Raymond Lauchengco’s Year and his Christmas Chair Story…


BY: Pilar Mateo

“Could anyone feel grateful for a year like this?

“A friend asked me how come I don’t seem to be bitter about all the bad things that happened to me in 2020. I had to think about it for a while and revisit the many unfortunate events that occurred to realize that he had made a valid point: I don’t feel bitter.

“Shell shocked in the beginning? Yes. Confused, sad and terribly anxious for a while? Yes. But not bitter.

“I think that if we truly love life, then we have to learn to accept the things that make up life. The good and the bad.

“And if we say we are grateful for life, then we have be grateful for all of it. Not just some of it, but everything that makes up its parts– like loving a person despite the imperfections. That isn’t always easy, but the choice can be made.

“How I wish I could pick out the times when everything went well and separate them from the times when things didn’t, and say, ‘What a ride. What a life!’ But I can’t.

“The good and the bad come hand in hand. And your life is more than what happens to you in one day, one month, or one year. Your life is about every day, every month, and every year that you get to breathe, wake up, smile, laugh, cry, get angry, feel frustrated, hopeless, dejected, rejected, and disconnected.

“I think that 2019 was a great year for me and that 2020 wasn’t as good. But one good year, or one bad one alone, does not a whole life make. Life is the gestalt of all the events and experiences you collect from birth until it’s time for you to go. And all the good mixed in with all the bad makes for a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

“This year took away many of the things that define me, but it also gave me something more precious than what it took: Time. Time to do what I want to, not what I have to. Time to rediscover how much I love my wife and kids. Time to get to know myself well enough to say, ‘This is who I am. This is why I’m here.’

“So just like the spectacular roller coaster ride that life is, I choose to be grateful for all of it. The heart-pounding anticipation as the train slowly creaks its way up the chain lift, the terror of plummeting down when it gets disengaged, the exhilarating highs and the devastating lows, the nerve-wracking, neck-bending twists and turns, the loops that turn your world upside down, even the horrible picture of you taken without consent along the way–all the things that make for a wondrously exhilarating time!

“For all that, I say: Thank you, life. Thank you for all of it. Thank you for 2020.


“Once upon a time there was a chair.

“A fine chair it was, though it had seen better days.

“‘Why does no one sit on me anymore?’ asked the chair, for it had been set aside to its dismay.

“‘Once I used to matter, for me they used to care,now I’m in storage, oh this is so unfair.’

“Then one day, a soap maker noticed how sad the chair looked.

“So she turned to her husband and said, ‘perhaps a little fixing and care will do this chair good.’

“‘I’d like to sit on it in, right in that nook.’

“Her husband gave it a look and took out his tools

“‘This chair needs love, let’s see what we can do.’

“So he stripped off the paint, cleaned off the grime, the years had not been very kind.

“Sanded it here, and sanded it there, it already looked marvelous in his mind.

“Then once it was clean, once it was bare,the soap maker’s husband whispered to the chair:

“‘No more sad days for you fine chair, you will matter once again.

“You’ll sparkle like tinsel, but first a new coat of paint.

“Then I’ll cover you in silver and you will see,how lovely you’ll look by our Christmas tree.’

“And so it was, and so it shall be, that what was once a sad looking chair, is now filled with glee.

“‘Thank you for making me matter, for hearing my plea.

“Again I have purpose, again I am me!’ said the fine chair, to the soap maker and her husband, by their Christmas tree.”

SUCH an inspiring piece. As always, it is so heart-warming to eavesdrop on the lives of such great artists.

It’s not just his songs that will endear Raymond Lauchengco to your hearts. now, it’s the pieces he creates with such mastery.

Have a brighter and meaningful Christmas ahead ya’all! (30)

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