The Philippine Military Academy has been adopting the Foster Parenting program for years. This help the cadets have a "home away from home" since they do come from different areas in the country. It is being introduced during yearling year (third-class cadets). I am not quite sure on the requirements on how to be host-parents/foster parents, but what I am sure is that having one keep our cadets guided. I must know, I even had three sets of foster parents (that's another story to tell). I would like to share this electronic mail that my husband's foster mother, Dra Micaela Defiesta (which automatically became my foster parents when my husband and I got together) sent to all of us, her foster siblings. This really made my day. I hope everyone will be inspired while reading this. I felt the need of posting this for various reasons. What are those? You'll find it out yourself after reading it.
Subject of the Letter: THOSE WERE THE DAYS
Dearest mga Anak,
Musta na kayo lahat?
I got this email from Pastor Erwin Luga of PMACF today and decided to forward it to you. It was originally sent to the PMA Host Parent for them to have an idea of what a Plebe is like. Reading it brought a lot of memories...good ones actually as I reminisced years of being a fostermom to all of you. Papa Mon and I, Bryan and Ian included will always look back at those years as some of the best times we had even as a young family. We did make our own "family" traditions of Sunday afternoon picnics within the Boodle Bar or some park in the Academy. Remember the Spaghetti Defiesta and undying cinnamon breads? I had fun teaching the girls in our family our traditional spaghetti sauce. Remember how we insisted that inside our house you call each other by their first name? Many of you had difficulty doing that as it is either the PMA nickname or the family name that you remember or it was unheard off to call your upperclass men other than Sir or Maam. We had a rule, what is applicable to Bryan and Ian was applicable to all of you. Coming home meant sharing in the washing of dishes, cleaning the house, getting reprimanded if house rules - no telebabad, no raiding the ref without asking Mama first and so forth were not followed, etc. Hosting your families for merienda cena during your graduation was something we prepared for and looked forward too because many times this will be the first and the last time we meet your parents. We felt sorry to have missed to do this for the last batch of you who graduated as we were already overseas then.
We were part of your lives and you, ours... and we were hoping in some ways or the other we could influence you to become the best people you can be...and you delivered! Maybe not all of you become officers in the AFP but I know that you are all excelling as you always had been in whatever endeavor you are doing now or path you have chosen to tread. We are proud of each and everyone of you!
I hope that as you go thru Cavalier Dan's story of Masikap Class 77, you will remember your time as Plebes and your own unique stories...and you will smile! Everything has paid off in the end! There will still be challenging times ahead...those will never end as Papa Mon and I am finding out in our 50s. Do you know that we started as fosterparents when we were in our early 30s? That doesn't seem to long ago...but as you know some of you even have families now. Papa Mon had some trepidation about it but he eventually "soaked up" the idea and the part as he was even more involved with some of you than I have ever been ie. delivering cakes and cards, looking for your drags, bringing in medicines you never had at the PMA Hospital, etc. For Bryan and Ian, you have been the Kuya and Ate that they never had.
I wish we can keep tabs with all of you..but we have lost track of some. It would be good to connect with all of you again..so if you have any contact details of the rest of your fosbis or fossis not included in this email, I would love to have them. In this time and age, distance should no longer be a reason not to get in touch. May I ask that you never forget each other as well. Find out those that were part of our "family"...and when you meet them, acknowledge that they are your fosbis or fossis. Nothing will make Papa Mon and myself more happy than that you will keep the bonds that hold our special "family" and that you will help each other in whatever way possible even after PMA.
We are far and may not see you at all...but you will always occupy a special part of our hearts and there you will stay. We may be silent but that does not mean we have forgotten you. We continue to pray that you are safe and happy whereever you are...and that someday we can see you again.
Take care mga Anak! God bless you all, always!
Love and prayers,
Mama Ella with Papa Mon, Bryan and Ian
Note: I copied the main letter and just pasted it with its original format....