By: Roy dela Cruz
Whew! I was glad that was over. Next was the talent portion. But my baby was number twenty-eight. Would she be able to hold and wait for her turn? Meanwhile, friends and relatives had arrived to support Angel. Everyone - wanting to hold her, hug her, kiss her, or play with her while it was not yet her turn.
Angel-(older now) in one of her model poses -10 yrs. old
As we watched the proceedings of the program, other children performed without any problem.
I had hoped the same would be true with my baby. It was almost nine o’clock and candidate number twenty or twenty-one was performing on the stage. My wife asked me to talk to Angel; she wanted to go home.
Not again! I didn’t know what happened, but Angel was cranky. Maybe her aunties and cousins unwittingly pressured her young mind by telling her to do well. Or maybe she just got impatient and didn’t want to dance. I took her backstage and tried to talk to her.
Number twenty-five was on the stage. I asked her to do it just once and promised her that I would never allow her mommy to put her in a contest like that again.
The Author and Angel - 11 yrs. old
It was harder to talk to her this time, but through patience and daddy’s charms, I was able to convince her. Candidate number twenty-seven was almost finished.
I kissed and hugged my baby for the last time, as they called her name.
I handed her to the usherette and tried to rush to the front to take her picture. I had only taken a few steps when I heard the ushers and usherettes calling me.
When I looked back, Angel was crying! What now?! I rushed to Angel’s side trying to talk to her. She was still crying.
In the meantime, the emcee kept on calling Angel’s name, I was asking for two minutes.
Then, out of nowhere, the daycare teacher came urging Angel to dance on the stage.
Angel in her school uniform - 11 yrs. old
Imagine that! My baby was crying and all this teacher could think of was the talent portion!
Then came Angel’s aunties and cousins, all convincing her to perform her talent.
I was literally pushed-out of the picture. My baby was crowded! My baby was mobbed! And she was crying! The talent portion was called off. My baby never got to perform her number.
Then there was an intermission. The gown portion followed.
I was able to convince my baby to wear her gown, which she personally picked, and continue with the contest. She was on the stage together with the other twenty-seven young ladies.
Waving and smiling to the audience, although there were still traces of tears in her eyes.
We knew she won’t get anything for all her efforts, but we still want her to finish the contest. The finalists were chosen, special awards were given, until all the winners were announced.
For all those proceedings, I wasn’t really concerned; I just wanted it to be over with.
Finally, it was all over. It was time for us to get our baby back and go home.
Angel - Christmas - 6 yrs. old
On the way home, everybody in our group was quiet.
Well, not really quiet, but they were not as enthusiastic as they were three or four hours earlier.
Each one trying not to talk about the contest and the talent portion.
I was carrying my baby, she was happy and smiling. We were kissing and hugging each other along the way.
She didn’t win, but in my heart she’ll always be my little princess. One thing we learned on that day is that, my baby’s charms, talents and wit, was only ours to behold.
My baby didn’t dance. She didn’t have to. She’s my Angel, and I love her very much.