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#db Father, Blog, Brothers Bonifacio, Relationships
Dedicated to three people: My superwoman, Yasmin. Thank you for our son. My Papa Joey and Mama Marie. Thank you for all that you have done for me. I cannot thank you enough.  

The Morning of the Delivery

I didn’t realize it until one of the nurses asked me to stand to cut the umbilical cord, that I was already passing out. Sitting in that operating room, watching them operate a cesarean on my wife, had hijacked my system. I felt like fainting, throwing up, and taking a crap all at the same time. As I grabbed the scissor-like instrument, I was so worried I would lose control and drop it into my wife’s open belly. Somehow I was able to muster what little control I had left to cut our child’s cord, complete with a photo of me looking like I didn’t know where to look – and that’s because I didn’t know where the camera was. As soon as I cut it, I excused myself from the room, and sat on a stretcher outside. A nurse who saw me very concernedly told me to take deep breaths and gave me a cup of water. It was around then that I realized I was soaking with sweat, as if I had run half a kilometer. It was not my most Instagrammable moment. But it was one of the best moments of my life, probably the single best moment of my life. “I’m a father.” I thought to myself. Followed by a “I want to see my son.” and “I’m sure glad I’m not a woman.” in that order. I walked-back in, held our son, and went to my wife, “You did well, Yasmin. Look at Elijah.” “He’s perfect.” she said. Of course he’s not “perfect”, no one really is, but he is to us. After 15 months of having given up my much beloved bachelorhood, I have learned three priceless lessons: 1. Marriage taught me the beauty of true love, that the more I chose the satisfaction of another, the more that other satisfied me. 2. Having a son taught me there exists a pure love that has nothing to do with my son’s achievements and everything to do with him being mine. 3. And we (the community of Christ’s followers) are both Christ’s bride and God the Father’s children, and we have access to the satisfaction of choosing to satisfy Christ and the pure love of knowing we are loved, not because of our accomplishments, of which we have nothing to be proud of, but simply because we are His. In this social-media soaked society, where so much effort is placed on projecting a “likable” life, we must remain sensitive to the important lessons from the simple and mundane, difficult and painful, and unposed and embarrassing. In my very close fainting-vommiting-crapping-combo moment, I fell in love with my wife in a special way, appreciated my parents in a greater way, and worshipped my God in a deeper way. In my emotional and physical, weakness, when my normally very calm and clear mind just wanted to shut down, His power to communicate His love to me was perfect. There was nothing to capture, no lights, no takes, no slow-motion, no OOTD, no brand to hashtag. Just a very sweaty, anxious, light-headed man needing a puke bag and a diaper, overjoyed at having a son and being a son. Then my mind drifted for a moment, “Are there nine people operating? Am I paying for all of them?? How am I paying for all of them???” How quickly the cares of the world steal our joy. Then I heard my wife’s voice ask worriedly about the sutures, and our baby’s soft cry as they observed him, and out went the worry, replaced with just simple unadulterated care. How quickly loving others brings our joy back.

It Is What It Is and It Is Well.

