While on vacation in Palawan on Saturday, a good friend of ours, Atty. Manuel “Maning” Molina received a text message, which says, “May araw ka rin . . . Bukas ang araw mo . . . Happy Father’s Day!”
That made her wife, former Philippine Christian University Vice President Betty Molina, remark: “I don’t think we had Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents’ Day and other such days before.”
Indeed, what used to be referred to as Hallmark (referring to the card company) holidays have become telecom holidays due to the sheer volume of text messages sent, received and replied to before, during and after the day itself.
Hallmark, Globe, Smart or Sun holidays, it doesn’t really matter. It is good to remember and it is even better to be remembered.
When we celebrated Mother’s Day last month, JM and Noel asked me what gift I wanted. I told them it is enough they don’t stress me out. Normally, a day wouldn’t pass without my two boys running around like banshees, after one another’s throat. On that day, they gave me the peace I wanted.
Today, on Father’s Day, we buried my uncle, Abelardo Dazo Pineda, Sr. He is my late mom’s only brother and I fondly called him Ninong Abeling. According to my cousins Dennis and Dindo, Ninong Abeling requested them to take him to his favorite Japanese restaurant to celebrate this special day. While they weren’t able to go to the restaurant, we celebrated his life.
My cousins and my brother Miguel informed me right away a few minutes after Ninong Abeling passed away in his sleep late evening of June 13. I was told he was going to be cremated the following morning. While I wanted to see him one last time before his cremation, I couldn’t.
It was as if Ninong Abeling planned it that way.
When my paternal grandfather passed away early morning of April 15, 1974, Ninong Abeling picked me up from our house in Marilao and brought me to our grandparents’ house in Makati to stay while preparations for my Lolo Migueling’s wake were ongoing. I believe he didn’t want me to be around death at a tender age. I was 6 years old. It was his way of protecting me. Maybe.
Thus, even if I lived with him, his family, Lola Andeng and Ate Tes (my mom’s eldest and only sister) from Grade 5 until freshman Law, my most vivid memory of him remain to be that day he brought me to Bel-Air holding my hand.
Ninong Abeling called me Bebey. Everyone else older than me called me Bebey, too, including my parents, uncles and aunts from both sides of the family. But even before his death, when I’m married with kids of my own, and everyone else has “outgrown” that term of endearment, I was still his Bebey. I think that’s how he wanted me to remember him. Not with his eyes perpetually closed and with his lips permanently sealed, but as my Ninong Abeling who didn’t want me to know death.
He may have his imperfections, and he had a lot of them, but as his 2 sons shared with us during the eulogy, he loved all of us, his family and friends, in his own way.
It is said Mother’s Day is more popular than Father’s Day. Restaurants are filled to the rafters and reservations are harder to get. As a mother, I tend to agree that children remember mothers more fondly, with extra sugar on the side. On the other hand, it is fathers that remain to be the standard of what is right, proper and appropriate.
Even in law and in governance, the benchmark of how things should be is that of a good father of the family.
Good fathers are good providers. Good fathers take care of their children and their properties. Good fathers are responsible and dependable.
Recently, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) gave an “Excellent” rating to the front line service of PCSO. Aside from displaying prominently the Citizen’s Charter and signages that prohibit “fixing”, and implementing a “no lunch break” policy, the Fund Allocation Department, which processes requests for medical assistance, provided simple comforts to patients and/or their families seeking assistance such as a more convenient waiting area, drinking water and public as assistance desk. The processing of requests are more transparent, clear-cut and expedient. More funds are also made readily available by merely eradicating corruption.
At almost the same time as the CSC announcement, Governance Commission for Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG) Chairman Cesar Villanueva presented the gains of GOCCs under the Aquino Administration. He made special mention of PCSO which has increased its charity component to more than 8 billion pesos, including compliance with its tax liabilities.
Due credit should be given to our Chairperson Margie Juico, who is an outstanding mother, but steers PCSO as how a good father of the family should.
Belated Happy Father’s Day to the loving father of my 2 boys and to all other fathers who relish, enjoy and love being dads.