Two friends, husband and wife, dropped by my home today and made me thankful all over again for the gift of kumare/kumparehood.

They've got great news of their own. Now both 40 years old, and married 15 years, they are expecting their first child when they have all but given up on having one. I have often bumped into them at the mall with their nephews/ nieces in tow. Now, indeed, a miracle.

Only Sophie and Elmo were at home with me because the two older ones had classes and other activities after school. Elmo was going in and out of the house, at play with his friends from the compound. Sophie sat down with me, her ninang and ninong in the dining room for a merienda session that started at 2:30 in the afternoon...

...and ended way past 7.

We have not seen each other in months and so the order of the day was to give updates on what we have been busy with. I freely talked about the kids and their growing pains -- my challenges dealing with these, and how I cope, eventually, with these "wrinkles."

I was wary at first that I was talking too much about Sophie's teenage affairs especially since she was sitting there with us. I asked her later, when we bought dinner, if she ever felt she was put on the spot or embarrassed by my words. She said no.

I was glad she did not mind at all. "I did not feel they were meddling. I felt their concern," she said.

I did, too.

This Christmas season, there is much talk about kids wanting to see their godparents to "collect" presents. But being ninong and ninang is precisely about what happened today - kids' parents friends being apprised of the key events in a child's life, knowing them well and being interested in the direction they would take, and giving advice with all the love and best intentions.

This is the best "aginaldo" of all -- and it can be collected all year round. Godparenthood, at its best, is intangible.