A Post is a vertical structure, solid and sturdy, that serves as a foundation to support a certain area. With regards to houses, it is mainly built to support the ceiling and the roof. And it is a fundamental element in making walls which serves to protect, and also set boundaries for a certain place.
Today is Father’s day, and in the Philippine culture, a father is distinguished with the title “Haligi ng Tahanan”, which literally translates to “The Post of the Home”. It is amazing as I contemplate on how appropriate this term is used to describe a Father’s role.
As most of us know, life isn’t always easy. Well, realistically speaking, it is hard… a lot of times. And it is during these hard times that it’s nice to be reminded that we’ve all had, even for a brief moment in our childhood, these posts that we could lean on.
As a man, when you become a father, you become a Post. You no longer have the luxury to be weak-hearted nor to be scared. A Post is, after all, solid and sturdy for those that it protects. You hold the roof which is the family’s main shelter from life’s “harsh weather”. Fathers do their best to be strong for their loved ones, and at times would have to serve as boundaries on what they believe would be best for the family.
Being a father also means that you are one of the two most influential people during a persons childhood, and this is no small responsibility. For sons, it is from their Dads that they learn the art of being a “manly man”. And for daughters, he is the protector that they can always count on, and run to for their troubles. For those lucky enough to still have them even in their adult lives, they continue to open our eyes and teach us through their example.
It is not so often for men to talk about their feelings openly (and most especially fathers, we’re supposed to be toughie’s, right?). But we’ve had the privilege, and the honor, of hearing insights from some of the several great dads we know. Let us look back in the past and try to remember the most important thing that our fathers have tried to teach us, which in turn, we would like to pass on to our kids as well. And just as the Olympic flame is being passed from one torch to another, so is the knowledge and wisdom between a father and his child.
The most important lesson I learned from Tatay Carling is not what he told us but what he showed me. I grew up with no spanking, no cursing, no shouts, no outburst of rage, in other words, he was very gentle and caring. Whenever we get out of line, or made a mistake, or committed a wrong doing, he would simply put his arm around our shoulders, give us a short story… the pros and cons of our action… the consequences of what we did… then he will let us handle the situation ourselves. He lets us decide on which path to take, because he had always stressed that the captain and architect of our future is us, and he is just there to show us the possibilities of our actions. He simply trusts us, that we will pick the right things to do. In turn, we do not fear him but respect him. I would like to emulate this, but good luck to me because this would be very big shoes to fill. I do not think I have the patience and the wisdom. His famous words were,”Pulutin mo ang makakabuti sa iyo at itapon mo ang sa tingin mo ay makakasama, sabay lingon sa pinanggalingan nang makarating ka ng maayos sa papatunguhan.” (only take what can be good for you and throw away things that are bad. Always look back to where you came from, so that you can arrive well to where you are headed). As to my son, there is no greater gift.