The next day, I walked to the billing center of the hospital. St. Luke’s has been an incredible hospital. The facilities are amazing, the nurses were very helpful, and we’re extremely grateful for our OB Gynecologist Dr. Sapaula and Pediatrician Dr. Saulog, as well as our anesthesiologists Dr. Gary and Dr. Inciong, who was very reassuring towards Yasmin during the operation. Seeing what my wife went through made me appreciate my mother so much. Seeing the bill made me appreciate my father! ”Woah!” I thought. “And it’s only Day 2!!! Another 18 years of this! Another…” my negative thoughts were arrested. “Another collection of moments with my son.” For a second I felt I could afford anything. The idea only lasted for exactly one second. But it is what it is. As parents know, pregnanacy and having children can be expensive. It is a range of more expensive and less expensive, depending on one’s means, but always expensive. When my wife was pregnant, she purchased just one pair of maternity jeans (which she washed every day!) partly because she couldn’t find ones that fit her height, and mostly because I had given her a very tight budget. But our budget is what it is. The available choices are what they are, and there’s nothing wrong with that. She was happy, we were happy, and 38 weeks later, we have a healthy son. With  faith in God and grateful hearts, it is well. We were asked if we wanted to store the umbilical cord for future stem cells, and we said it’s out of our budget, it’s not something I prepared for, and not a priority. We have some friends who did it, we have some friends who did not, and there are also those who know nothing of stem cells, and there’s no right or wrong here. What one can afford at the moment is what one can afford. What one knows is what one knows. It is what it is. With faith in God and grateful hearts, it is well. After just about 3 days, my wife has started to see some success with her breastfeeding. It wasn’t easy. We tried many times, had so many nurses help us, and amazedly watched YouTube videos of babies finding boobs on their own. Some mothers take days, some take weeks, some are instant milk farms, and some are never able to produce. I’ve learned that there’s a whole range of nipples, and not all lend well to breastfeeding. Some have access to breastmilk banks, some can afford nipple shields, some can’t afford these supplements, and some don’t need them. Whatever the case, it is what it is. With faith in God and grateful hearts, it is well. While my wife was recuperating, we read an article of kids being kidnapped in refugee areas and being found killed, and were told of some serious medical conditions that have happened to other babies. The next day, my wife told me, “I cannot stop thinking of those babies. Why does God allow that?” I answered her simply, “The truth is, I don’t know. Some of life is because we or others use our freedom in ways that lead to bad consequences. But there’s also so much we don’t know. There’s so much I don’t know about what is already known, of what has already been discovered, and there’s still so much more to discover. Who can say they fully understand life?” I thought about this more through the evening, and I never found any answers. I did remember that God asks us, the living, to be grateful in all circumstances, to love by serving others (especially those who have less than us), and to have faith in God’s goodness. And while this may seem like the simple-minded belief of those too weak to handle life’s painful truth, I’ve come to realize that whether one believes this is truth or superstition in this situation is irrelevant. Being grateful in all circumstances will bullet-proof your soul and make you more able to face life. From an evolutionary perspective, developing gratefulness is good for you. Continuing to love despite our own personal doubts, personal suffering, and personal loss is good for the world in general. It flicks the finger at the cycle of violence and hurt caused, when people use their own hurt, their own doubt, their own suffering, and their own loss to justify unkind or even inhumane actions. From a social perspective, it’s beneficial to be like a human desalinization plant, taking our salty doubts, suffering, and loss, and releasing a purified love. Finally, believing that there is divine goodness, makes people hope, and hope is a balm for the soul. With faith in God and grateful hearts, we face what is as it is, and know that it is well. And it is well not simply because we have everything figured out, or can afford everything we want or need, or because everything is wonderful, colorful, and great. It is well not simply because we’re laughing, content, and succeeding in our goals. It is well not simply because pain, doubt, and suffering are absent. Neither is it because we experience something relatively better than what someone else is suffering. (I hate it when people try to comfort you by pointing out how someone has it worse.) Just like I learned that I could love my son not because of any perfection but simply because he is mine, you need to love your own gift of life simply because it is yours. Don’t compare it to someone else’s, as any parent would be a fool to compare their own with someone else’s. But realize that it is special because it is yours. Without getting political or controversial, this is why I am so