Father’s Day perhaps is one such occasion that gives us an opportunity to not only acknowledge our dad’s role, how important they are to us and to express it well, but it also sets up a tone of overwhelming emotions, geared up towards a spectrum of a double-header emotion, a two-fold kinda happy-nostalgic celebration in the mix, at least in my case. This day I believe strikes the right emotional chord that keeps on bubbling up.
Allow me a quick trip down memory lane. It just doesn’t seem that long ago when Tata whom we fondly called Daddy Groovy would sit up either on his bed or couch with all of us kiddos cuddled up together listening attentively to his made-up sagas of “Anyang Misan” (Once Upon A Time) stories. I can’t seem to recall much of the tales but I remember that we laughed a lot. We were just too eager to listen to his spontaneous good-natured antics in an attempt to revive old stories or come up with something inventive and imaginative. His style was nowhere near that realm of wearing thin! If it was his intent to make us laugh then, it can be assumed that he succeeded in his quest without trying too hard. Whether it was time for bed or one of those blackout energy-saving powerless nights back in those days, Tata always seemed to find ways to amuse us with fun-filled avenues that cater to our then simple, easy to please, uncritical little minds.
Lara’s Theme, Somewhere My Love from Dr. Zhivago was a household tune as my Tata would sing or hum the melody all too often, and would dance with our mother, and later on asked me and my sisters to dance with him. We loved the endless spinning around and around not minding much at all the dizzy spells and whirling sensations we felt afterwards. He also loved to sing Dandansoy, I Must Leave You Today, a famous folk song from Culasi, Antique Philippines; he sang this us to put us to sleep and when he was about to take a long work trip anticipating a distant journey away from home. For us kids back then, there could be no doubt those days were the longest wait ever. On the day that we knew our Tata was returning home, we’d walk our way through our local Sunset Boulevard (adjacent to our parish Santa Monica Parish Church) and would wait for hours, fully determined to escape all sorts of possibilities to miss anything so there’s little chance of messing up. Catching a glimpse of our Tata stepping out of the jeepney was indescribable… it was worth a thousand words!
Oh well, that is just a brief flash of light about my Tata, and the major morphs of growing up haven’t even made it into the scene. They have yet to emerge! There is just a vast and overpowering amount of tales and awe-inspiring stories that can be told that I’m sure we all want to share about our dads and pay tribute to their extraordinary impact and influence. It’s foremost on my mind someday, it will be my joy and utmost desire to grant each tale its moment to linger. I know for certain that if I’d talk my Tata into moving the moon for me if it were at all possible, he’ll do it in a heartbeat! If he sees a stranger drowning, he’d rescue him; if he sees someone hungry, he’d give him food even if it’s his last; if he sees someone seeking for truth, he’d lead him to The Way, The Truth and The Life —The One who finds, who gives, who loves each of us as if there were only one of us, and who will reveal Himself to the one who seeks Him.
My Tata taught me to live for God, His Church and His precepts even if at times, they seem so hard to follow; to be lttle, be last in line but first to serve—and be a willing servant. He has taught me that “humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” He had chosen the path, that others may be preferred and I set aside, and to love until it hurts mantra— the road I hope to take and can measure up.
Truly, GOD handed me my Tata who has given me so much love, and who took great pride in everything that I do.
Thank you, Tata for loving me for the rest of your life. The greatest gift God gave me next to our Lord was YOU and the gift of being given the chance to take care of you when you were sick. God is my constancy amid change and you were right there along with Him.
Happy Father’s Day to the grooviest dad who is now in heaven! I love you all the way right up to the moon and back.