It’s not every day that you get written about by a Mayette Tabada. So I’m posting it here. — insoy

dadI’M a fan of mall events, specially the unplanned ones.

Recently, while accompanying the husband and teenage son to check out gadgets, we turned a corner and almost bumped into celebrities.

My foot-dragging made me swerve in time and avoid a collision with Rei’s baby bump. Rei is the first of my former students I saw get married on Facebook.

That evening, Rei and Baby Bump (BB) were accompanied by The Baby Blogger. “Insoy,” I babbled. “I’m a fan of your baby blog.”

The bleary-eyed fellow eclipsed by Rei’s beatific smile and BB is known better to readers of news and the Sunday Light section of this paper as the editor, Lorenzo P. Niñal.

Every Tuesday, in the op-ed section, Insoy can be entirely blamed for the “Insoymada” column.

A habit of reading Insoy has made my Tuesdays wry, dry and off-the-wall. Yet I’ve noted that, for the past months—nine months, to be exact—the driest Insoymada to sink and break your teeth on in the land shifted tone, actually becoming gushing, warmer, generous, tasting almost suspiciously like breast milk, or what the milk of human compassion would taste if it came direct from the pair attached to a former seminarian who skedaddled when he couldn’t swallow transubstantiation, morphing into a writer, poet, agitator for Bisrock, save-the-children advocate and recently, father, husband and this paper’s unofficial savant on infanticipating.

Looking at The Baby Blogger in the flesh, it was hard to believe it took this guy an extraordinarily long time to find his groove. He looked so terrible—bluish half-circles under the genuinely bottomless holes that only fatherhood can bring, nest of a hair cut circa-BBB (Before Baby Bump)—I now can accept that this guy is really having the nesting instinct bad, that he wasn’t just being cocky and stealing the limelight from Rei when he wrote in response to a reader of his December 2010 column, “Tastes like Baby Spirit,” that “wala pa mi nagpa-ultrasound.”

Aww: how many do you know break the barrier separating Me from We?

When his blog, insoymada.com, generated a flurry of likes on Facebook, I realized how it takes the Other Better Half to celebrate March as the Month of Women.

We’ve become so desensitized by the statistics on domestic violence and abandonment and the cases of and-they-lived-unhappily-ever-after that we miss the fellows who make it possible for us to enjoy being mothers, wives, professionals.

In 2005, the Province of Aurora in northern Luzon passed a reproductive health code that, among others, pushes for and recognizes the contributions of men in the household, from planning families with their partners to taking care of the kids day by day.

According to the Mar. 7, 2011 article of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the men and women of Aurora walk tall for having the lowest annual population growth rate of 1.07 percent, first recorded in 2007. A provincial health officer observed that fatherhood should not just mean working away from home but also being present for loved ones: cooking for and bathing the kids, bringing them to school, minding baby so the mother can recover after birth.

Being contrary and skewered, Insoy keeps a column and blog that attest to how boundless, creative and mysterious fatherhood can be: inducting BB to the hall of music but substituting rock and heavy metal for lullabies whose lilting melodies mask violent lyrics (“Smells like baby spirit”); discovering during Mother’s Class medical proof that men’s breast do have some use (“Breastmilk is best for fathers, too”); and giving up smoking, drinking and bad literature for the sake of future generations (okay, so he still has to write that column).

As he’s written ad nauseam, Insoy says he’s not a perfect human but that doesn’t stop him from trying to be a good husband and father.

Okay lang. We recognize a beautiful soul (even when they’re ugly and infanticipating).

Mayette Tabada, Matamata, Sun.Star Cebu, March 27, 2011