Friday, December 30, 2016

#ThankYou, Tatay Ko

2016 is one of the best years of my life!

This year marks memorable and major personal and family milestones in this journey of discovering the wonders and beauty of the world. Some of the unforgettable simple joys I achieved in the last 12 months includes scoring my first-ever “touchdown” in an inter-company patintero competition; conquered my fear of driving a car after more than a decade of avoiding the steering wheel due to a minor accident; and got promoted from being a contributing writer to a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

I achieved these small victories on my 40th birth year which coincides with my only child Charles’ 7th birthday and 10th wedding anniversary with my dearest Leah.

Truly, I am very thankful to God for all the blessings that came my way in 2016. That’s why when I saw the AirAsia #ThankYou campaign video online, I was inspired to write about thanking someone who has rode and stuck with me in every bumpy and turbulent ride life had offered me. The clip was sincere and moving that it will make us realize that saying thank you is more than just an expression of appreciation but is also to tell someone that he has done well and should continue with his kind ways.

Being more close to my mother, I hate to admit it but I might have sometimes forgot to show my appreciation to my father and all the things he has done for our family. I hope that through this story that I will share, I would be able to really say the words I should have told him years ago. And what a perfect time to tell him this during this season of love and gratitude.

I’ve met people who consider their nice-looking cars or different gadgets 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 an anecdote that happened 10 years ago a few days before Christmas.

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 than four decades and counting, though thick and thin.

I still remember my Tatay's way of expressing his appreciation every time I got high grades in school. When I was in third grade and entered top 10 in class, 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. I just can't remember if I even thanked him for all his efforts.

With Tatay Momoy, Nanay Conchit, my 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 in December of 2006 before my wedding day 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 my eyes that time but I did not show it to him because I felt it was kinda corny. I can't minced a word to thank him because I might just burst into tears. But I know he knows I was very thankful that time with the way I reacted. 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 40 years ago.

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

#ThankYou, Tatay Ko. Thank you for being the second tatay to my son Charles who you nurture with the same love (or even more) you have given me. If ever I’ll be blessed to win this blog contest sponsored by AirAsia Philippines, I will be able to finally fulfill one of your life-long dreams of being able to travel on a plane.

I prepared a list below of possible destinations you may want to consider. Pili ka na, Tay. I will hammer things out to make this possible. Promise, hindi mapapako.