To my dearest Klongski,
You were only 2 years old when I wrote this letter for you. You probably do not feel like a baby anymore by the time that you read this, but trust me, you will always and forever be our baby.
By now, I know that we already experienced a lot of arguments. Perhaps you won't like me that much anymore and that's fine. I understand, because I was once like you. And there was a time when I also felt like my nanay, your lola, is unreasonable and overprotective. We may not see each other eye to eye on most things, I may not understand the things that you are into right now, but please, never forget that your tatay and I love you so much. We will never get tired of taking care of you until our very last breath.
Now that you are already a young adult, I have a written a list of the things that I want you to remember as you get on life's adventure:
I will let you go ( no matter how hard it is). I will try my best to let you go, to let you explore, to let you grow. I will try my hardest to support you if you want to color your hair purple, if you want to have multiple piercings (like your tatay and nanay, no doubt), I will let you choose the clothes that you want to wear. I will let you decide on the career path that you want. I will not do this because I want to be the "cool mom", I will do this because I want you to learn. I want you to be able to express yourself fully, I want you to be the person who knows what she wants. I want you to be able to face the rewards and consequences of your choices in life. I will only guide you, but I will never force you to do the things that you do not like.
You will make a lot of mistakes and wrong choices in life as you grow, but remember that it is an essential part of life. You will be faced with a lot of choices and temptations. When that time comes, I hope that your tatay and I did a good job in instilling values in you. Never hesitate to talk to us about everything. I will always be willing to listen to you.
Not all friends are friends. I have always been praying for you to meet people who will stick by you no matter what. I hope that you will find friends who will accept you for who you are and will respect you even if your choices and opinions are different from theirs. I hope that you will be able to find friends who will stay in your life until you grow old. Always learn to protect yourself. If you have doubts about a person, especially if you think that their intentions are not sincere, it is better to walk away. True friends will never pressure you to do something bad.
Believe in yourself, even if others do not. I hope that you grow up to be a confident young lady, a person who does what she thinks is right, says what's on her mind, and fights for what she believes in. I hope that you do not see the need to always conform to other people's beliefs and choices. I want you to explore life to its fullest. If you want to paint, go. If you want to teach, then by all means, teach. If you want to sing, let the world know how much you love doing it. I may have plans for you, but your life is about YOU, not about what your parents want you to be.
Never let anyone treat you badly. This goes for boys, and people in general. Always remember that you are precious. You are our princess, and you should be treated as such. You will find guys who will eventually turn into jerks in the long run, you will meet people who isn't as nice as how they appear to be, but honey, you should never let anyone bully you, abuse you, or use you. I hope that we were able to raise a headstrong girl who isn't afraid to say NO. If you do not want to be touched, speak up. (I swear, we will support you in punching any guy who tries to take advantage of you). If a person is mistreating you, speak up. You deserve to be surrounded with people who make your heart happy. Everyone does.
In return, you should also be kind to everyone. Do not be a bully. It is my job to make you as confident and as strong as you can be, so in return, you also have to respect others, even if their choices are different from yours. Be compassionate, appreciate the people who truly love you. Life will be so much better if you know that you haven't disrespected or mistreated anyone just to get what you want.
You do not need a man/relationship to be complete. Again, your life is about you. Yes, being in a relationship is great if it makes you happy. But, if you still haven't found 'The One' at 35, do not fret. It is better to wait for the one who will truly make you happy, than be in a one-sided, abusive, or unhappy relationship. Do not feel pressured if your high school classmates already have their first kiss, first puppy love etc. Your time will come, or he will come at the right time.
You can still tell me anything and everything. To me, you are my very best friend, whether you like it or not. I hope that even when you grow old, you will still feel comfortable in telling me anything. Do not hesitate to tell me if you are crushing on someone, if you want to crush someone's face, if you are tired, if you are happy. Klong, no matter where life takes you, please remember that your nanay will always be excited for your stories. Your nanay will always have time to listen to you, to give you advice and to scold you if needed. <3
You are definitely going to break rules at one point.
You are Francis and Ea's daughter, so you will most likely be a bit rebellious like us. That's inevitable. We had our share of curfew-breaking, and a few cutting classes way back, I had my first beer when I was 17, your tatay was already drinking beer in grade school, but we know our priorities. Your father and I are both happy-go-lucky (hopefully up to this day), but we also value our future. I hope that you are also like that. I want you to explore and enjoy, but always know your limitations. It's okay to bend the rules a little, if only to see more and learn more. As long as you are willing to face the consequences, and as long as it isn't serious rule-breaking, then I think I can handle that (just be ready for my endless sermon). :)
I am 100% sure that I will be the nagging mom, I will want to know everything. I will relentlessly ask you if you have suitors, if you have already finished your homeworks. I will still buy you the cutest outfits even if you hate them now that you have your own style, and I will most definitely be the parent who grounds you, or cuts your allowance because of certain things, because I am stricter than your tatay, but anak, we love you so much, flaws and all. I hope that we were able to be good parents for you, and I pray that you will enjoy the life that you are living now. Go and chase your dreams. Your nanay and tatay will continuously pray for you, support you, and love you. You always have us to run to in times of sadness and joy.
You are a gift to us, and I hope that you continue to be a blessing to others. Be the person that you want to be, and do the things that you love to do. We are just here to guide you. I know that you have grown to be a strong but loving person who does not allow others to put you down. ( I will make sure of it).
We love you, Klongski. (maybe you don't like to be called Klong Klong anymore). but no matter what happens, I promise to take care of myself so that I can take care of you longer (and hopefully your future kids too). Your tatay and I will always be proud of you no matter what.
Happy 18th birthday!
Your Nanay from 16 years ago ♥