When I was young, I always wonder why most of the people in our barrio know my dad. Every time I get the chance to be at other barangays they would ask me “Are you Romy’s child?” That was the time I learned that my dad used to be a “lakwatsero” when he was young. He was known for his good “pakikisama” though he is a man of few words whenever he is at home.
My dad is the lawmaker in our family. Failure to obey means punishment. That was his style of discipline back then. Through that style of parenting, my siblings and I were afraid to commit mistakes or disobey them. We tried to become good children though at times we were tempted to do bad. Well, I think that’s part of being a kid;-p My dad, together with my mom, raised us (we are 5) up pretty well. No one got involved neither in drinking nor smoking. It was only my (one and only) brother who learned those vices when he went to Manila after graduating from high school. Other than that, we grew up as good children and made them proud of us.
One thing I like the most of my dad was he never hit my mom. They used to have misunderstandings or big fights when we were young but it never came to a point that each of them would get hurt. That’s why I told to myself “I will look for a man like my dad, a man who will not hit me no matter how mean I would be.” Thank God, I found my hubby. =))
Like what I said, my dad is a man of few words. He seldom talks to us about school or anything. It was my mom who update us and share it to our dad. We rarely initiate to have a talk with him, maybe because of the fear that we might get scolded by him. My youngest sister has the only courage to talk to him and scold him whenever he gets drunk. They were close, I must admit. And I was thankful that one of their five children grew up close to him. He’s been a good father to all of us. He never forgets to bring “pasalubong” whenever he come home even when we get older and became professionals. My dad was such a good nanny too… He was able to take good care all of my nieces and nephews though he hates their noise and tantrums. He used to changed their diapers and milk and feed them. I admire him for being such a good “wowo” to my pamangkins. I just hope that my pamangkins would still remember those wonderful moments with my dad. Too bad, my future children won’t experience his tender loving care anymore. He might be tough but he has a soft heart…
It’s my dad who taught me to become responsible, well I think not only me.. even my other siblings. When we were young, he used to woke all of us up early in the morning of weekends to clean up. Nobody should be on the bed at 7am, we should be doing our household chores. I used to clean the frontyard and the backyard while my other siblings used to clean the entire house. At noon, we used to look for woods to be used for cooking. Instead of playing on the street with other children, we were too busy to do household chores. And no one should be absent on picking of coffee beans. He also taught me how to cook. =) But he did not teach me how to drive. =( He would always tell me to take a driving lesson and enroll in a driving school whenever I insist the driving tutorial thingy. I don’t know why….
The people in our barangay always call my dad for emergencies. If they need someone to take them to the hospital or pick someone up, my dad is the only person they have in mind. Since my dad is a public servant at heart, he always give in to their selfish requests. Yes, SELFISH. Why? Didn’t they ever think that we want our dad to be with us? Don’t they have other relatives to help them? Of course they have… but they prefer to disturb other people or other families just to get some help that is available in their own families. He was not even the barangay captain to settle everything but he was always to the rescue mode. Well, I must admit that my dad loves helping other people. He never gets tired of reaching out though he’s not feeling well.
It was 6 years ago when he was rushed to the emergency room of The Philippine Heart Center due to difficulty of breathing. I was not so sure of the diagnosis because it was my mom who talked to the doctor. The only thing I knew was his heart is not in good condition. A bypass operation can be done but still his heart would soon give up. It was such a bad news for all of us. Since then, we made sure that he would be visiting his doctor regularly for check-ups and laboratory tests. He was good for 3 years but when he entered the local politics in our barangay and got involved with his “barkada”, his health started to worsen. He used to come home late and sometimes forgot to take his medications. His colleagues in the barangay office took advantage of him. Everywhere they go, they used to take my dad with them. My mom even warned them about the health condition of our dad but they just ignored her thinking that my mom was just jealous of them. With the kind of attention that my dad was getting from his colleagues (co-councilors and other brgy officials), he didn’t like to listen to my mom. We were having a hard time to make him listen to us…. Well, that’s how old people tend to behave when they get older, stubborn! Oh, how I wish when I get older I won’t be “pasaway”….
These past few months, I used to notice that he massages his chest. There was a time that I saw him doing that and asked him about it. I don’t know why I was so stupid to forget those incidents and not to report it to the doctor whenever we visit his doctor. If I was able to do that, I am pretty sure that he would not suffer from heart attack eighteen days ago. Before it happened, he was in pain of his chest for a day but opted to use a nebulizer to make him feel better. I supposed that stuff worsen his condition…. Until this day, I am in pain of losing a father like him who I never get to hug since I get older. I never thought that he’ll leave us this early where I have lots of plans for him and my mom. If people were only immortals, we don’t need to die. Unfortunately, we are only humans….
Papa, you will be always remembered… We love you so much. Thank you for the times you’ve been there for us. We will miss you so bad.