against any thought process that makes killing a solution. Life, your life, every life, is special in itself, not comparatively or relatively special, but special and amazing, a true miracle. A life that travels the world and one that stays put are equally special. A life celebrated by the world on social media and tbe one no one knew existed are equally special as well. We need to move away from valuing our lives and the lives of others comparatively, based on man-made metrics that are really mostly focused on utility: how useful this person is in satisfying society’s needs and wants. We value good looking people and celebrities because they fill our need for beauty. We value rich people or successful people to fill our aspirations. We value powerful people because we look for security and order. We value the intelligent child because he will discover things and get a good job. We value ourselves and people by how good we are at meeting society’s needs and wants. This is why we think it is smart, advanced, even humane to abort children and kill crooks. Why maintain a life that does not fulfill society’s needs and wants? Why maintain a life that drains society from meeting its needs and wants? The answer is because it is a life. Even if one doesn’t believe in God, each life is owned by a corresponding person. Is it not more sophisticated to be able to go beyond utilitarianism into the metaphysical understanding that this life is the private property of someone, and to snuff it out means breaking that person’s rights, and showing we value utility over honoring individual lives? And if utility is the best score for a person’s right to live, never expect a peaceful world. Expect a highly competitive world, expect a divided world, expect a highly insecure world, and expect a highly unequal world as we all prioritize that which maximizes our own individual utility. This is a world I know I can thrive in given my personality, skills, and relational advantages. But it is not the world I want to live in nor want to raise our son in. Instead, we decide to live by the simplicity and elegance of remembering that every life is God’s, and it is only for Him to decide on whether it lives or dies, and our role is to love; to care; to cultivate; to improve, to take our 1, 2, or 5 “talents” and multiply them, not compare them, but expand them; and to hope for the day that we share in our Father’s happiness. Walking with faith in God and gratefulness in our hearts, knowing that no matter what happens, it is well. #db

#db Father, Blog
On September 1, only 5 days from now, my son, who will most likely be named Elijah David Perucchetti Bonifacio, will be born via scheduled cesarian. As mothers will know, the process of pregnancy and giving birth is different for everyone. For some women, like my wife, and for a range of different issues, a surgical operation is required to deliver the baby. It is a generally safe procedure but your prayers are always appreciated. I love the idea of prayer, that we can come to God Himself, and that He listens. I love the idea of people coming to God for the concerned of others. It is a very real example of living out our Christian life, not only acknowledging God’s great power, but choosing to call on that power for another. Yasmin Yasmin has been incredible throughout the pregnancy. I do not think I would have handled the last 9 months as gracefully as she did. I wrote this on my Facebook Page to acknowledge my amazing wife: Yasmin, you have been incredibly amazing throughout the whole pregnancy. You’ve been so strong, have had such a good attitude, and continued to take care of our home despite all the physical changes, discomforts, and concerns of the pregnancy. Thank you for carrying our son, for not getting a straight night of sleep for over 9 months, for going to the toilet a million times a day, for putting up with his constant kicking and moving, for managing backaches and ankle swelling, for enduring the nausea and puking, and for doing it all in your kind and loving way. I love you! My advice for anyone who wants to attempt to raise a great family, as that’s the stage we’re currently in, is to choose a great spouse. I don’t mean be picky in the superficial sense. I’ve written quite a bit on how I think those marriage lists are silly. What I mean is this: be with someone who embraces the same purpose, lives by the same principles, and partners towards the same performance. Who are you following? While I do believe I’m extremely grateful to have such a beautiful wife, I want to ensure that my life and our family do not contribute to the diseases of “celebrity-ism”, which is the putting of people on pedestals. We want to do our part in contributing to society, and part of that includes sharing our experiences, but not in such a way to glamorize our situation, but to empower others to make the most of theirs. This is one of the things I love most about Yasmin. She is so natural and down to earth, and has no need nor desire to be treated like an “It girl”, like a goddess, or a celebrity. Quite the opposite, she likes to wear the same things every day, literally only wearing the one pair of maternity jeans she bought when not in a skirt. “Pretty good huh?” she told me, when I pointed that fact out to her. My wife rarely goes to have her hair done, usually does her own nails, battles her own way