Because of numerous demands for me to recount the Tale of the Son which is very significant this Christmas Season, here it is.
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.
When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door.
A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.
He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.”
The young man held out his package.
“I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.”
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man.
He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the portrait.
“Oh no, sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.”
The father hung the portrait over his mantle.
Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his collection of paintings.
Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great painting and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son.
The auctioneer pounded his gavel.
“We will start the bidding with this portrait of the son. Who will bid for this painting?”
There was silence. Then a voice at the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.”
But the auctioneer persisted. “Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?”
Another voice shouted angrily. “ We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!”
But still the auctioneer continued. “The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?”
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the long-time gardener of the man and his son.
“I’ll give $10 for the painting.”
Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
“We have $10, who will bid $20?”
“Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters, said one man. The auctioneer continued. “$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?”
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the painting of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!” A man sitting on the second row shouted, “ Now let’s get on with the collection.”
The auctioneer laid down his gavel.
“I’m sorry, the auction is over. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned.
“Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the painting. The man who took the son gets everything.” — Author Unknown
In the Tale of the Son, the message this Christmas Season is much like the auctioneer, God’s message today is “The Son, the Son, who’ll take the Son?”
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I would like to take this occasion, being two days after Christmas Day, that holidays are not about partying and traveling nationwide and internationally or what they call “revenge travel” to far off places , but an occasion to meditate on what Christmas is all about , that God has His Son become man to save Mankind!
I would like to take this occasion to tell you, gentle readers, that my usual “Persons of the Year” go to all health workers and frontliners, including journalists who bring to you news of the day both here and abroad.
These health workers and frontliners expose themselves to the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic to help those in need.
It’s for this reason why I believe there’s a need for both the government and the private sector to give them their due, like better pay and allowances.
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I would also like to take this occasion to give due credit to my choices of “Achievers” in whatever pursuits they are in.
I take special mention of Senator Christopher Lawrence Bong Go as the No. 1 “Achiever” of the year.
I commend him for the help and assistance he gives to those in need whenever fire, floods and landslides, or whatever disaster or calamity hit. Bong Go is always there to commiserate with the victims and to even give them financial assistance.
Bong Go continues to amaze me. He has already set up his 153rd “Malasakit Center,’, a one-stop shop for all those in need of assistance from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Pagcor to help the indigents and the needy.
And, above all, Bong Go by his lonesome is pushing for a DDR or a Department of Disaster Resilience, an agency sorely needed by a country like the Philippines, which is always prone to calamities and disasters, like super and killer typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and storm surges, when nobody else is pushing for the long-pending DDR bill in the Senate.
Likewise, I would like to commend Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, who was adjudged, Santa Banana, the best performer and achiever among Metro Manila mayors.
I commend Joy. I know very well both her parents, former Quezon City Mayor Belmonte and the late Betty Go Belmonte, founder of the Philippine Star. Her parents taught her well. Congratulations to you, Joy.
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I would like to commend President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for his excellent work in “selling” the Philippines not only here in our own Southeast Asia region, but also in the US and Europe where “ investors’’ now realize that the Philippines is “now open for business.”
If I were to score BBM in his first six months in office, I’d give him 87 percent. So far so good, as they say, in all his appointments including his latest in naming his press briefer, who is somebody who can amplify to express what BBM wants to say or what he intends to do.
But, I also believe he should name a permanent Secretary of Health, not merely another officer-in-charge.
BBM’s last act as agriculture secretary may well be to go after all the smugglers of agricultural products like sugar, onions, rice, fish and meat.
As President, BBM has more than a myriad of things to do to meet all the challenges he is facing.