When the clock strikes at 12 for 2014 I cannot but think of the most special and wonderful day of my life which I cherish most, i.e. my birthday. I will be celebrating my birthday on January 9, 2014 and it will be a silver birthday celebration because I will be turning 25 on that day. In preparation for my birthday celebration, I have thought of sharing the story of my life. What made me think or urged me to share my life story? As I surf on the internet in order to find inspirational quotes for my next blog entry, I was stunned by the maxim of James Matthew Barrie, a Scottish dramatist, novelist, and best known as the creator of Peter Pan, which says; “The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it”. His splendid quote inspired me to share to the whole world who is Alex C. Henon as a child, as a high school student, as a broken-hearted teenager, as a seminarian, and as a religious. However, I admit, it’s a risky job to share one’s life story. People may sometimes misunderstand it or may sometimes find it too boring. But, for me it doesn’t matter whether people may misunderstand it or find it too boring. I am greatly convinced that sharing your life story is a noble chore. Sharing life story is not just a matter of sharing wordplay. It’s a matter of sincerity, transparency, healing and touching people’s souls. Indeed, Melody Beattie attests it by saying “Live your life form your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people’s souls.”
When the clock strikes at 3 am of January 9, 1989, a baby was born in the outskirts of Malibay, Pasay City. This baby was the second son of Noemi B. Calambro and Eliseo O. Henon. The baby was not born in a prestigious hospital; he was born on the banig, a local Filipino sleeping mat which is being used by ordinary Filipinos, especially the poor, for sleeping. With the help of the komadrona (midwife), the child was delivered healthy. The baby was named by his father and mother “Alex”. Why is the baby’s name short? His mother and father wanted that the baby’s name short, so that when he already reach the certain age for schooling and start going to a primary school, he will not be in difficulty writing his name. Alex was still a child when he already felt how his parents love them so much despite their poor situation. Though his parents acknowledge that they are poor, it is not a hindrance for his parents to persevere towards a better life and to support them in their temporal and spiritual needs. In general, his family is a happy family amidst poverty. Though they are financially unstable, the happiness in their home remains. His parents experienced a lot of problems, difficulties and trials in their home, but, in those things, they learn not to lose hope and to be determined in life. Through those things, his parents learn the value of diligence and hard work.
Speaking of his best remembrance/s during his childhood, he has a lot of it. Oftentimes, his mother and father brought him, together with his brother Emil and little sister Nanette, to Manila Zoo when his father was still earning a good salary from his job. His mother kissed him on his cheek in his 8th birthday. Even though he is sick that time, he felt so happy celebrating his birthday because of the simple expression of love that his mother did to him. When he was an elementary school pupil, his father always brought him to school together with his bike every morning before going to work. His father always brought them pasalubog (gifts) after receiving his salary from work. The pasalubong is mostly bread or sometimes toys. His mother taught him how to write, read and solve mathematical equations in a strict way with love. His mother taught him how to pray the “Our Father” and she also taught him how to pray before going to sleep. His father taught him to sing and to appreciate the music of his time. In a strict and loving way, his father and mother taught him how to do the household chores. When he is sick, his mother cared him all the time.
His Christian upbringing and formation consists of his mother’s diligence in teaching how to pray the “Our Father”, the proper signing of the cross and how to pray before he sleeps in the night. His parents’ willingness, participation and respect in attending the Sunday Mass was introduced to him when he was still a child in a simple and practical way.
When Alex was still a child, his first communion was very special experience for him. When he was not yet receiving his first communion, he always looked at his father and mother after they received the Host from the priest or the lay minister. He always asked them what they were chewing and if the taste was good. They were always answering Alex in silence. So, when he was a child, he always says to himself that someday he will have his opportunity to eat and taste the Host that the priest or the lay minister gives. He once told himself that the Host which the priest or the lay minister gives was something precious which makes people good and kind. Since he was a naughty child, he remember that every Sunday Mass, He was always longing for the Host, so that he may be transformed into a good and kind boy and his mother and father would not anymore give him a punishment for being a naughty boy.
Although his father and mother were so strict when it comes to discipline, he was influenced by the moral disorders in their place resulting to his naughtiness and hardheadedness. He grew up in the shanties where moral, social, physical and spiritual conditions were miserable. The innocence of his childhood was overcast by shameful moral disorders and experiences which caused him a lot of pain, suffering and guilt when he started advancing in age and maturity. His childhood friends influenced him to watch pornography, to engage in masturbation, and to steal money from his mother and father’s wallet. When he was a child, he thought it was good because his friends do all those things. He thought it will make him happy and joyful when he does those things. But, when he grew up in age, reason and maturity, and when he can now determine what is right and wrong, these things became his pain and suffering most of the time. It caused him to see himself shameful and bad. It bothered him a lot. It was the reason why he blames and complains to God that He allowed it to happen to him when he was a child.
He experienced also a lot of pains, sufferings, and rejection during his elementary years. He was always being bullied by his classmates because he was the weakest student in their classroom. He experienced being humiliated by his teachers in grades 4 and 5 through shouting at him some humiliating words like “tanga”, “bobo” and gago in front of his classmates if he can’t answer their questions and if he can’t follow their instructions. When he reached grade 6, he strived in his studies, so that he may not be any more bullied by his classmates and be humiliated by his teachers. He really exerted a lot of efforts for his studies which made him being included on the Top Ten. Unfortunately, he was been removed from the Top Ten because his teacher had favoritism. He felt very sad and rejected that time because all of a sudden, the diligence and hard work that he exerted in his studies were all wasted. (To be continued)