IN A recent trip with the family, I had the chance to finally see, in the flesh, some of my childhood heroes. It was quite a surprise to me how I reacted to the fact that I was seeing Bert, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch for the very first time! Yep. The Sesame Street Gang were my first childhood heroes. I practically grew up with them, remembering a shift from black and white to colored television, too! I had spent countless hours watching them, learning my ABC's, 123's and knowing that one of those things are not like the other! It was a relationship that never really ended even now as I am about to turn 44 this year, thanks to the internet!

It was quite funny really. I saw Cookie Monster come out in the street and was immediately being tailed by kid paparazzi! They all had wanted photos taken with him and so what does a 43-year old fan do? Let the children have their pictures taken of course!! It was all too emotional for me just to be a glance away from him... and all those memories of the past just came rushing in that I suddenly found myself tearing up. Hahahaha. I know! So melodramatic right? But really it is true what Robert Fulghum said: All I Need to know, I learned in Kindergarten. I had gone through Electric Company, Batibot, Kaluskos Musmos, and Kulit Bulilit but Sesame Street remains closest to my heart! I'm pretty sure a lot of you who come from my generation would understand and feel the same way that I do.

Independence Day just passed, too. And I really am hoping that people reflected on it and truly appreciate the meaning of the word. Our forefathers have sacrificed blood, sweat and tears for us to enjoy the freedom that we have right now. Our history reminds us how the journey to be the country that we are now has been a difficult and long struggle to gain our own identity. Because of our heroes, known and unknown from wars and revolutions, we stand beside other nations who have managed to rise above past rulers and truly become identified by our own image, forged by centuries of molding into what we have become now. I hope that we continue to do things for our country and not merely spend time groaning and complaining how there is no real improvement in sight. Really, we should realize that all of us play apart in our nation's success, and that role does not only mean whining about stuff that are awful about our country. It is true that there is so much room for improvement. There are even sectors of our society that are quite dismal but, we should also try to look at the bright side of our country's future while keeping tabs on how we could make our own contributions to make it better. Did you take the time out to fly the Philippine flag? If you didn't that's okay. There is always next year. I just hope that we all continue to pay our respect to the flag and for the nation that it stands for every time the national anthem is played, whether someone can see us or not.

The past week was really a week of heroes for me. To cap it all off, today is Father's Day! Happy Father's Day to all fathers! I think most of you would agree that fathers are in-house heroes. People who are capable of serving as excellent role models who can teach us how to become good individuals as well as exemplary citizens. There is so much we can learn from them that we can also teach the younger generation.

I feel that way about my father. And although he has gone to that happy place in heaven, I still try to emulate all the things that he has taught me as a child. Whenever I am at a crossroad in my life and when I am having some trouble about making decisions, I try to think about how he would have done thingsf it had been in my place. I'd ask myself what he would say if I asked him for his advice or opinion. In this way I think he has never been really that too far away from me because he remains in my heart and on my mind.

For the rest of you who still enjoy having a father around, treasure it! Of course there will be times when you might find yourself at opposing ends, but have faith that things wills be resolved and everything will be okay again. Appreciate your time with him and be with him as much as you can because life can be short and there are unexpected events that can make it even shorter. I hope today we all make it REALLY a special day for him. Tell him how you appreciate himandlove him. Spend quality time with him..whether you talk about stuff or simply just sit beside each other in silence, I am sure that he will appreciate it. These days, life is being lived in a flurry that there is no time to just sit and admire life as it passes by. This would be a good day to do that with him. Give him kisses and a hug. Hold his hand and tell him you understand. Tell him you love him and that you treasure him. Thank him for all his efforts, his love and care and for being the father that he has been. :)

I love you Papa! Happy Father's Day in heaven! I still miss you everyday! Thank you for everything you instilled in me and taught me! Muah!

Happy Sunday Everyone!