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In behalf of my family, I’d like to take this moment to say that we are enormously grateful to a lot of people in our humble hamlet called Gawahon in Malabuyoc, Cebu—for their collective efforts and massive help in making sure that our “Happy 3rd Birthday, Sebastian” party on September 20 was a huge success. To say that it was a memorable and festive one would be oversimplification! In the morning, this proud uncle put a halt to “my” physical preparation for the venue in order to accompany Sebastian to church: to light “three” candles, to thank God “for everything” (according to him), and to pray that it may not rain so that he and his friends would have a blast at the bash.

Because God never fails and can never say “no” to a kid, the rain stopped an hour before the party started and resumed an hour after the kids got tired of playing like mad. As usual, many of our neighbors lent us a hand—from wrapping the giveaways to blowing the balloons, from cooking and packing the food to serving the guests. I wish I could name them all individually, but they’re too many to mention and I’m afraid I might miss one. I want them to know that I’m proud to have a bunch of neighbors and relatives like them. What touched me the most was the sight of young boys and girls cleaning up the venue, sweeping the floor, and arranging the chairs—led by no less than Sebastian.

No word could suffice the joy that my family felt upon seeing how high-spirited our beloved Sebastian was at his birthday celebration. Attended by virtually 200 guests (including his relatives, friends, and neighbors plus the kids’ chaperones), his party saw the excitement shared by everyone to whom we will be eternally grateful for their love and well-wishes. It was hosted by former Miss Teen Gawahon Arabel Allosada, and it was extended the following day with the birthday boy himself, Sebastian, hosting the “ice cream” party. Sebastian’s sense of faith is such that we take pride in most: Before he turned three, he had grown with an incredible style of praying—for instance, whenever he hears me just saying “Thank you, Lord.” he would correct me by cheerfully saying “Thank you, God, for everything!” Then I hug him tight and tell him that God must be super happy because his superboy nicknamed Basti is acknowledging his Maker not only for one or a few things but also for all things.