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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Dear Corwin,

Life since the typhoon has been a little bit different. Most of my time has gone to doing what I can to help. It’s not much, but it’s what I can do. My heart hurts for the ones who have lost so much. I’ve been crying a lot while reading the news. I think I’m grieving in my own way. There has been so much loss, and it’s been difficult for me to process. I can’t imagine the horror that these people have been through, and are still experiencing. Some part of it is also because I feel a tremendous amount of guilt. I’ve been feeling guilty because my life is intact, because I have everything I could ever need or want, and because I am happy. I have you and your father. Of course, I am happy. But I’ve been having a hard time being okay with being happy at a time when so many people have had their entire lives torn into and ripped apart. Things weren’t really making much sense for me.

These people are currently grieving in a way that none of us could ever understand. Parents have lost their children. Children have lost their parents. I would never have understood the gravity of this if you never came along. And it hurts because I cannot help enough to take even a tiny shred of their pain away. I have tried to the point where it took up so much of my time that your father would have to ask me to put my phone down and be present in the room with the both of you. And a few days ago, nearing the end of November, you, my two year old son, asked me for a Christmas tree. Then I understood. I’m sorry I’ve been missing so much these past couple of weeks. I’m trying to find some balance now.

We went to our first Christmas party of the year earlier this afternoon. You’ve been looking forward to this for a couple of days already, and you’ve been chanting, “Party! Party! Party!” randomly the entire day. Your father and I are notorious introverts. But you, my funny, sweet boy, seem to be quite the opposite. You were saying hi to other children with ease, and going up the stage to dance. You did this completely on your own, with no prodding from us whatsoever. I even tried to convince you to dance elsewhere a few times, but nope, you wanted to do it on the stage. You jumped and danced your little heart out. You had a little bit of ice cream, cotton candy, cheese popcorn, and nachos, so maybe those didn’t help either. Haha. We don’t let you eat any of those things at home, but we figured this one time wouldn’t hurt. Basically, you had the time of your life today. And it felt really, really good to be there for it.

I love you so very much, more than I could ever hope to put into words. When you have your own child, you will understand exactly how much.


Dear Corwin,

You turned two years old four days ago, last November 8. Sometime during that day, the strongest typhoon recorded in recent history hit some parts of the country. At the time, it was just raining in Manila, and we had no idea of the extent of the damage. We celebrated quietly at Lolo Dan’s home with family as planned, and you devoured your especially requested broccoli dish that Tita Mel prepared. You basked in the glow of the love of the people around you, and we went home feeling incredibly happy and blessed.

Over the next few days though, we would read on the news and stories of people affected about what happened in Leyte and Samar, among others. It has been heartbreaking, seeing complete and total devastation. I read stories about parents losing their children, and I could not help but weep for them. I cannot imagine losing you, much less in such a violent manner. There has been so much loss, and I am heartbroken and profoundly sad.

I thank God for having you, for being able to keep you, and for having been given a love so great that it redefines my entire existence. I had no idea I could love and care so much it hurts. Having you has taught me how to, and I am forever changed by you.

I’m trying to organize a fundraiser with my friends to help the victims of the typhoon. It’s not going to be anywhere near what is needed to fix what has been broken and ripped apart, and I honestly doubt there is any amount in the world that can fix the unimaginable loss and trauma this has brought upon so many, but we can try to do what we can. We can try to make a difference in even a few people’s lives, and hope that if enough of us do this, it would begin to matter. We can hope that what we do matters. And we can hope that if this ever happened to us, someone out there would feel the same way.


  • Ernest Pascual

    Beautiful piece, Lisa! You are a gifted writer. Happy Birthday, Corwin!ReplyCancel

  • Thank you for writing. I’m sure Corwin will one day look back on his life and thank *you* for being such a beautiful mother to him.

    Please do let us know about your fundraising efforts. Would love to help, too.