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.
He instilled in us the value of perseverance. To work hard and strive to be the best in whatever we do. To practice if you’re already good; to train more if you are already better. I want my son, Drew, to have the same attitude towards things he wants to do and to wherever he’s headed to.
One important lesson for me that I’ve learned from my father is to always bring happiness to the family, especially to the kids, even if it’s just in the little things. Always make them smile and laugh. It makes you closer.
The only thing that comes to mind is Family. Family comes first before anything else. This is what I’ve learned from my father that I want to pass on to my kids.
“Being Physically There”. This is the very lesson I learned from my Dad. How? My Dad worked as an overseas worker (Sea Man) from the moment I was born, until I graduated from the university. It meant, spending only a month with him, on the average, per year. And those moments were highly cherished. I never get the chance to be very close to my Dad. I wasn’t able to confide to him about my hurts, struggles, pains and dreams. But one thing remains… my Dad had to go thru the difficulties of being away from his family to provide for the needs, financially. He sacrificed so much for his family, and I am forever grateful to my Dad for that.
Why “Being Physically There” when my father wasn’t? That’s the point! History shall not repeat itself. My Dad had no choice during his time, working overseas was the only option for a better life. He made sure that I shall walk on a different path, and will be physically there to attend to the needs of my faunny waymily.
Now that I’m a Dad, in the eyes of my kids, love is spelled T-I-M-E. And I want my kids to remember, that their Dad loves them so much, and is willing to let go of his personal plans, for the good of his family. That’s the reason why family matters “ALL THE TIME”.
One thing that I remember most from the things I learned from my dad is how to value money. Money can either make you good or bad that is why he told us to make good use of it and not to be consumed by it. He always mentioned that when budgeting, don’t sacrifice food over anything else, because it’s food – you eat it and there’s no wasting anything about it. I think it’s a good and practical advice that I will gladly pass on to my kids.
The most important lesson my father has taught me is being non violent. He taught me to be calm, and not to fuel my anger whenever I feel angry, annoyed or violent. This is also what I want my kids to remember.
I fondly remember how much I looked forward to Friday nights as this was always reserved for us going to the Cinema. No matter how busy he was, my Dad made sure that we spent quality time together. It was as if that timeslot in his calendar was none negotiable and was for me and my brother only.
I want my kids to feel the exact same way. To know that they are my top priority and that I always have time for them. Someday, my kids will grow up and probably become parents too. I hope by that time, I would have showed them enough good examples that will help them identify the things in life that are truly essential.
Maybe the most important lesson I’ve learned from my father is to be independent and to be industrious. He told me when I was younger that if I wanted something, I have to work hard to achieve it and not to expect anybody to hand it over to me on a silver platter because that almost always never happens in real life.
To sum it all up in a funny way, ito lang sabi sa akin lagi ng Papa ko (this is what my father always tells me) –
“You either be a SMart Fella or a Fart SMella.”
Well, the most important lesson that I learned from my dad is patience. My dad managed to work overseas and be away from the comforts of home and family for more than 2 decades. His hard work paid off by us having a comfortable life, good education and pretty much having everything we needed and wanted.
This is something that I keep pushing, at least my son (Sean), to never quit and to be patient in everything that he does. Patience is such a big piece of being successful, but on top of that, I also keep pushing him to excel and be at his best at all times, to dream big and not to be stagnant, and to keep aiming for excellence but at the same time still have fun. On top of all of these, I always remind him (at all times) to be humble.
My dad would always tell me that we should strive to be humble in victory and be gracious in defeat… that a true measure of a great man is in his humility. I hope I could impart these virtues to my sons as they grow up.
“You were seven years old when you and Mama saw me off at the boarding area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, when I flew off for Brunei in 1990. I was about to board the plane when you then realized what was happening, that you, your siblings, and Mama would be left behind. It was then that you burst into a tantrum, as little boys usually do. You didn’t want our family apart.
Now you are sixteen and will be entering the university next year. I have been away for over half of your life, and I missed to see you grow, as I toil in this foreign land to assure you, and our family, a better future. You have been a good boy and soon, a young gentle man, and the only gift we can give you is the best education we can afford.”*
*excerpts taken from original article in Borneo Bulletin (Aug 10, 1999) of father Antonio Alabastro to his son.
The most important lesson I’ve learned that I’d like to impart to my children is that being a father is more than just being a good provider to your family. You must be a mentor, a good example, and a friend to your children.
My Dad Rogel, a Polio victim of his childhood, has never consider himself as a person with disability. He never parked his car on a reserved disabled parking spot. He would walk the distance just to save that spot for someone else who needed it more. He is a hardworking man, he never complains, and his patience is ridiculously high! I learned from him the essence of “never worrying about tomorrow”. He is a person who values relationships more than money. And his willingness to help other people even though he has nothing to offer is amazing. He’ll find a way to somehow help them NOW not LATER. I owe I have today to my Dad just like I owe everything to God. We love you Dad.
This is what I’ve learned from my dad that I also want my children to remember… It’s to always do the right thing, to always stand for what is right, even if it means you have to stand alone.
Since my Grade-school days, my Father, who passed away 11 years ago, has already inculcated in my mind the importance of having good education. This is the reason why albeit much difficulty, he ensured that all of his eight (8) children were able to get a college education or finish a vocational course. He used to tell me that getting an education is an investment that is interest-bearing. True enough, after graduating from college, I was able to get a job which turned out to be the first step in facing the challenges this life has to offer. It was for this reason also that motivated me to pass on the same learning to my own children. For me, education is the key to a balanced life.
At an early age, I’ve already seen how natural it is for our father, Tatay Siso (or Narcing to his friends), to help other people, in any way he can. He is a very generous man. He will help friends or neighbors even until little or nothing is left for him. He is also cool and mild-mannered. If we were at fault, he would talk to us and make us understand the mistakes we’ve done and the consequences of our actions. He also has a very strong sense of humor. He can be very funny at times, that’s why his grandchildren were so fond of him. I can still picture the way he smiles whenever he cracks a joke or has something playful in his mind. I’ve learned a lot of these great things from Tatay Siso but having faith in God, loving your family and the people whose lives you touch, are the ones that made the most impact to me. These are also the lessons that I will continue to pass on to my children, and their children.
If I were to write all the good things I’ve learned from my father, a few pages wouldn’t even suffice (I could probably make a book out of it). And some of the most important things I’ve learned, though he may not have said it to me directly, were things taught through his example, seen first hand through my own eyes.
You will not always have a pocketful of money, you will not always have a lot of free time, you will not always be in the happiest of your mood, and you will not always be in the peak of your health, but you always do your best for your children…you always do the best you can do for your family. Help other people at all times and keep your faith.
What separates a father from any ordinary man? I believe, it’s the length and depths that he would go through for his love and dedication to his children. (Exactly the same thing the clown fish Marlin did, when he was trying to find his son, Nemo).