Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More wit, wisdom and then some from Dad II

In 2006, the Philippine Daily Inquirer invited contributions from its readers. It was going to do a special on Father's Day and asked people what valuable lessons they have learned from their dads. So I sent my lessons from my Papa, Atty. Emilio B. Cajote.

More wit, wisdom and then some from Dad II

First Posted 10:49:00 06/18/2006

Filed Under: Family, Upbringing
Published on page D1 of the June 18, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

My dad caught me smoking when I was in seventh grade. He asked me what I smoked and how long I had been into it. He told me that filtered cigarettes tasted better than menthols. He demanded that I try them. After two puffs, I coughed terribly hard, almost choking. I didn’t want to smoke anymore but my dad ordered me to finish the ream. I cried and pleaded and went through an hour of sermon about the adverse effects of smoking. He explained to me what “point of no return” meant. I never wanted to smoke after that.—Menchie Osial, daughter of Rodolfo M. Osial Sr.

Whenever you extend your help to someone, never never expect anything in return, otherwise you will never be happy. I heard the same from my husband when we got married. But the best example I got from Papa is his love for our Blessed Mother.—Agnes Quintos, daughter of José O. de la Torre

When I was about seven, I was scolded and spanked by my father for treating the maid badly. I was made to understand that maids are people, too, and should be treated with respect and considered part of the family. Daddy said that if I turned out to be a bad adult, people wouldn’t blame me. Instead, he said, people would blame them (my parents) for being unable to guide and instill the right values in their only child.—Mila Alora, daughter of the late Perfecto M. Alora

If the earth is like dust in comparison to the whole universe and we are microbes living on it, all things that we have and have been doing here on earth is senseless and irrelevant. So what’s good for you is to live your life and follow whatever it is that’s going to make you happy. Pursue art if that makes you happy, because self-fulfillment and happiness are God’s greatest gift to all of us microbes.—Vincent Padilla, son of George Padilla

To be confident in myself and my abilities. When I took the Ateneo College Entrance Test, I told my father that it felt more difficult than the Upcat. Then you should study there if you passed, he said. I did, and I eventually earned my Economics degree from Ateneo.—Paul Ryan B. Salazar of Project 4, QC

We are a family of dancers, and my father is the best of them all. My husband, however, has two left feet. Once, early in our married life, I expressed my irritation to my father when, during a large family gathering, I was left a lonely wallflower. My father gently patted my hand and said, “You’ve got to love it, to want to learn it,” he said. I learned a valuable lesson in life that I now apply in everything I do. As for my husband, years later, he discovered a love for dancing, took up dance lessons and now, we can do a mean swing together.—Myra Soliman-Salvosa of Mandaluyong City

To work with integrity and dedication, because no work is “menial.” When my siblings and I were younger, he assigned household chores, and we were compensated accordingly. He could have made us work for free, but receiving “wages” helped us to value our work more and earn for our needs instead of asking for dole-outs.—Eli F. Camacho of Loyola Heights, QC

To be responsible in everything we do. I lost my Tatay when I was only 18. Nanay became our only parent, but I managed to finish college, work abroad and be successful.—Celia de la Cruz-Norris of San Pablo, Malolos, Bulacan

To study hard, because education is the most valuable legacy a parent can give his children. Although unschooled himself, he taught me to persevere in my studies and reach for my dreams despite the difficult growing-up years devoid of all the luxuries in life.—Precy Libo-on of Imus, Cavite

To keep my heart in the face of disappointments and look at defeat not as an end but as a new beginning. My father died on June 21, 2005, after battling cancer for seven years. He taught me to embrace my fears, and be strong enough to face them.—Ruby C. Juan of Rioeng, Laoag City

To be prepared for what lies ahead, and that not everything in life comes easy. I’ve always thought of my father as strict, but I now realize he is only preparing me for the great adventure that lies ahead. —Danielle Osmena of Makati City

To play fair and never cheat. My father, Rodel Ropal Roco, taught us that we have to work hard for whatever we want, but “Lumaban ng patas. Di bale ng malamangan ng iba huwag lang ikaw ang manlamang sa kapwa mo.”—Marie Cris R. Roco of Taytay, Rizal

To be be respectful and loving children, obedient students and, most of all, God-fearing persons. From him we’ve learned discipline and respect for other people.—Charles Kevin L. Bataga of Koronadal City, South Cotabato

To be patient, and to put one’s faith in Allah. I remember being angry one time because I couldn’t pursue my law course since we had no money. I was crying in my room when my father approached me and said, “It’s better to run away from a fight, to live another day and fight again.” What he meant was, while he couldn’t afford to send me to school, that didn’t mean I should give up my dream. We were poor because he wasn’t corrupt, and as his son, I could walk with my head up high because my father had kept his integrity... This coming school year, I am finally enrolling as a law freshman.—Ronald Ampang of Cotabato City

1. Reading a book is like eating chocolate. You have to savor each page like you savor dark, rich chocolate. Not only would you enjoy reading, but you would also remember the good feeling of savoring every information that you had read.

