Ten years-A A +A
By Rene Lizada
Sunday, September 16, 2012
YES. Ten years. It has been 10 years since my father died. And I can remember the day he passed on. But let us not get into that. I do not like to remember the way my father died. I would rather remember him the way he lived.
These days, I have been getting comments about how I am starting to look like my dad. I take that as a compliment really. My father was a tough act to follow. Sure, he had his share of faults and flaws. All of us do. If I could describe my father in one word, I would have to say my father was a decent man. He stood his ground on certain things. He was quiet and yet you could sense his presence. With his family, he was talkative and fun and in front of others, he was formal and distant even. He valued his family; he stood by his principles and values.
I remember an incident that taught me a great lesson. My father was a staunch supporter of former President Fidel Ramos. There was a meeting at one of the hotels. It was somewhat like a gathering of political parties in the city. One person openly jeered at my father and even ridiculed him about his choice of president. My father could have said something or he could have reacted to the insult. But he did not. He merely smiled and left it at that. After the election, the two of them met. My father did not say anything. He just left it at that. That showed me character. There were so many lessons my father taught me.
When you think about it, the only real things that our parents can leave us would be the valued and the principles they have tried to instill in us. That is the only thing worth having. Not valuables, not land, not jewels. Only lessons.
I find it funny how some children can fight over so-called inheritance. I personally know of several persons who are such hypocrites when it comes to that. They tell their parents what their parents what they want to hear. They play sipsip. They do whatever their mothers or fathers want them to do for the simple reason of getting inheritance. I wonder how the parents feel about that. I wonder how you would feel if you were the parent. You are not even dead and everyone is fighting for what they might get. They say that money changes people. That is not true. Money reveals the kind of person you are. If you are kind, you will use the money for kind things. If you are “nanibago,” you will act like some crass and crude person flaunting your wealth. You go around town telling people how rich you are. Money reveals who you are, it does not change you. A pig with a pearl necklace, well is still a pig, no matter what.
With my father, his word was the truth. When he said something he would to be the best of his ability be true to that word. My father would not or rather could not mince words. He had the gift of language and yet he never used those to hurt or cause pain. That talent of his was a tool and not a weapon. In both elementary and high school, my father was my speech coach. He used to write all my speeches. And from his training, I became good at what I was doing. That is why when I competed in the Toastmasters International Speech Contest in the States, a big part of my speech was dedicated to him. My father lives in me. He always will.
My father used to say that when you get something, you return it from where you took it. Everything has its proper place. You are responsible for your actions. My father was an honest person. His word was truth. You would never doubt his actions and motives. What you saw in him was a genuine spirit. He never wanted the attention that is why I never wrote about him winning the Datu Bago award. That was not his style, never was. Never will be.
After 10 years, much has changed. But he knows that. And that is enough. My father, while he was still alive, had this uncanny habit of knowing so many things we did not. My father knows. That is enough for me.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 17, 2012.