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Are you happy?

By Jullie Y. Daza

There’s a sign on the facade of Greenhills’ Music Museum declaring that “life without music is a mistake.”

One of the happiest people I know makes it his hobby to give himself happiness and spread and multiply it by sharing the joy of music with others. (Try imagining a Christmas without carols.) On a happiness binge since a global survey found, unsurprisingly, that we’re the third happiest people on the planet, I happily went on a ride to the lavender hills of Antipolo to be with the Pastor clan and friends for an afternoon delight of music, merienda, and memory-creating moments. The tertulia featured Jade Riccio, soprano, and Nomer Nival, tenor; Merjohn Lagaya, violinist, Jude Aeropagita, pianist; and Norma Francia, guest pianist. But it was the host and impresario of the day, “Tito” Tony Pastor, and his brother Pitoy who stole the show with their stout-hearted singing!

The audience looked so happy, I had to ask them, during the interlude, what makes them happy. From the oldest, 89, to the youngest, 18, their answers were uncomplicatingly simple.

Montse, 18: “Seeing others happy, small moments, being with family and friends, hugs, experiencing new things, accomplishing things, overcoming fears, traveling.”

Monching, 56: “Being with friends, enjoying dinner, laughing.”

Nanette, mother of four: “Family!”

Arlene on her mother, Elvira, 89: “Her passion for music keeps her going. Right now she’s busy helping fellow retired musicians through her Symphonic Music Manila.”

Mailu, CPA: “Small talk with my son and daughter in the evenings. Talking to my hubby over breakfast. Also when I pray, and basically touching base with God and family keeps me sane and happy.”

Nina, management consultant: “Family. Flowers in the garden. A freshly brewed cup of Batangas barako coffee. Watching the sun rise and the sun set. Smiles of family, friends, and co-workers.”

Aurora, 86, mother of 11: “Being a widow and all by myself, I have to go out to seek happiness so I won’t get depressed.”

Didi, banker: “As I get older, simple pleasures make me very happy. Outings with my only sister, a short trip to the market, movies. Being with family, grandchildren. It’s enough to make me the happiest, richest person in this tumultuous world!”