Since the beginning, life has been hard for this young boy who was born a cripple. Forced to live with his impoverished grandparents in the mountains, opportunities were few and far between for the unfortunate child.
Even though he wanted to change his life by going to school, the boy – Nathan – was unable to attend because of the great distance between his home and the school. If that wasn’t bad enough, Nathan’s lolo had already grown frail.
Because of his situation, Nathan was always left behind by his grandparents at home. Thankfully, he has his good friend, Niko, to keep him company most of the time.
A true pal, Niko always notices whenever Nathan gets sad and insecure about his disability. Because he hates seeing his friend that way – doubtful of himself and his faith – Niko would always reassure Nathan that everything is going to be okay.
“Kasi may ibang plano siya sayo. Hindi pa natin alam kung ano, pero sigurado ako mas maganda pa kesa sa hinihiling mo. Ganun naman yun eh, magic lang.”
One day, Niko had to say his final goodbyes to Nathan because he and his family were going to relocate. But, like always, he cheered his friend up by promising him that he would always be there for him.
“Wag kang malulungkot. Pumikit ka lang, tawagan mo ako sa puso at isip mo.”
Come Sunday that week, Nathan celebrated his eighth birthday. To thank God for another year, he and his grandparents went down the mountain and into the city to go to church. Throughout their trip, the celebrant only had one person in mind – his best friend.
As they set foot in the church, Nathan was shocked to see that the Sto. Nino looked exactly like his friend. Suddenly, he heard something within his mind.
“Wag kang malulungkot.. pumikit ka lang.. tawagin moa ko sa puso at isip mo, Happy Birthday!”
Although clearly fictional, this short story about Nathan and his good friend Niko is a much-needed reminder to always keep faith, hope, and love alive within us.