This one was written when I was 26 and still a bachelor in the interiors of Cadunan in Mabini, Davao del Norte then (now Comval Province). My father, Teofilo (RIP), used to have a farm there, alongside Totong Awoman’s. I pictured myself speaking words of wisdom to a handsome son.
Five years later, I got married to Nelly Decena of Sasa, Davao City and was blessed later with five beautiful children– four pretty girls and only one handsome boy. If I knew beforehand that this would be, I should have entitled this “TO YOU MY SONS


by Manoy Doro

you can fruitfully live a life, son
it is not hard tho’ at first it seems
all you have to do is to follow the PLAN
to get for yourself the IMMORTAL GEMS

you must make yourself firm and strong
stick to what the gray-headed folks said
on all your ways you’ll never get wrong
as you search for the treasure TIME laid

all have tried but failed to find
for they search for it in far-away lands
nowhere can be found is the treasure sign
for it is just inside our hearts, my son

faithfully till your heart’s fertile farms
sow on it only righteous and aged seeds
care for them with soily but unstained arms
they will yield fruits more than your needs

don’t let droughts loosen your faith
nor scanty harvests diminish your hope
stay firm and strong– do not quit
do not let your broad shoulders droop

listen to the songs sung by your folks
observe the skillful dances they do
they are life’s crystal-clear brooks
reflecting images so clear and so true

boast not you can break a bar of steel
tho’ it’s true only youthful shoulders can
but in the face of life’s spinning wheel
mightier is the gray head of an old man

boast not you can tame a bull so wild
yes, only strong arms can break its horns apart
but in the minds whose thoughts are not of a child
stronger is he who can tame his own heart

fear not the thorny stick TIME sometimes whip
just be yourself, leave its wounds as they bleed
bear with the pain tho’ within your spirit they creep
to endure with it, strong faith is all you need

fear not the violence of life’s deceitful wars
fight back for the right, be strong, be brave
fight unto mortal death tho’ filled with scars

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3 Responses to “TO YOU MY SON”

  1. May 21, 2008 at 9:22 am

    TO YOU MY SON” I can relate to this…very touchy and inspiring. keep it up manoy doro! more power. galing mo.

  2. October 6, 2008 at 8:15 am

    manoy, doro! how handsome he is! parang kayo ata yan! your poem reminds me so much of a letter written by a statesman to his son, upon the latter’s entering harvard. i keep looking ang looking for that, and now you remind me not to give up! he was talking about how not everyone who gets inside harvard comes out a better man. and how not everyone who enters harvard was ma man at all, in the first place. i do forget the name, the title, and the whole story, but the context mirrors your wisdom as a father concerned for a son now on the brink of fighting his own wars, arming him with character, as only a father can! i salute you, manoy doro!

  3. October 6, 2008 at 11:29 am

    i meant …not everyone who enters harvard enters it (as) a man, in the first place…

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