Today, on a Fathers’ Day, I would like to honor my own father by sharing with all of you some tidbits about the man that my siblings and I lovingly call “Tatay”, and all our children fondly refer to as “Tatay Baldo”.
My father has a beautiful voice, and he loves singing. Among his favorites are the songs by Matt Monro and Frank Sinatra.
He is a graceful dancer. It’s a pity, though, that all of us kids inherited our mother’s two left feet!
He is a voracious reader. Give him tuyo, tinapa or kakanin wrapped in old newspapers, and he would still try to salvage the wrapper for his future reading.
He is an articulate speaker and he has a flowery tongue, making him an indispensable asset to any local politician in our town, especially during the campaign period.
He is an excellent writer. He even wrote me a poem when I was still a cute, cuddly toddler. (You may read it at the end of this article.)
He is an insatiable food enthusiast. He could work up quite an appetite, especially if he is served with kare-kare, lumpiang sariwa and pansit luglug. Or virtually anything paired with freshly steamed white rice.
He was a passionate activist during the martial law regime. In fact, I think he was even secretly rejoicing when I joined LFS during college.
He has a hideous indecipherable-scrawl-of-a-doctor penmanship that only I can fully figure out.
He is the drink-quit-and-slip type of drinking buddy. If he knows that he has had enough, he would quietly sneak off and go straight home.
He could be extremely emotional. There were lots of occasions when I would catch him silently shedding tears, but if there’s one special memory that truly stands out in my mind, it was the bittersweet moment when he walked me down the aisle more than twenty years ago. His tears shamelessly rolling down his face, his shoulders hunched as if in defeat, and his hand holding mine with a claw-like grip — I thought he changed his mind at the last minute on handing me over to the waiting arms of the man who was to be my husband. But slowly, painfully, eventually, he did.
Lastly, even if my mother used to be a school teacher, it was my father who served as my first teacher. He was the one who patiently helped me with my lessons and homework from the first day I set foot in a classroom up until college. When I was in 5th grade, our English teacher used to give us ten new words a week that we were supposed to spell, know the meaning of and use in a sentence. There was this one word that I still remember up to this day. It was “fictitious”. And, the kilometric sentence that my father wrote for me for that particular word was this: “Scandal mongering and gossiping show the brutality of men by easily believing in fictitious and fabricated stories being peddled by others without conducting self-investigation and objective observation.”
Now, I’m asking you this. Can your father think it believable that a 5th grader can really string together such big and highfaluting words and pack it into one ostentatious sentence? I don’t think so. Only my father can!
Happy fathers’ day, ‘Tay. We love you. And know that, for us, isa kang tunay na alamat! 😉
LORELEI….. ANG MUNTING ANGHEL
LORELEI ay ‘sang tulain na hango sa panaginip,
Nang saliwan ng tugtugin,naging awit ng paghibik;
Upang maging inspirasyong namamasdan, naririnig,
Ibinigay na pangalan sa anak kong nilalangit.
Ang tahanang dati rati’y may lambong ng salaghati,
Natitigib ng ligaya sa tuwing sya’y ngumingiti;
Ang kislap ng mga matang tila tala ang kawangki,
Naging tanglaw ng palasyong matagal nang minimithi.
Ang iyak niya ay musika, hindi ingay sa pandinig,
Ang dulot ay pagsisikap sa t’wing aking naririnig;
Kami’y handang mamuhunan, maging dugo,luha,pawis,
Makita lang na masaya, ang anak na nilalangit.
Putap, walik, taptop, kukang, munik, munok, patot, balak,
Ay ilan lang sa katagang pagaril nyang binibigkas;
Simbolo ng kaalamang pagsubaybay ang marapat,
Upang maging matalino pagdating ng takdang oras.
Sa kalabit ng gitara o pagsaliw ng tugtugin,
Ang tugon nya’y pawang indak na para bang munting anghel;
Ang kilos ng paa’t kamay at pag imbay nang mahinhin,
Ay sapat ng makalunas sa ‘ming pusong may hilahil.
Ang lupit ng kamao ko minsa’y kanyang nadarama,
Masakit man sa damdamin, nararapat ipakita;
Ito’y isang pagwawasto sa kanyang pagkakasala,
Nang ang mali at ‘di tumpak, ‘di na muling maulit pa.
Gintong aral ang magiging patnubay niya sa pagtahak,
Sa matinik na lansangan ng buhay niyang hinaharap;
Huwag gawin sa kapwa mo ang anumang hindi dapat,
Upang sila, bilang ganti’y taluntunin ang ‘yong landas.
Tulang ito ay hinabi ng malikot na gunita,
Isang sulyap sa kahapong nalilipos ng sanghaya;
Akong amang nagmamahal na hindi man manunulat,
Ay pinilit na ihandog sa anak na minumutya.
Panitik ko ang kumilos upang kanyang matunghayan,
Pangyayari sa buhay n’ya noong kanyang kamusmusan;
Nagsilbi s’yang tanikala ng aming pagmamahalan,
S’ya ang aming munting anghel, na ang ngalan ay LORELEI.