July 21, 2024

My husband, Ed, joined the heavens for more than two years now. In my family and extended family, three fathers have already passed since the pandemic. Ed, Kidlat, and uncle Nito.
Uncle Nito will even celebrate his birthday come June 20. So, Happy Father’s Day uncle Nito and happy birthday. I extend the same greetings to my mistah in National Defense College of the Philippines, Gen. Johnny Gonzales, who is now a plantito.
If my husband were still alive, what would he say to my two sons and daughter? The eldest, Nashi, is a father to my apo Eli Dominic and the second son, Edgar, is a father to his cats, Bomber and Lillet and unica hija, Reggie, to pet cat Manga.
Ed had always been a loving father. Carrying his sons and daughter when they were little, especially when they were sick or when they got hurt. He was a “magic papa” who was very particular and adamant about doctors surrounding his sons and daughter when they needed stitches in hospitals. He would say, “wait I will talk to them, you don’t need to hold them down.” He would talk to them gently and full of love, and explain the situation to them until their anxiety and fear disappear.
And so, the children would bravely face having stitches with nary a whimper. He was always anxious when his bunso Reggie would travel or may nabalitaan o na-marites or bullies lurking around her. He would get sick and his blood pressure would shoot up. Papa was always protective of his family and those he considered family. He taught the same to his sons and daughters – family comes first, protect your family.
During their adolescent years, he would rather teach and be with them when they were learning how to drink. “Mas mabuti na daw sumuka sa harap nya, kesa sa piling ng iba kasi maaalalayan niya.”
The boys would grow up learning how to spar and dodge incoming blows. I was always fascinated by the speed of how he taught this skill to his sons. In fact, my eldest son said, “Ma, kahit lasing ako magaling akong umilag. Hindi ako tinatamaan ng suntok.”
When my sons were young, he would pin them down and tickle them holding both hands until they surrender and say, “Stop na papa, I can’t breathe.” It’s funny, because when they were bigger and older, they would tickle and pin him down until he says the same. Baliktad na.
He did not like traveling outside of the country because that meant, not being able to bring several tool boxes, several bags and kits. He was always a Boy Scout; he’d prepare for almost anything. Hassle ‘yun for him. During out-of-town travels, when he was not driving anymore but would make sundo his favorite cousins Patricia(+) and family, and Genie, he would sit beside the driver so he could support the driver with candies to keep him awake or just talk to him during long drives. ‘Di pwedeng ‘di niya sunduin sila Pat and Genie. It was a tradition that the whole family looked forward to, even if it was just a short trip to and from the airport.
When he was hospitalized, his pet peeve was not being able to take showers, so he was happiest when his hair was shampooed or when he was given a bath. There was nary a whimper too when they were injecting IVs and miss the vein several times. He would still smile at me and say, “I’m OK.”
His children gave him great joy. They were his living treasures. Pero when it came to learning how to drive, ayaw nila siyang teacher. Naninigaw daw. He would teach them to do parallel parking. He was a very cautious driver and very strict.
Fathers have always been role models to their sons. The friends of his sons and daughter always look up to him as their second father.
There were many memories of him writing in long vowels and consonants, “iinnngggaaaatttsss x 100000000000000000000”…. “haaappppyyyy biiirrrthhhdaaayyyy titoooooo/ titaaaaaaa” or making mano (blessing) everyone, bata man o matanda. There was a time a killjoy got mad at him, bakit daw nagmamano sa anak niya eh bata pa. He was suave. Maga-ling magsalita.
He liked t-shirts, vests, cargo pants, and mentos candies. He would keep several bags of Air Action mentos. He used this one particular brush to comb his hair kahit putol na. He was a radio communications man and master inventor. He loved his React radio group. Always on the alert when there were storms and emergencies.
He was Kildat Tahimik’s sound engineer. He loved taking photos. He was a professional photographer until the digital camera was invented. That is when he stopped taking photos. What I remember most about my Ed was that he took care of me when I was sick and having chemo. He endured my pain with me silently and also with nary a whimper. Yes, I will keep on making happy memories with his memories and will remember him until my twilight years. We miss you papa Ed. See you in the next life.
I would like to wish all the fathers and natays a Happy Father’s Day. May you all enjoy the memories of bonding with your children and loved ones. Life is really short. At the end of the day, in the dash of life between the beginning and the end, matters.
It’s good to remember, it’s not about the amount of money, material things, accomplishments, and accolades you acquire, but the amount of love and memories you create to leave behind that will be cherished. It’s about how you touched your fellow humans. How you were kind and giving. It’s about Jesus and what He means in your life. You came with nothing; you will also leave with nothing.