The Son..The Father… I

SOMETIME IN THE EARLY 60’s…on the hilly side of a remote barrio Bongabong, in Pantukan, Davao…around 5:00 a.m…”This is radio station DXAW now signing on. This station is owned and operated by Auto Broadcasting System (now ABS-CBN) and transmitting at 640 kilocycles…” the Avegon transistor radio blared in the early summer morning. A door of a small house has opened. The father, Teofilo (RIP), has sharpened his grasshawk while his carabao has just started to nibble the young kumpay grass. The smell of burning kerosene from the “abohan “(cooking place) suggested that the mother, Isidora (RIP), had risen too. The son, about thirteen, was unaware of what was going on. He was still in his deep sleep.

As expected, “Pagmata na! (wake up)”, the father said.

After a while, the son hesitantly obeyed. After he rubbed his face with his bare hands, he headed towards the small, wood framed mirror to comb his long hair, Beatles style. The father’s Tugaris wristwatch displayed 5:10 a.m. He then tuned the radio to DXMM to listen to his favorite songs. “Constantly” by Cliff Richard. “There’s Always Me” by Elvis. And most of all, to the Beatles. He has seen them on Song Cavalcade, a songbook called songhits. To him, they were the best. The father’s advise not to sport long hair was ignored. His big but flat nose did not match to his hair, unlike the real Beatles’.

The father though, did not fail to instill to the son’s mind the rewards of hard work. Of perseverance. Of self-reliance. Of trustworthiness. Of diligence. And many more. He did these not just by words but also by acts. He was a man of few words. He showed strong character not only during plentiful harvests but also on scarce seasons.

And yes, the importance of education. In one instance, the son joked about the father’s ability to write clearly. It was election time. Marcos/Lopez vs. Macapagal/Pelaez. The father practiced what he would write in the ballot. The “c” in Marcos was not bent well. The “L” in Lopez looked like a “B”. The son called him Marios Bopez. The father just laughed and said, “Do not follow me. Study hard until you finish. I am here to support.”

PRESENT TIME…in the city… The wall clock displays 5:10 a.m.
The telephone rings. The father answers. It is an early call from Mila Cabiliza, the procurement officer from Tagum City-based DANECO , an electric cooperative supplying electricity to three provinces and three cities. She asks if their ordered goods are ready for pick up. DANECO has been his regular client for years.

The father have already packed them up the night before. It took only eight days to fabricate the goods with his men. His shop is neat and tidy. The tools are in their proper places.

The twenty five-year old son, Junjun, is still sleeping. the father does not want to wake him up. He knows his son is working overtime for his programs. The father’s dreams for him are now a reality. The son finished his studies and is now working for a foreign company. Home-based, through the internet. In fact, he now owned and operated a website he himself created.

Did the father effectively instill to his son’s mind the rewards of hard work? Of perseverance? Of self-reliance? Of trustworthiness? Did he show it not only in words but also in deeds? Did he display a strong character to his son?

Maybe yes. The son followed what the father wants him to. He never had any tattoos– no body piercing in any manner. He sticks to only one girl for almost five years. He does not smoke. He works diligently.

A good son? Sure!A good father? Maybe.

ARE THERE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TWO SETTINGS? Obvious. Both have fathers. Both have sons. The fathers wake up earlier than the sons. They both taught their sons moral values not just by words but by deeds as well. They showed to their sons strength in character.

Why are they similar? It is but natural, an age-old fact. What a father teaches to his son will also be taught by the same son to his own. The son in the early 60’s and the father at present time is one and the same– and that is me. I have been raised by my father with moral values, so I have to, too, to my son. My only regret is that my father’s dreams for me did not all come true. While my son finished his studies, I have not!

Still, I am a happy and fulfilled father to my son!

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3 Responses to “The Son..The Father… I”

  1. 1 eng
    April 3, 2008 at 8:55 am

    it proved to me one fact,getting a degree does not guarantee success in life.You succeed inspite of.Congratulation to your son and the honor is reserve to the father for bringing up such a good son.CONGRATS!!!

  2. October 21, 2008 at 8:55 am

    manoy d, this is very similar to my papa’s (that was how we called our lolo) life story. he and mama had 8 children, including my mother. grade 6 lang ang natapos ni papa pero anim ang napagtapos niyang anak. 1 didn’t out of her own undoing. the other one was sickly. so, hats off sainyong lahat despite all the difficuties, na nakapagtaguyod ng inyu-inyong mga pamilya, at nahubog ang mga anak sa mga tamang values. stories like this inspire me no end na wag mag-complain. what i consider problems are probably nothing close to what others have.

    for this story, i am grateful. thank you.

  3. October 21, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    maraming salamat, Cherie. alam kong palalakihin mo sina Matthew sa paraang tulad ng sa iyong lolo…at sa akin.
    ito ay isang katunayan:
    “…as i lie between my sons, scratching the back of the one on the left and gently patting the bottom of the one on the right…”

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