinos can be so trusting,
hospitable, and joyful, always ready with a smile.
We can be childish as a people playing games and
jokes on one another.
We are also childlike in our resilience and the exuberance
with which we face life and its difficulties.
I love children and I often try to reach the inner child in me.
I love playing with them and watching them play.
I just enjoy looking at them, seeing how children
(specially Jonathan and Jane),
even though they might have just met for the first time,
spontaneously become friends.
In no time at all, they are totally engrossed in play
lost in a fantasy world all their own.
Much sooner and with a lot less effort than adults.
Indeed, no man is an island and
one of the deepest yearnings of the human heart is for relationships:
always with fellow human beings,
increasingly today also with Mother Nature
and inevitably also with the Divine.
We are ultimately defined by our relationships.