through Manila traffic, and is so used to washing her own clothes in the bathroom sink. Before and during the early days of pregnancy, Yasmin would be at the gym or out hiking, preferring to do active things than just hang out. Now that she’s close to giving birth, we’ve been talking about the workouts we’ll do to stay extremely healthy for our son. It’s true: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30). Yes, my wife is extremely hot, the hottest in fact (I admit I’m biased), but what makes my wife lovely is this: she genuinely loves God, loves other people, and loves life, not merely the grand experiences of life, but the gift of every day, whatever that day may be. This is something we can all enjoy through the simple act of gratefulness. All of this to say: I truly believe in the potential for everyone to be amazing. But it won’t happen if we spend too much time, in fact, any time, worshipping others. The time must be spent on living our own lives, the only lives we get, and making sure that our lives made the world a better place. So learn from us, learn what to do and what not to do, and learn that life has many options and it doesn’t have to look like ours. Most importantly, don’t worship us, don’t put undue attention or admiration on us because it will prevent you from learning the actual lessons, it will prevent you from being creative with your own situation, and worse, from worshipping the One whose favor all families need. Before I move on, I want to leave some questions: Who are you following? An influencer? An expert? A pastor? A relative? A celebrity? Or have you been cultivating your own principles and disciplining yourself to hear God’s voice? The beauty of listening to God above all these voices is that He guides us to live a most creative life, for the source of all wisdom and the source of all goodness, knows a beautiful way unique to each of our own hearts and circumstances. So we let go of the need to compare and benchmark, and we focus instead on Him and each other, not our pegs, and place our attention to where it should be. I hope my posts on learning to become a father are helpful, but I hope never to be guilty of celebrity-ism. It’s a disease. Preparations Somewhere the baby bag is packed, the bottles have been washed, and the car seat waits to be installed. Yasmin has stuck the alphabet letters on the wall of the baby room, added a night light, and we’ve turned-on the baby camera and monitor. His cot is assembled, his stroller parked, and his clothes have been hung on mini hangers, waiting for our little man. As Yasmin and I prepared, as we read more about the method we intend to use, which is Baby Wise, we also started thinking about the inner life of our son. It’s so easy to prepare for the outer life and for the physical, his health and his stuff, but it’s very easy to completely forget about his soul, or to leave that bit to some other time when he’s older or more cognizant of intelligent things. But just like we prepare for the physical things ahead of time, I think parents should prepare, particularly prepare themselves, to be leaders of the spirit, mind, will, and emotions as well. You can Google or buy books on a great number of resources on how to prepare for the material and physical. I won’t cover that here. I do want to encourage you to think about the values you want your young men and women to embrace. I posted this on my Instagram page:

This used to be my study and workout room. Now it’s our son’s. I still have a shelf and a pull up bar though. I am so excited to give him the best that I can. This made me ask myself, What does giving our son “the best” mean? It means to prepare him for freedom. It means to lead him towards wisdom, character, integrity, and impact. It doesn’t mean more toys or more clothes or more stuff. It doesn’t mean more comforts or more conveniences. @yasminperucchetti and I had to recalibrate ourselves and remember, in our excitement for our son, we have a life to steward, not simply a baby or a child, but a life of infinite potential. And we are privileged to be responsible. The beauty of this approach is “the best” doesn’t mean breaking the bank or keeping up with other parents. The best means passing on a life of virtue, and that is something we all can do regardless of what we can afford. #db #family #baby #virtue

A post shared by David Bonifacio (@davidbonifacio) on

As part of the preparation, I’ve been able to define a little bit more the kind of man we want to raise, a man very different from the old boys our society seems to churn out more and more. While this list will be refined, here’s what we have so far: 1. Godly: Someone who loves God and loves others 2. Graceful: Someone who is full of God’s love, favor, and virtue 3. Grateful: Someone who humbly acknowledges that all of life is a gift 4. Generous: Someone who enthusiastically gives more than he takes 5. Global: Someone who is effectively engaging this changing world for the better From Day 1, we want to prepare Elijah for freedom, to be able to be self-determining, and wise enough to determine the right things. By defining these, we realized that we need to guard against the vain and materialistic parenting so prevalent today, the kind that parents by pegs and marketing, not by convictions, the kind that always thinks it needs more things and forgets virtue. We will never