2. If you want something, you have to want it so badly that you would exceed your own expectations just to reach it.

3. God gives us rocks to step on and mountains to conquer. But in every trek that we engage in in our lives, God is with us.—Jannell R. Cajote of Dasmariñas, Cavite

“Mag-aral nang mag-aral” was my dad’s constant reminder to us when we were younger. For me, Dad was makulit then. But now that I am married and with my own son, I’ve realized how right he was.—Maria Rhea Descallar Shanawaz of Lagro Subdivision, QC

To be humble. I grew up knowing that my father is an implementer—he matches his words with concrete action. He is decisive, and to my adolescent eyes, mean. But now I see the wisdom of his words. I’ve found out that my opinion matters to him, and I just have to ask so I can receive. With age, people really do see things with new eyes.—Chona Mae L. Suner-Narvadez of Mabini Homesite, Cabanatuan City

To thank God for all blessings, big or small. What warmed his heart was that he never ran out of blessings to thank God for, so much so that he had no chance to give attention to his sorrows, failures, or regrets—Maria Elena T. la Ó of North Greenhills, San Juan

To remember four rules in life:
Do not lie. Do not go anywhere else without permission. Do not touch anything you do not know how to handle and do not understand. And do not be interested in, and take, what is not yours.—Ma. Carmela Cornejo

To simply be a good person. My father, Eliseo Gawani Uy, is turning 60 this coming November. He has no vices, tries his best to be a good provider and a good disciplinarian, and to live with a meek heart. Recognitions and accomplishments are nothing compared to the genuine faith resulting to salvation that my father has instilled in us.—Eleazar C. Uy of Imus, Cavite

To be punctual and hardworking at all times. My father was always prompt for an appointment. Rain or shine, he reported to work, even when Martial Law had been declared and tension gripped the whole country. I learned never to skip classes, and years later, my superior noted my early presence at work and commended my great work output.—Susan Jane Ong of Santol, QC

To think first before making noise. “Silence speaks of itself” is the best thing my father has taught me. In times when I am confused and doubtful, I ponder first before I act. —Joanne Chan Manliclic of Marulas, Valenzuela City

To appreciate what we have and live with it. I thank my father for teaching me to accept things as they come, and to thank God for whatever little we have.—Remedios “Amor” J. Abalahin of Silang, Cavite

To never give up even if it seems hopeless. My dad never gives up trying to improve my flaws, like my handwriting, my mathematical skills, my ability to speak fluently in Filipino. He has also taught us to be responsible for all our actions.—Charles John T. Uy of Matina, Davao City

To live a principled life. My father, PSupt. Richard Albano, never forgets his vow to the Filipino people—to fight for them, to serve his countrymen with integrity, justice, dignity.—Raizel Pauline San Juan Albano of San Fernando, Pampanga

Whenever Papa and I would eat at fast-food restaurants, he would remind me to throw the disposable plates, spoon and fork in the trash bin after eating. Papa would also wipe the table with the table napkin. I’ve always thought that it’s the job of the service crew to clean up after the mess of the customers. My Papa said that it’s wrong to wait for people to clean up after my mess when I can do it myself. Now that I’m a grownup, I take responsibility for my mistakes and actions, just like what Papa has taught me.—Kemp Ariate Pe of Donada St., Pasay City

To survive with good cheer, and to be a good person to everyone. My Tatay, Romy T. Gamboa, was the man who illustrated “Dabiana” and “Palengke Queen” in those Atlas Publications komiks... Our family went through a lot of hardships, but I never heard him complain. Tatay always knew how to make things easier with his gifted sense of humor, and that made the tough times easier to bear.—Rosary Judith Gamboa Santos of Taytay, Rizal

To do your best in whatever you are doing. Think of work as something that should be done by you or else nobody would do it. Father was the boss of a government agency, but he rode public transport, helped clean the canal in our community, and tried to assist those who were less fortunate. Maybe this is why I chose to be a social worker.—Jasmine Abella-Bautista of Nova East Camarin, Kalookan City

To have determination, a sense of sacrifice, and, most importantly, faith in God. “May awa ang Diyos” is what I learned from Tatay, who barely made it to high school but managed to send four kids to school by working as a tailor. He made sure we would a comfortable life.—Edith D.Trinidad of Better Living Subdivision, Parañaque City

I come from a family of academic achievers. Even if my grades are only average, my father doesn’t scold me, but just reminds me that reaching the top doesn’t mean walking nonstop but sometimes resting so that when I reach the “summit” I won’t tumble and fall down. Now, when I fail, I tell myself it was just a rest, and I try to do better next time.—Nikkei Pfeiffer Maranan Tadili of Marikina Heights, Marikina City

To keep busy. Growing up, we’d be required to read the dictionary for an hour. I remember that in the summer we were given outdoor activities, and every imaginable lesson we could take to keep us busy and entertained. It was Papa who ensured that we stuck to schedules and timelines. Papa always works by the hour: he wakes up at 6 a.m., leaves at 7 a.m., has meetings at 8 a.m. Then lunch at 12 noon, snacks at 3 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m.—Anna E.J. Corpus of Ayala Theaters management

