I ALWAYS remember the days of old,
when I was a bit younger in the company of familiar faces, places and voices.
AS I REMEMBER the days of my youth,
I can't help but be nostalgic about it all.
THERE WAS TATAY and his compassionate look.
He was always our [my siblings and I] friend.
Whenever we found ourselves in trouble with Nanay's strict discipline,
he would always be there after Nanay gave us that scolding.
Oh, no...he wouldn't meddle in the middle of that rigorous spanking.
I guess he has learned his lesson: never, ever, butt in when Nanay s doing her "sermon",
which, btw, is numerous.
TATAY OFTEN treated us with "pasalubongs" of all sorts:from fruits to Pancit,
to Fried Chicken to Castanas.
He always had something for everyone whenver he comes home after those trips.
He was always on a trip.
He would only be home for some months then move again.
I guess that was part of his job.He used to hold a high position in some Japanese company,
a position he held for quite sometime.
He played a duistinguished role in some transactions that involved big corporations,
both in Inang Bayan and the Land which nurtured him in his youth.
HE WAS, what we call in Lingusitic terms, a POLYGLOT.
Athough he can not be considered a LINGUIST officially,
he can carry himself perfectly well in FOOKIEN, MANDARIN,
TAGALOG, VISAYAN, ILOCANO, ENGLISH, and of course, NIPPONGO.
PEOPLE IN THE PROVINCE remembers him as one to whom they could go to whenever they needed medicine for their sick relatives.
He can be called upon anytime of the day or night whenever the need arose.
They even called on him whenever they needed cash.
SIYA yung "utangan ng bayan," kasama na kami dun.
Whenever we were cash-strapped, we always knew, we'd find relief in Tatay's bulging purse.
TATAY was one person who never start any fight.
But when dared to his limits, he is one who wouldn't back off in any encounter.
I remember Mang Juan, the Ilocano store owner who rented his stall just in front of our house.
He was always dumping trash beside our gate.
One time, my Nanay went out and asked him why he always do that.
Mang Juan replied as if he was the aggrieved party.
He even declared he won't answer my Nanay, because he only pick fight with his equal: a man.
So he dared my Tatay to come out and finish it off with him=MAN-TO-MAN.
TATAY DID NOT WANT to dignify such petty calls for mundane problems.
He believed that Mang Juan must listen to reason: Nanay is complaining because of the trash he [Mang Juan] dumped on somebody else's area ACROSS THE STREET from his place!
AFTER SEVERAL DAYS, the exchange of words continued between my Nanay [who never allowed wrongdoings to prosper] and Mang Juan who continued to dump his sweepings on our side.
Tatay, out of disgust, came out [finally!] and asked him why he keeps on doing the things he does."Aren't you ashamed", he said, "picking some fights with women?"
Mang Juan remained defiant. He was restrained by his daughter-nurse who knew that her father was wrong.
Tatay has reached his limits and he said in a loud, booming voice:
"SIGE, LABAS, AKO LABAN!"
ONE HIT AND Mang Juan was knocked to the ground.
"KO!" Knock-Out!"TAPOS ANG BOKSING!",
boomed Nanay amidst the cheers of neighbors and, of course, us.
All were taken aback. We never realized Tatay can be that physical!
WE, too, never realized that our soft-spoken Tatay can do that!
TATAY USED to be a MILITARY MAN.
He never bragged about his background and training
to anyone except us, his immediate family.
Outside of that, no one knew who he was, where he came from, or what kind of education he had. He was literally unknown,except for what they always call him:"Mr. D." ...That was that.
TATAY assimilated as much as he can during his lifetime.
He spoke Tagalog and was able to get by in the community he lived,
whether it was in the hinterland of Masbate
or in the tight-placed Sta. Mesa, where we lived most of our youth
until we transferred to the South of Manila in the early 90's.
TATAY always had the opportunity to go back 'home'
especially during the time his ulcer got worse.
He had the chance to have surgery in the Land of his Youth,
but he opted to stay put and die in his adpoted country.
He never wanted anyone to touch his body [by opening it up in a surgery], and he opted to stay as he is.
He died in his sleep one Tuesday morning in December.
He died peacefully.
MOST OF US WONDERED....then.
Could he have called someone to ask for help?
You see, he has lost his voice and could only whisper.
He was staying in my younger brother's room at the time of his death.
It was a room away from Nanay's.
He has lost his voice as a result of his excessive smoking which started in his teens.
He stopped immediately when his vocal chord started to become worse
and chose to chew gums,instead.
BUT THEN, we thought, MAYBE IT WAS HIS TIME.
ALTHOUGH WE MISS TATAY,
WE KNOW IN OUR HEARTS THAT HE IS NOW WITHOUT PAIN.
LET YOUR PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON HIM, O LORD...
ETERNAL PEACE REST UPON HIS SOUL.
Monday, September 26, 2005
投稿者 Cory 時刻: Monday, September 26, 2005