A letter from the Philippines

I am four feet tall. I have fair complexion and short hair. My talent is singing. I usually sing Country Western songs, some in English, and some in Filipino, which is our national language. Sometimes our family also sings hymns from the Christian Science Hymnal together after dinner.

There are ten of us in my family. I have four sisters and three brothers. They are Guerson, 19 years old; Jeson, 17; Iviney, 8; Jaymar, 6; Jomarie, 4; Deteony, 3; and Jeny Rose, 1. And then there's me, and I'm 12. We live in a small, flat-roofed house, made of iron. It has two bedrooms and a dining room. My two little sisters sleep with our parents in their bedroom. My two older brothers have a double-decker bed in their bedroom. The other four of us share a double-decker bed beside the dining room, where two of us sleep in each bunk.

We used to have a babysitter, but she left. So now Guerson, who is not going to school, takes care of my younger sisters and brothers. I like to help feed my little sisters, and give them a bath. When I'm not at school, we play some games from school, which I've taught them. I like helping my parents take care of my younger brothers and sisters. In my country, older children—even though they're not adults yet—sometimes stay home and take good care of the younger ones.

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Grass Roots
March 27, 2006

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