“Never scrimp on food or the blessings will not come pouring.” Papa Calixto buys the same Chinese delicacies every weekend as if there is some sort of fiesta, sometimes to the detriment of the family’s budget. His incessant prayers every morning and night (which I sometimes happen to overhear because he prays aloud) are never about him but always directed at the well-being of his family.—Amy Lee of QC

To be generous. I remember the time when an old man came to my dad’s office and asked for money. What he got in his wallet was only P500 and he gave it away. I asked him to leave something for himself, and he just told me, “God will return it a hundred fold.” Till now, a lot of needy people come to him and he never lets them go empty-handed. I myself am getting used to sharing whatever little I have, because I have learned to do so from Dad.—Elsa Bautista-Bigcas of Dagupan City

To be selfless and to contribute to the society’s well-being. My dad raised us, three kids, and sent us to excellent private schools. On top of that, my parents sent three cousins who are now in turn sending their siblings to school. My parents gave free seminars on agriculture, poultry and livestock management in Unisan, Quezon. They continue to provide support to those who want to put up poultry businesses. We are not rich, and at the rate that my dad is helping others, we will never be rich. But they have touched a lot of lives and no amount of money can ever match that. —Lyraliza Maleon-Dacio of Mandaluyong City

To face life’s battles. No matter how many times I fall, I won’t be afraid because I know my dad will always be there to help me stand up again and face the battle again. He was there to help me rebuild my life and pick up the broken pieces of my life, and I know he will always be there for me.—Emy Flor Merlin of QC

To value education. My father hailed from the small town of Bacacay in Albay, the fourth of 12 children. After high school, he went to Manila to try his luck. He pursued law while working as a janitor at MLQU, and passed the bar after graduation. My father made a game out of learning. I remember memorizing katon, starting from the sound of each letter, then combining the letters to form syllables and combining the syllables to form words. I was able to read at the age of three. The love for learning and the knowledge that lack of money is not a hindrance to success are the best legacies from my father. —Ruth B. David of Meralco

My father has taught me to live with integrity, to treat people with respect, and to love the country of my birth. He has done this by example—he will not give bribes even when they are solicited. He will take time to talk to a taho vendor, and he will not leave the Philippines, even if all his family is already in the US and many of our friends have migrated there.
—Mari-An C. Santos of Pandacan, Manila

I am athletic because he introduced me to skating, bowling, and tennis. I learned to love math because he spent nights tutoring me when I was in Grade 3. I successfully passed the board exam because his “tips” and memory drills made me more assured and confident. In sports, he would say, “Have a killer instinct.” In math, he would say, “Practice solving problems religiously.” In any exam, he would remind me, “Make an acronym for items that need memorization.” More important, my father instilled in me discipline, hard work, and love for my faith. —Agatha Ellen Salanatin Valencia of Davao City

Not to be a wastrel. If there was one thing that irritated my father, it would be wastefulness. During meals, he would remind us to finish our plates. He truly believed that whatever we wasted was deducted from our “stockpile” of blessings and goodies from above. He was a lawyer and one of our friends fondly nicknamed him “Attorney Ubos.” “Waste not, want not” was his mantra. —Tess Castro-Lopez of Ayala Alabang

We remember when we were kids and we were confused about math and our father would come up with the solutions!... Dad said he would teach us not only the things that were good to know, but the things that we had to know, especially about life. He said that that in everything we do, we should put God first. He told us that having true friends is better than having millions of money. That good manners and right conduct are taught in school but learned at home. That education is the best gift parents could give their children. And that we could have all the time in the world for other things but only after we finish school. —Katrina Montillano Cornejo, Karen Anne Montillano Cornejo of Reseda, California

My dad was a provincial lawyer. He did not have much but he was very giving. When I was a kid and I asked him for my baon, he reached out for some coins from his pocket and said: “Do you see my old worn-out shoes? I bought this pair cheap from the bangketa so I could save up to provide for your needs.” It was difficult to send us all to school at the same time—three daughters to college in Manila and a son to a private high school in our province—but he did! In June 2004, I went home for a week. When it was time to go back to Manila, my parents brought me to the bus station to send me off. I noticed how my father’s old glasses were falling off and how funny he looked! I knew then what to give him for Father’s Day. But two weeks later, I was back home again because he was killed after his car was hit by an overspeeding jeepney driven by a drunk driver. As they closed the casket, I saw his worn-out pair of eyeglasses by his side. My tears poured like a river.—Melissa Mercado-Gascon of Mandaluyong City

To genuinely help other people and to believe in the power of prayer, because nothing is impossible with God. My Dad inspired us to have grace under pressure, and thus achieve what we want if we just commit ourselves to it.—Evan Panganiban

To be a man for God. The greatest gift my father handed me is his personal relationship with God, manifested through examples as a man for others, biased for the poor and the marginalized. He went to daily morning Mass for many years, and broke bread with beggars in our family dining table from time to time. He was not a man of success, but a man of value.—Vic del Fierro Jr. of Better Living, Parañaque City

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