raise a man who gives more than he takes if we raise a needy person. A needy person will never be good for himself or the world. This reminded me of something Yasmin always tells me when she sees me being impatient, using my phone too much, or working too late, “Do you want our son to copy you? Because he’ll be watching you.” This always makes me stop and think more deeply about my own behavior. It’s made me take our list for our son and aim it at me: Am I godly? Am I graceful? Am I grateful? Am I generous? Am I global? If yes, how do I pass it on to my son? If no, how do I develop these things in my own life that I may be a good example to him? Freedom is a very important idea to me. How can I teach my son to be a valuable member of a free society if I myself don’t understand what that means? I won’t be able to. Which is why I’m preparing my mind regarding these concepts and other intelligent things as well. The point is, my son has one father, me, and to the level I can provide is the level he can gain. That’s a serious responsibility. In a few days from now, my son, Elijah, will come into the world. I’ll be sharing more about this exciting journey as we go along. As I do, I hope my readers will remember the following from this first post in this series: 1. Raise a man not a boy. The world needs strong men who can carry responsibilities, fight injustice, and improve the world. 2. Don’t parent by social media, by influencers, and by marketing. Parent by conviction and wisdom, using defined values to guide you more than advertising. 3. Take a good look in the mirror and decide to become the kind of person your child would be wise to follow, because he will follow. I’m saying a prayer for all expecting parents. Here we go! #db

Brothers Bonifacio, Thoughts on Value
January 3, 2017 I had gone to work early – really early – 2am early. Yasmin and I had been arguing, and I decided to do what I do when I need to relax: work. Later in the morning, I got a text from Yasmin telling me she was at the hospital and needed to tell me something. She had not been feeling well, feeling easily tired with aches, so she was really planning to have a check-up. Embarrassingly, ungentlemanly of me, I had taken the car my wife uses without thinking (I usually take Uber everywhere), so my sick wife decided to walk to St. Luke’s since it wasn’t too far. When I got the text, I had a feeling I knew what it was about already but I don’t know why. I called Yasmin, and heard the news that would seismically alter my life. “I’m pregnant.” Out the door went the pride, offense, and anger I had been harboring from the argument before. And I quickly settled things in the office and drove to the hospital. There’s nothing like being responsible for another life that brings out the better parts of our nature. After the check-up, Yasmin said, “No wonder my breasts were getting so tender. They’re going to get bigger.” “Nice!” I answered. “You’re terrible! I can’t believe that’s what you’re thinking about!” Yasmin reacted. “Sorry… What I meant is, I’m sorry you’re feeling pain.” I corrected. “Whatever…” she said with a slight smile.   Being married has revealed different parts of me – for better AND worse. But I’m making up for my insensitivity these days with my daily role as Chief Body Butter applier. Apparently, there’s a whole line of products just for helping with the stretching a woman undergoes while pregnant. It’s not easy being Chief Body Butter Applier, but someone has to do it. It’s part of the many sacrifices a husband has to make. I’m being sarcastic of course. My wife’s body gets stretched and expanded, and that’s just what I can see. Inside her, she is literally chemically changing. I can’t imagine what that’s like. All I need to do is massage her. The more I read up on it, the more I think “I’m lucky to be a guy”. When my wife’s not pregnant, she’s bleeding every month. When she is pregnant, she’s… She’s… She’s… I don’t know what she is. Just kidding. My wife is, pregnant or not pregnant, always beautiful.   Someone’s 179 BPM On the way to a meeting yesterday, with order restored with me in an Uber, I stared at the photo of my baby. I’ve been staring at that photo since I took it. I remembered seeing the heartbeat and the doctor telling us, “There’s the heart beating. 179bpm.” I was so excited, that as I posted a photo on Instagram, the only word I could think of was “Joy”. Yasmin laughed. She said, “You were thinking so long about your post that I was worried you’d say something smart and make mine look corny. After all that, you ended up with one word. For once, David Bonifacio has nothing to say.” It happens more than Yasmin knows, like when I watch her sleeping beside me. In those moments, I also have nothing to say. I just feel joy. I wrote this poem while stuck in traffic: 179 BPM Our treasure’s heart A beating gem “Is that  healthy?” We asked naively Doctor said, “Quite fast, But safe. Believe me.” “Of course it’s fast” I thought with sanguinity “That’s my child Also chasing infinity” So much hope you bring, With so many a concern But we’re not without ways And what we lack, we’ll learn I want so much to be perfect For you, but you’ll find What your mother now knows I can be blinder than blind But I will do my utmost And where I fall short There is One who watches Our first and last resort Best you meet Him early For He already knows