Monday, July 20, 2015

Tatay Momoy and his Good Old Hammer

I’ve met people who consider their nice-looking cars or thoroughbred horses as their prized possessions. Not my Tatay Momoy. For a simple man like him, his old but reliable hammer is his well-kept treasure. I want to share a story why I consider him as my unsung hero.

Tatay came here in Manila from Agoo, La Union in the late ‘60s as an innocent just-got-20-years-old man armed only with the tool he purchased using the money he have saved for years.

Good thing he easily got a job as a carpenter in Paco, Manila where he also met our future Nanay Conchit. To make the story short, they got married and had six children. I am the eldest and have witnessed how Tatay have raised this family for more three decades and counting, though thick and thin.

I still remember when time I got high grades when I was in third grade; he made me a wooden scooter that was the “in” thing during those times. When I was second honor in 2nd year high school, he built me a pigeon house for my pets.

Tatay Momoy: My Unsusng Hero with Nanay Conchit, son Charles and my wife Leah

Today, Tatay no longer works as a carpenter because he claims that he already lost his “carpentry skills.” I think that is just his way of denying rheumatism and arthritis.

But of all the great things Tatay has given me. The one that he did a few years ago, a month before my wedding, was the most memorable and touching of all. I just came home from work when Tatay approached me. He asked me to come with him and check something he made for the house I was building for my future family.

He led me to the kitchen and showed me a pink (favorite color of my wife) cabinet that he made under the kitchen sink. His voice sounded apologetic, “Pasensiya na anak ha? ‘Yan lang ang nakayanan ng Tatay. Wala pa kasi akong perang pambili ng wedding gift e.”

I know I wiped tears from my eyes that time but I did not show it to him because I felt it was kinda corny. Tatay Momoy, my unsung hero, personifies what we Filipinos call "husay at malasakit." I can’t help but smile when I saw a familiar fellow near the just finished cabinet --- the hammer that was used to build our home 30 years ago.

P.S. For the curious souls, below is a snapshot (almost) of the pink cabinet :-)