Stage father

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By Peter Rey Bautista

All In Good Time

Friday, February 7, 2014


MANY a time I stood in front of many. I was so used to being on stage that I was never bothered or intimidated. I did very well in declamation in high school and then speech class in University of the Philippines.

Having taught for 17 years and getting a Most Outstanding Faculty award only goes to show how well I have done in any stage. Centerstage definitely was where I was. Lolo, lola, mom and dad were all teachers thus being in front of every Juan was nothing new.

My kids are growing up so fast. I have one in every school level as of the moment; one in college, one in high school and the bunso about to graduate from elementary.

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While I was very busy being dad to 350 thousand residents of the city, these three have been just as busy.

Academically, all have been under the tutelage of their mom. If it was anything else then that was when I came into the picture. If it was the arts, scouting and sports then that's where dad comes in.

Grade II, my son joined the delegation to Iloilo by ship! Off course it did not sit very well with him but that was the very beginning of my being dad for him. Every year since then I have made it a point to be cheering on, not for him only, but also for the city kids. Almost always these kids do very well.

The CARAA now finds itself in Benguet with Gov. Fongwan as host for the games. I have been fortunate to be dad of the city and to my son as I always get to be around for all of them. What a stage that was for me as I was able to visit all of the Cordilleras. Never have I imagined that I could. How charming indeed is the Cordilleras.

I swam at age 4 and so too did my boy. I introduced him to swimming all because he had asthma, then he became good at it, and then better. He was scouted for the junior PH swim team after the Tacloban Palaro at age 11. He found himself in the 900 best in the world with his time and that actually got the attention that he needed me pala.

He was then sent at a very early age to the training facility in Los Baños in Laguna. The swimming venue of the SEA Games was actually held there.

He now swims for La Salle. He did a stint in international competition in Vietnam once. He is now taking up Accountancy and I can't be any more proud. Surely even his teachers and coaches are proud of where he is now.

Dr. Eleponga of DepEd always has fond memories of my son. Surely they all miss him. He is the best example they could give for any parent wanting something better for their child. In most occasions parents would always interfere with what is being prepared by DepEd.

A flight on a plane instead of the long ship trip, a posh hotel room instead of the classroom as quarters and restaurant or fastfood instead of that prepared by teachers in the delegations assigned venue.

That was what Dr. Eleponga dealt with everytime. But not for my son. As the Dr. would say to parents complaining, "Kung ang anak ni mayor hindi umaangal kayo pa.” And I totally agree. Accommodations and food were always well prepared. No wonder the Baguio kids always do well. Thanks to the ever dedicated teachers of the district of Baguio.

Today I'm dad again, not for the 600 Baguio athletes but just for 1. This time it is for my daughter. She is included in the newly created demo event of girls football. It will be a first for the Palaro.

PSC Ritchie Garcia graced the opening of the games that will showcase this new event. It seems like there is some interest in the Cordilleras for female football, where we seem to do well the past years.

The Philippine Football Ladies Team has had members coming from this part of the country. The Baguio Ladies have been national champs many times and have always been feared in that stage.

Funny for my boy to take after me in swimming but it is football for my girls and just like their mom. So I will be in another stage this time.

I hope for all the best for girls football. Friends of mine whose girls have been into football have now found themselves to be with the Malditas of PH Football, others MVP of UAAP or team captains of ladies football in Metro Manila.

So there it is. I am just so proud once more to be dad, the sacrifice of bringing her to practice and picking her up after has once more reignited that title of being stage father.

I cancelled some meetings in Manila to be with her in her games. But rest assured I will not be like the others who always try to "upstage" their own kids. For now I will be backstage.

Congratulations to the Governor and to the people of Benguet.

Congratulations also to football especially for girls. To my daughter and her team and all the others participating in this demo sport, let’s give them all the support and hope it becomes part of the Palaro and in a bigger stage.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 08, 2014.

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