Archive for January 16th, 2011

For some life lasts a short while, but the memories it holds last forever. – Laura Swenson

If he  were   alive today, my dad would have turned 89 years old. It’s been three years since we lost him but he still stand tall in the recess of  my  mind.  Yes, a beautiful memory that would last a lifetime.  And it’s been three years now that I’ve been blogging about him, a  tribute to a man whom I called DAD.

It is always hard to remember the days when he was alive, not  because they are not worth-remembering but it’s because I sometimes cry silent tears every time I remember.   I see him at times in his favorite nook, reading the daily news from cover to cover. I see him at times smiling at me, that kind of indulgent smile that says, “I believe in what you are saying.” I remember the days when I was in high school and it was only the three of us (my eldest brother, Dad and I)  when he would come home after work with a small shopping bag in his hands and I would eagerly look inside on what dinner will be for the three of us.  I learned my first lesson in cooking through him.  It was because of his encouragement that I  learned to devour books.  He taught me how to be self-reliant and independent, always with the thought that one should never be ashamed of hardships in life because somehow those circumstances will teach us responsibility. “Success does not happen overnight“, he would say, success comes when you know the sacrifice of striving harder.

I vividly remember this, it happened when he was still strong enough to share what he went through to finish his studies and be employed in a learning institution that up to now is first on my list of schools in the country.   We were having a casual conversation one afternoon, quietly sipping coffee with him and mom when a  ice cream vendor passed by near our gate.  Then he told me this story, when he was new here in Manila, he also did odd jobs just to survive and finance his studies.

“Ginawa ko rin yan”, he said.

“Ang alin Dad?” I asked.

“Magtinda ng ice cream sa kariton, parang ganyan”,  at the same time pointing to the ice cream vendor that has just passed by.

Back then, he was living in Balic-balic with an uncle  and other relatives.  In those times,  Ayala  Avenue was still undeveloped and it was there that he would go three times a week to sell ice cream.  I didn’t know that part of his life until that afternoon  and I was so touched, I was silently crying inside.  I was more  proud of him and when he died I  recalled  that  story to his younger siblings  and my brothers.  I was privileged to share  that particular phase in his life that they didn’t know about.

When my  daughter graduated from  college,  they were left at the house  because the  entrance tickets at PICC were only good for four persons. When we came home, Nissa proudly put her Magna  Cum Laude medal around his neck then to  mom next.  He was so proud of my daughter, I saw his  tears of joy.  We were all laughing at the same time.

Today is also the Feast Day of Senor Sto. Nino, what a nice day to celebrate his 89th birthday.   My daughter  also offered mass for him this morning.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD, wherever you are, I know you are happy with the Lord.


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“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ‘Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me’.” – Matthew 18: 1-5

We celebrate the  Feast of  Sto. Niño every 3rd Sunday of January, the Holy See has granted us special permission to celebrate it, a unique devotion among  us Filipinos.  It is a festive celebration which recalls our conversion to Christianity.  We attended the 9am mass at St. Jude Parish and it was presided by Fr. Leo Luanzon, one of my favorite guest priests in the Parish.

An image of   Senor Sto. Niño

What a great homily!  Fr. Leo emphasized three points during his homily – Peace, Dependence and Obedience.  In a family, it is always the children who drive us to be at peace with one another. We should always consider that children  need our love and understanding .  Young kids are solely dependent in us to take care of them and the nurturing does not stop even if they become adults.  It is our responsibility as parents to teach them the proper values that they will carry until adult life.  The behaviour of the child is reflected on how the parents teach  him/her  in early life.

Little children rendering a song after the Holy Mass

Fr. Leo Luanzon of the Marian Missionaries of the Holy Cross

We are also celebrating our town fiesta in Pangasinan.  Our church is named Sto. Nino Parish.  I grew up having two grandparents (my lolos) being active in the Parish and I remember the days when I used to tag along every Sunday to hear mass.  One of the highlights of the Sunday masses was visiting the image  of Sto. Nino and praying and touching his lovely face.   The place where the image was enshrined was behind the altar  and you have to climb the stairs to see  it.The stairs were made of stones, roughly about a foot from one step to the next so you can just imagine how a child of six or seven  would find it hard to climb it but always, the lovely image of the Sto. Nino was worth it all.   During the nineties, the lovely image was stolen and it was never returned.  I wonder why some people have the heart to steal religious images.  What would they do with it? 

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