Tuesday, May 28, 2002

I climbed up Mt. Ping-as last Saturday, and had to come down via the Inumpog route. Unfortunately, there was a horse blocking the trail, blissfully munching on some grass. After a few hoots and ssssuuuttt's from some of the trekkers, the horse moved.

Great. Although it no longer blocked the path, its hindlegs were right beside the path.

I was scared to walk through because I was worried about getting kicked. Besides, the horse seemed to glare at me.

So I waited... just like the other adults.

After a few seconds, two kids approached us from the other side of the path. We warned them to watch out for the horse's legs.

The kids froze. And we all just stared. Tugging at the horse's rope didn't work. We just helplessly watched it munch and spew some yellow liquid right on our path.

Soon, an older brother of the two kids arrived and asked them why they were just standing there.

"Baka masipa kami nung kabayo!" (We might get kicked by the horse.)

"Lumakad na kayo. Di kayo masisipa..." (Just walk on. You won't get kicked...)
"...at kung masipa kayo, eh di sipain nyo rin!" (...and if you do get kicked, just kick the horse back!)

The kids passed, then the rest of us scaredy-cat adults did the same. The horse just munched away. Funny, it seemd to wink at me.

It's strange how we sometimes stop in our tracks on our way to some goal because of some fear or uncertainty. True, getting kicked by a horse can land you in a hospital, if not a few meters to the right depending on how strong the kick is.

But if you don't act, nothing will happen. You'll just stand and watch some yellow urine creep towards your feet under the noonday sun.

So go and forge on ahead. And if life kicks you, then give it a swift snap kick right in its gut.

Posted by Manuel [Kicking A Live Horse]

A few years ago, Adi kept watching Barney (yep, that purple dinosaur) videos and took a fancy to this one particular kid named Sara Hickman. I searched the web and instead found another Sara Hickman. That chance email exchange lead to this...

newborn (4k image)

Subj: Re: Thank you for the CD
Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 1:56:12 AM
From: (Manuel Viloria)
To: Sara@sarahickman.com

Dearest Sara,

Something wonderful came in the mail today -- your CD, Newborn, arrived here in Manila.

A few weeks ago, I emailed you because I thought you might be the 'Sara Hickman' who starred in the Barney and Friends video my son, Adi, frequently watches.

But you know what? Barney pales in comparison. My son Adi wondered what new CD I was popping into the computer. Another movie, he wondered. Then when your sweet voice came on, my little three year old sat there. And listened.
His teachers say that it's hard to get Adi's attention. Who'd have thought all it takes is Sara Hickman's singing voice. :)

Sadly, the music stores here in the Philippines do not carry your CDs...yet. I say 'yet' because I've just phoned my friend at Odyssey Records and Tapes and asked her to import some of your CDs. I'll also drop by Powerbooks, a bookstore/music store that has a tie-up with Tower Records. I'll suggest that they carry your CDs.

And then there's also Young Minds, a children's bookstore that carries imported books, games and CDs. I'll show them your CD so that they'll understand why someone like me, a typical Filipino dad, can gush over a family-oriented CD.

I love your song, "It's Alright" and wish I had your CD when our son was suffering from colic until his fourth month. Then again, after a long day at the office, it becomes evident that "It's Alright" isn't just for colic. :)

You and your child are beautiful. Thank you for this gift. Thank you also for helping me become a better dad by opening my eyes (and my voice) to the new ways of spending time with our son -- through the magical healing power
of song.

Take care always, Sara...

Warmest regards,

P.S. "Eye booger" in Tagalog (language spoken here in Manila, Philippines) is "Muta" [pron. MOO - tah]

"A Filipino Family on the Web"

Posted by Manuel [Newborn CD and Sara Hickman]