your frame Best you get used to calling on Him, To crying out His name I am getting ahead of myself As I am prone to do You’re still forming But you’re there, that’s you You already hold my heart Just a few weeks, yet you do I feel my chest getting tighter At the thought of beautiful you We love you our treasure, We love you our beating gem We love you more than you’ll ever know We love you 179 BPM #db But my thoughts for my child were suddenly overtaken by the faces of team members and the people who work with me. And this question popped into my head, “Am I the kind of leader that a wise father would enthusiastically encourage their child to follow?” I thought about this idea. Let’s say my baby was now a grown up, would I tell him or her “Go work with David. You’ll produce your life’s best work, you’ll grow, you’ll become a better version, you won’t have to compromise your values, you’ll be successful, you’ll achieve your goals, you’ll be healthy, you’ll be well provided, you’ll have great relationships, follow him, follow his instructions, and follow his example”? Would I? All of them are someone else’s 179 bpm. All of them have the potential to bring the joy I’m feeling. Putting myself in their shoes, would I enthusiastically recommend my leadership? And would I be wise for doing so? These thoughts quickly revealed many areas of improvement that I quickly jotted down and made plans to improve on. I made a commitment to myself to become the type of leader that a wise father would enthusiastically recommend that their child follow me.   For Millions Still Unborn I’ve been reading on the different Founding Fathers of America. I’ve read the biographies of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Alexander Hamilton, and now reading through Thomas Jefferson. I’m always blown away by the work they were able to accomplish despite the diversity of their perspectives and interests. Reading about their lives removed the myth of perfection and showed really really really flawed men – even terrible men. But a few things struck me about them. One was a deep desire to live out their principles, as flawed as they were. The other was how the idea of “the millions still unborn” was so important to them. They realized that their lives, their decisions and actions, the principles they defended, the institutions they erected, and the battles they fought would go beyond their own lifetimes and would affect generations, the millions yet unborn. So even as they lived in the present, their perspective gave them the foresight to build for far into the future. I’m no George Washington or Benjamin Franklin. I’m no great leader. I simply have myself, my family, and our companies to lead. Our companies are not huge. I believe they will be. But I’m biased of course. Just as I think my baby is the most beautiful baby in the world even if no one, not even I, know how he or she looks like, even if it’s only been 6 weeks – in my wife’s tummy. But the decisions I make today will impact my baby decisions. If I save for the future, my baby will have money for the future. If I build a good name my baby will have a good name. If I build a strong relationship with my wife our baby will have that security. My decisions today will greatly affect my child still not yet born. In the same way, in business, in anything I’m leading, my decisions today affect the millions yet to be impacted. Current employees and future employees, current shareholders and future shareholders, current customers and future customers, all will be affected. Are my present actions guided by the knowledge of future implications? Am I the kind of person who is living with such a big purpose that it impacts the millions still unborn? Or have I shrunk my purpose to just myself and today? Do I throw that piece of trash on the street for my convenience now and ignore the pollution the millions still not born will face? Do I spend the resources on my current impulse and neglect the future education, the future opportunities, and the future quality of living of the millions still not born will experience? Do I truly love my neighbor as myself, and am I truly living a big purpose, that mobilizes the same type of resources for others, for future others, as I do for myself? My 179 bpm is already impacting the world by impacting me. And it’s not because he’s done anything yet, and it’s not because he’s perfect, or healthy, or a boy, or a girl, or anything more than this growing form. In a world that’s so entitled, materialistic, and no longer capable or willing to suffer, we’ve managed to rationalize the killing of babies as practical but this is ignorant to this fact: The first gift our child ever gives us has nothing to do with their perfection. It has everything to do with the child being ours. Perfection, at least as we know it, after all, is basically how close the baby is to “normal”, and “normal” is how close it is to average. The first gift our child gives us is joy that comes from loving someone beyond the love you have for yourself, and the second, for those willing to learn, is that we learn a new kind of love, a love not based on external excellences, but exclusive possession. I love my unborn child because he or she is mine. Maybe this is also why God can love me so much despite how terrible I am. I am loved because I am His. It’s as simple, and as beautiful, as that.