Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gift of Time, Gift of Family

The Monumental Maynigo Gal-lang Family Reunion held in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 15-17, 2011 lived up to its billing. As I expected, it was a monumentally filling, fulfilling fattening, fascinating, felicitous, fatherly, and family-concentrated festivity.

Las Vegas is known for being the Entertainment City. Since it is also  famous for adult entertainment and gambling, it is also dubbed as the Sin City of the world. I was not surprised when the younger generation who composed the majority of our clan voted to have our reunion in the city.

Many Filipinos retire, vacation and hold family reunions in Las Vegas because of what I call the Gs – Games, Golf, Gambling, Good time, and Go-Go Girls. This was why, as part of the itinerary or program, family praying together led by the clan’s spiritual adviser, Fr. Victor Arenas Maynigo was included. GOD should always come into play for any family undertaking.

The Buffet of Buffets which allows you to “eat all you can” from 4 to 7 meals in 7 different hotels for $45.99 (with free Total Rewards membership card) in 24 hours was indeed monumentally filling and fattening. The Las Vegas shows and the entertainment provided by some of the clan’s talents made it fascinating.

I was particularly proud of the stunning performance of my 10 year old grand niece, Raven Maynigo Barbiran, daughter of my niece, Doctor/Nurse Rochelle Maynigo Barbiran and her spouse, Nurse Edwin. The Voice, as displayed by the clan’s bet for American Idol and /or America’s Got Talent in the future could be seen on You Tube ( Manang Teresing Cancino Maynigo, the proud grandma was with us during the reunion. Her late grandpa, Manong Manoling Maynigo must be very proud looking down from heaven.

The hip-hop dance performed by my nieces, Occupational Therapist Lillian Maynigo Espanola and Doctor/Nurse Rochelle Maynigo Barbiran and Raven were entertaining as well. They ably and positively answered my query, “So you think you can dance?” The message from the Philippines by my cousin, CPA Diosdado Maynigo was inspiring, funny and entertaining.

What actually made the reunion fulfilling, felicitous, fatherly and family-concentrated were not the “Gs” I described above, although they helped, but more because of GOD’s Gifts of Time and of Family as discussed by Fr. Vic in his inspirational message to the family.

Gift of Time

All human beings are equal. All are finite and all are allotted the same amount of time, the same number of hours (24) to spend, invest or utilize. It is God’s gift.

As we already know, our 24 hours is always full. Utilizing part of it for something new means dropping or reducing an already pre-determined activity. It is a very valuable asset. It cannot be stored or borrowed. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You have no way of getting it back.

Paraphrasing the words of German Philosopher Schopenhauer, “Time = Life. If you waste your time, you waste your life. You master your time and you master your life.”

Making the most of our time is therefore making the most of our life. Using time to produce things that are useful to fellow human beings means you are living a productive life. But time is also required to maintain and consume the things produced.

Since time is finite and therefore limited, one may have to prioritize depending on how much one values a set of activities. It is better to work smarter than longer. Working smart and hard would lessen the amount of time needed for many of the life challenges we face.

Electronic organizers, gadgets and other new technologies were all created to save time. We pray for miracles and for the magic wand to save time. Case studies, medical, business, legal and other types of cases based on the experiences of others are documented and summarized for others to learn and obviously to save time.

Gift of Family

Fr. Vic’s inclusion in his message GOD’s Gift of Family was indeed fitting, felicitous, fatherly and timely. Family is not only sharing the same DNA but most especially sharing history, experiences, expertise, empirical studies, experiments, education, data, information, ideas and wisdom together.

That’s why there is great value to having family reunions. Investing time to attend it is in the long run saving time and money. Learning from the experiences of relatives would save you time by avoiding the bad ones and following the good ones. The expertise of relatives who are  educated in so many different fields of discipline lends immeasurable benefits not only for the present but most especially in the future. Many serve as inspiration and models for emulation by the new generation and those still unborn.

Family members who are working, bonding, enjoying, even patiently waiting and queuing together are actually praying together. It is indeed a blessing when you are with family- immediate, mediate, and extended. It is never a waste of time. It is a very efficient and effective use of valuable time.

The Monumental Maynigo Gal-lang Family Reunion is not much different from all other reunions of other cultures. What probably makes us a little luckier is that we have two in our family who were “called and chosen” by God - my cousin, Fr. Victor Arenas Maynigo and my nephew, the late Fr. Cornelio Casanova. Also, we have in our family professionals in several fields: Doctors, Nurses, Medical Technologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Certified Public Accountants, Engineers, Systems and Information Engineers, Scientists, Computer and Software Engineers, Software Applications Developers, Army, Air Force and Navy Officers, Lawyers, Educators, Authors, Nutritionists, Teachers, Realtors, and more.

I needed a family and I have one. With great pride and honor, I share with them my time and my life. So should all those who belong to a family! It is a great gift from GOD!

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