Wanting to give back to God/Allah and his poor people the blessing that is Arno to our family, we decided to ask the godparents, relatives, neighbours at Timberland Sports and Nature Club and guests to instead donate Arno’s cash gifts to the completion of the Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library in Quezon City which remains uncompleted to date.
Opened in May, the mini-library remains situated in area garage and we cannot put the three donated used computers and other books in it. There is an open space measuring about 40-50 square meters that can accommodate the computers and more book shelves but we have to put roof and walls to it. But we have been unable to do so as cash donations have come in trickles. Thus, we thought of using Arno’s special day to start raising the funds.
That way, his entry into the Christian World would be doubly blessed and in the future he will look up to the completed Kris Library in Quezon City and thank God for welcoming him into the fold f the Catholic faith.
But Arno’s birth is more significant to me because Arno is the son I almost did not meet or see. You see he was conceived weeks before my heart problem was detected and I had to get a heart angioplasty operation to unclog my five heart veins, some of which were 99 percent blocked in August last year. Had I died then, you can just imagine the mix happiness and pain my family would be feeling weeks after my burial when Ann shall have discovered that I died but left behind a baby boy. What a happy yet painful exchange of life for life it would have been.
But then here I am, enjoying Arno and living healthy and happy life and well enough to be sharing my happiness with all of you! Thus, it made so much perfect sense to ask the godparents – made up of a mix of clients at my Dean& Kings Legal Public Relations firm and relatives and friends -- and other guests to donate in cash for the poor kids living in slum areas in Quezon City instead of buying toys, clothes and baby stuff for Arno.
We see no better way of thanking God/Allah and sharing the blessing of Arno to others!
Likewise our thanks goes to ninangs Yacap Party List Rep. Carol Jayne Lopez, Atty. Claire Corpus, husband Charlie and children; my Timberland neighbor Dr. Viviane Dizon and family; Dr. Edel Tan who flew in from Zamboanga City; Philippine Inquirer desk person Ms. Juliet Labog; Ms. Grace Pineda Veloso; my cousin Michelle Mateo; and my sister Gail Jimenez who also flew in from Zamboanga.
We would like to thank others who joined in the fund-raising cause and they include Negros Oriental Rep. Josie Limkaichong; the families of my Timberland neighbours Manny Dizon and his parents we fondly call mommy and tatang, Atty. Victor Chan and wife Helen and family, Tito Rene and Tita Linda Ochoa and nanay; and my cousins James and Jeanette Solis.
The occasion was blessed by the presence of many other special friends, media colleagues and relatives to include Philippine Star columnist Jarius Bondoc and his wife Ms. Marissa, long-time Kris supporter and Zamboangueno friend Arnold Sarines, Angel Chua, Timberland neighbours stockbroker Luz Lorenzo and her mom; marketing and events promotion consultant Eric Pablo; Johnny Sy; my uncle Jimmy Aizon and his wife Auntie Lilie; my ninay Lily and children Mike, Jerome, Michelle and Mitus (who flew in from the US) and husband Leo; Kuya Par and Ate Letty Tan Pineda and kumpare Jovet Veloso, Ms. Jeng Tolentino, wife of former Army Chief Romeo Tolentino; Auntie Reyna and Jaytee Ilustrisimo; and my mom Aida Nocum who also flew in from Zamboanga and relatives Erwin Columbres, Apple Royo, Lovely Columbres, Anton Nocum; and James and Jaydee Awab.
There was a storm two days before and the road to Timberland was re-routed to a longer and muddier route yet about 100 friends and relatives showed up to welcome Arno to the Christian World. Thank you all very much for being such blessings to us!
Likewise, we thank all the staff of Timberland Banquet Sales Account Manager Karen Joy Angel and the excellent foreign chef at Timberland for the excellent Spanish meal – specially the pan grilled beef steak with olive tepanade, baked red snapper with block olives, paella etc -- which all the guests enjoyed and praised us for!
Fr. Benjie Abentajar gave an inspiring sermon too.
It was great way we will never forget and more so the poor kids who will one day benefit from Arno’s special day!
Thank God/Allah for all the blessings to include those of you out there who have been helping and praying for our family; and our literacy cause. Good day to you all!