The thought of the word "tatay" puts me teary-eyed...at least a bit. I'm a guy whose not easily crying a river when emotion is overwhelmed with heart-rending scenes.
|My dad, tatay, itay, my hero |
together with my mom, nanay, inay
I can still picture-out how my "old man" looks like when he was like at his prime. He's like the Hercules, the Superman, the Conan but not a barbarian, the Thor, and the great provider in our family. His voice echoes unto our veins when he starts shouting-out our names especially when we're out of the house and playing in a nearby neighbour's house without his permission. He would always gets mad at us (my sister amd me-- we are the first two children in the family) if we escape to play without asking permission from either him or nanay. Well, it's a good sign of being good parents. They are always after the welfare of their children.
He has this muscular physique, broad shoulders (this is where I got mine), good posture that girls would swoon for if he's still available. Of course, in the "pogi department" he's not to be discounted for since he has the looks too. He's a ladies man. His good charisma to women makes my nanay a bit jealous. Well, just a bit since my nanay is so confident that she's the only girl in the world of my tatay. And no matter how many girls would tempt my dear ama, he has this terrific self control. A control that manifest how he values his family.
You can always see him flashing his brilliant and care-free smiles and hear his boisterious laughter whenever there are funny things being partied on. He doesn't have the elements of scarcasm but he's extremely frank. If he knew his in the right parameters of reasons and truth, no one can challenge him even a blazing sword or a gun. He would stand for the truth even if it would cost him to jail or death. I have been a witness to his heroism and embracing truth.
He is a man of action. He speaks little but act more. He doesn't want to speak too much but when he do, be sure to be penetrated right unto the bones. He is a man of honor and he can keep highly confidential things (a trait I got from him). He said things of secret in nature should be kept locked in your heart as a sign of respect to the one who entrusted it to you. This is one vivid memory I can still remember from him when he's giving us words of wisdom.
For someone who was born and grew up after martial law, it is very rare to see a dad who has this liberal views of things. It's typical in a remote community settings wherein children, most of the time, are not allowed to speak up to explain about a rift they are involved too. Many parents in our town or barrio would literally speak such litanies as this: "Tumahimik ka kung ayaw mong tamaan ka! or Hintayin mong matapos ako sa kausap ko at malilintikan ka!. But our tatay is so different, way at par from the rest of the dads in our sitio. In times like this, before casting his verdict to us when we had our petty quarrels with our "kalaro", he would at all times give us the freedom to express our side or explain the whole thing before his rod will slaps our behind (butt). He's not the type of a father who would just hit their children rightaway without even probing what's the real incident was.
This is the most and highly admirable character my tatay has. He is a liberal man. He never dominates a certain situation instead he listens well and speaks up when his time is due. He listen more than he speaks. But mind you, when you ask him about his insights regarding an issue, his would be of genuine, unbiased, and fair judgment. He's always seeking what's truth in it. He can't be paid with millions just to lie for something he knew was true. Nor will he trade his principles for something that could alleviate his family's status financially. He always reasons out that "Kaya ko naman kumayod or buhayin ang pamilya ko sa paraang disente". And I can't trade this principle of him when finally I'll be having my own family.
Tatay, you are more than a father to me, you're a hero, a great friend, a smiling companion, a mentor, a leader, a great provider, a beacon of principle and light, a stronghold, a fortress. Words may run out as well as adjectives to completely describes you, but here's few words to end this:
"Tatay, you are the great disciplinarian in a very liberal way and I'm forever indebted to you for the great leadership, mentoring, and rearing us up as descent as you did."
"Soon, I'll start my own family and I will carry those words of wisdom you've inculcated in us. I can't level up your feat as a father but I can carry your words as I start mine."
Thanks for being our father, our great & humble father. I can't wait to see you in my wedding to thank you personally for raising me up and being a huge part of who I am today.
"I love you from the bottom of my heart!"