And so the story goes that on the fateful night of August 1, 1978, when Manila was being battered by the worst storm ever, a mother gave birth to an eight month old, scrawny little baby who weighed no more than 4.5 lbs. As the baby came out of the mother’s tummy, the light too in the whole city went out. And so the baby lay there in the dark nursery, illuminated only by the nearby emergency light. The grandpa who was waiting anxiously in the corridor with the father, when he heard the baby cried, cannot helped but uttered in silence, “there goes the little light.” My name Blanca, said my lolo, means little light. And yes, that baby is me. Everyday for the past 36 years, I strive to live up to the name given to me. Even during the most difficult time in my life when I see nothing but complete darkness, I struggled for my flickering light to continue to shine. It is so easy to live in the shadow or fade into the oblivion that darkness offers but life or rather God doesn’t always include that in the many options he always presented to me. I guess because He wants the light within me to help fire the world up with His love. And so here I am today, stil trying to live up to the challenge that comes with my name, still trying to light up (your) the world, through the big or small roles that I play in your life. Thank you for giving me the chance and the opportunity to do that everyday. And for the warm greetings and heartwarming birthday wishes too.