The Son…The Father…Me
“What a father teaches to his son will also be taught by the same son to his own.”
SOMETIME IN THE EARLY 60’s…on the hilly side of a remote barrio Bongabong, in Pantukan, Davao…around 5:00 a.m…
“This is radio station DXAW now signing on. This station is owned and operated by Auto Broadcasting System (now ABS-CBN) and transmitting at 640 kilocycles.”, the Avegon transistor radio blared in the early summer morning.
The door of a small house has opened. The father, Teofilo (RIP), has sharpened his grasshawk while his carabao has just started to nibble the young kumpay grass. The smell of burning kerosene from the abohan (cooking place) suggested that the mother, Isidora (RIP), had risen too. The son, about twelve, was unaware of what was going on. He was still in his deep sleep.
As expected, “Pagmata na diha! (hey,there, wake up)”, the father said.
The son hesitantly obeyed. After he rubbed his face with his bare hands, he headed towards the small, wood framed mirror to comb his long hair, Beatles style. The father’s Tugaris wristwatch displayed 5:10 a.m. He then re-tuned the radio to dxMM to listen to his favorite songs. “Constantly” by Cliff Richard. “There’s Always Me” by Elvis, but most of all, to the Beatles. He has seen them on Song Cavalcade, a songbook called songhits. To him, they were the best. The father’s advise not to sport long hair was ignored. His big but flat nose did not match to his hair, unlike the real Beatles’.
The father though, did not fail to instill to the son’s mind the rewards of hard work. Of perseverance. Of self-reliance. Of trustworthiness. Of diligence. And many more. He did these not just by words but also by acts. He was a man of few words. He showed strong character not only during plentiful harvests but also on scarce seasons.
And yes, the importance of education. In one occasion, the son joked about the father’s ability to write clearly. It was election time. Marcos/Lopez vs. Macapagal/Pelaez for president/vice president. The father practiced what he would write in the ballot. He preferred Marcos/ Lopez but the “c” in Marcos was not bent well and the “L” in Lopez looked like a “B”. The son called him Marios Bopez. The father just laughed and said, “Do not follow me. Study hard until you finish. I am here to support you.”
PRESENT TIME…in the city… The wall clock displays 6:30 a.m.
The telephone rings. The father answers. It is an early call from Mila Cabiliza, the procurement officer from Tagum City-based DANECO , an electric cooperative supplying electricity to two provinces and two cities. She asks if their rush ordered goods are ready to be picked up. DANECO (together with all the electric cooperatives in Mindanao thru Kupler Industries) has been his regular client for years.
The father have already packed them up the day before. It took him and his buddies seven days to fabricate the goods. His shop is neat and tidy. The tools are in their proper places.
The twenty five-year old son, Junjun, is still sleeping. The father does not want to wake him up. He knows his son is working overtime for his programs. The father’s dreams for him are now a reality. The son finished his studies and is now working for a foreign company. Home-based – through the internet. In fact, he now operates and maintain a website he himself created.
Did the father effectively instill to his son’s mind the rewards of hard work? Of perseverance? Of self-reliance? Of trustworthiness? Did he show it not only in words but also in deeds? Did he displayed a strong character to his son?
Maybe yes. Junjun followed what the father wants him to. He never had any tattoos– no body piercing in any manner. He does not smoke. He sticks to only one girl for almost five years. He works diligently.
A good son? Sure!
A good father? Maybe.
ARE THERE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TWO SETTINGS?
Obvious. Both have fathers. Both have sons. The fathers wake up earlier than the sons. They both taught their sons moral values not just by words but by deeds as well. They showed to their sons strength in character.
Why are they similar? It is but natural, an age-old fact. What a father teaches to his son will also be taught by the same son to his own. The son in the early 60’s and the father at present time is one and the same– and that is me. I have been raised by my father with moral values, so I have to, too, to my son.
My only regret is that my father’s dreams for me did not all come true. While my son finished his studies, I have not!
Still, I am a happy and fulfilled father to my son!