Now nine, Sir Lancelot “Lance” Magampon Maberit has already shown an inclination to follow the footsteps of his mom Atty. Helen, a lawyer at the Office of Justice Jose Catral Mendoza.
“Playful but prayerful” Lance wanted to become a priest when he was three and a pilot when he was four, shares Helen. But meeting with then Supreme Court Justice Vicente V. Mendoza, Helen’s former boss, when he was five has changed things for Lance, who now dreams of sitting in the High Court. And why not? After all, Sir Lancelot, the most illustrious among the Knights of the Round Table and after whom Lance was named, was said to be the symbol of King Arthur’s justice.
Lance’s dad Arthur is supportive of his “receptive and inquisitive” unico hijo.
Helen recalls a family trip to the United Kingdom. In one museum, she was amazed to see father and son discuss the royal crowns “one by one.” Lance was a year and a half years old then. At two, he was already fond of books and watching the National Geographic Channel. This led his parents to enroll him at a Montessori school.
He has been a consistent honor student since he started schooling, discloses Helen. In fact, this year, aside from receiving the “First Honors Awards” certificate, Lance was awarded a Silver Star and the Assistant Headmasters Merit Award as he finished Grade 2 at Ateneo Grade School in Loyola, Quezon City. Lance is now enjoying his first few weeks as a Grade 3 pupil.
Lance has also been yearly representing his class in school presentations. A natural extrovert, he is encourgaed by his parents to engage in extra-curricular activities. Lance has received a silver medal for Makahulugang Pagbasa at Pagbikas (Interpretative Reading and Speaking) when he was in Grade 2 and has won a silver medal in a chess clinic tournament at the Ateneo.
In the Ateneo prep school, Lance received the Guardian Angel Award, the highest honor given to Prep pupils, says Helen.
Lance has also manifested love and gratitude to God. One time, Helen recalls, Lance came home and told her her he was top scorer in all subjects and that he had dropped by the chapel to thank Jesus for all his academic recognitions throughout the year.
Among Lance’s qualities, Helen finds best Lance’s being “patient, responsible, articulate, a nice boy, hindi ako binibigyan ng sakit ng ulo, hindi makulit (does not give me headaches, not stubborn).“
Indeed, Lance is sensitive of his mother’s feelings. He would do chores ahead of time, knowing his mom expects him to do so.
Helen and Arthur always remind Lance that “the best quality education is the best legacy [they] can give [their] children.” Lance has apparently taken this to heart.
Helen recalls one time, their Vietnam tickets as well as their hotel booking were forfeited after Lance refused to absent himself for a day in school. This, she said, was a lesson to her: not to book trips that would get in the way of Lance’s schooldays.
“Doon talaga namin na-realize, ibang klase talaga (It was then when we realized he is different),” says Helen.
Helen has also taught Lance to save money. She has deposited all money Lance had received from his godparents since he was baptized. From time to time, Lance would ask his mom to deposit some of his money to this account.
Advice to Moms
Helen says it is not enough that parents only discipline their children in terms of academics. There should also be discipline in all other aspects.
Helen makes sure Lance does advance reading and studying, for him to be prepared in his weekly quizzes, which weigh more than his quarterly exams. “Saka huwag mong i-pamper. Let them do things on their own (Do not pamper them),” she advises.
She always reminds Lance, as well as his sister Lady Helaine, to take care of themselves because if they come to harm, “ako ang unang mahu-hurt (It’s me who is going to feel the hurt first).”
Helen shares that an effective way of handling children’s tantrums is to not to approach it negatively. “Kapag nakikipag-away ka, lalo kang aawayin (If you are combative, the kids would be more agitated),” she declares.
Helen says she thinks Lance has charisma. When they were in Europe, some foreigners told Lance “you are very, very smart.”
One time, a pilot of Northwest Airlines engaged Lance in a conversation, and even took the child to the pilot’s cabin. In a trip to Palawan, the pilot allowed Lance to sit on the pilot seat.
Lance has declared “magiging lawyer ako (I will be a lawyer),” but at the same time told Helen he still wants to learn how to fly a plane and probably buy a helicopter, so she won’t need to purchase plane tickets whenever they travel.
And just last Mother’s Day, he and Lady Helaine gave Helen a cake and a card that says, “Happy Mothers Day. I love you Mommy.” What more could a mother ask for?