Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Remembering Dad

Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” is both a book and a movie (This can be viewed at YouTube) which celebrates the dreams of his childhood that he has realized. “The Last Lecture” is Randy’s farewell lecture at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 before he died of cancer in 2008. He delivered this lecture specifically for his three little children – the oldest then was Dylan at five years old – so when they get older they will know who their father was and hopefully they will learn lessons from Randy's life as a son, father, teacher and computer science professor.

After reading the book and watching the movie, I reflected about my past and my own father. My Dad also died very early at only 43 years old, when I was just only nine years old. What do I remember about him? Not so much now, but there are still images of him that really stick in my memories. Let me share a list of ten memories about him..

  • He is strict and a disciplinarian. He keeps a narra wood which we were afraid he may use whenever he gets angry at us. But he never used it on us – not because we were behaved but because he loved us.

  • He loves to tease people as a sign of his fondness (“lambing”) for them. He calls his closest friends and relatives names like “Kotat”, “Bulugan”, “Kukang”.

  • He loves watching movies – only English movies, no Tagalog movies. I remember our regular trips at the movie houses in Cubao (Odeon, Remar, New Frontier) and Avenida (Dynasty, Galaxy, Cinerama, Ideal, Podmon).

  • He loves to cook and eat. I remember that he loves to grill a specific type of fish similar to the Sanma in Japan and cooks adobo of a certain type of bird which he always buy whenever we come from Pampanga. He likes roasting chestnuts during Christmas.

  • He loves San Miguel Beer. Every night he drinks one bottle of beer.

  • He loves dogs – specifically the German Shepherds. Our dogs then were named Laika and Brutus. We have cages at the back of our house built for these dogs.

  • He loves taking photos of his family and friends. We have family photo albums and in most of the pictures he is not there coz he’s the one taking them.

  • He loves going outing with relatives usually swimming at Los Banos’ hot spring pools.

  • He wants his kids to enjoy life with various activities and toys. He taught me how to play chess. He brought us to swimming lessons at San Beda College. I remember when in a toy store he asked me and my Kuya to choose the toy we want for Christmas. I chose a plastic military Jeep (similar to the Rat Patrol) and my brother got a wooden train.

  • He was proud of his children. I remember occasions where he wants his friends to see my brother and I to show-off in a gun draw.

I wonder how will I be remembered by my two kids as a father. Geof, in the recent “Father and Son Day” at Ateneo, wrote me a letter and thanked me for teaching him in his Math lessons. I hope Geof becomes good in Math. That will be my legacy to him.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Father and Son Day

February 26, 2010 was the Father and Son Day at the Ateneo Grade School (AGS) for Grade 4. It was a day that Geof has been excited about. The day started with Geof and I pitching the tent at the AGS grounds at about 4:00 PM. Then at 5:30 PM , we proceeded to the AGS Covered Courts to watch group praictice their Michael Jackson dance for the evening program. The Grade 4 kids and fathers were divided into four groups - each group performing an MJ dance. Our group - the Yellow Group had MJ's songs of "They don't really care about us" and "Smooth Criminal" as the backgorund music. The evening program started at 8:00 PM. The program was fun - the kids and parents enjoyed the games and performances - it was really funny to see the aging fathers dance. Before the program ended, the fathers and sons exchanged letters - containing personal messages of :
> Thank you Son/Dad for ...
> I am proud of you for ...
> I am sorry for ...
> I hope that ...
> I love you, Son/Dad.

I kept the letters at the files of Geof for him to read when he grows up.

It was a touching moment for both of us - Geof and I - sharing our thoughts between ourselves. After the program, we had our midnight snacks and then proceeded at the tent to rest and sleep. The next day at 7:00 AM, it was a new day for the fathers and sons to continue to share and live a fruitful life together.

The lesson in this activity is : "Enjoy one's company everyday."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sagip Batis sa QC

Ondoy comes to my mind, whenever I see the pile of garbage dumped on the creeks and rivers. We have a creek near our subdivision at Carmell II in Quezon City. I always pass the bridge whenever I bring my daughter to school and recently I noticed the mess - plastic, paper, styro - dumped on the creek. It was an awful site and a smelly creek. Although our subdivision was not flooded by Ondoy, I feel that something needs to be done.

I  sent the photo to my former DLSU student, Onyx Crisologo, son of our congressman, Bingbong Crisologo and asked him to forward this to his father for possible action. I also plan to send a letter to our baranggay captain at Bahay Toro about the condition of the creek. I know our barangay can be relied on as I reported one case about a damaged manhole, and our barangay responded immediately. About two weeks passed and still no action. On the third week, I noticed workers cleaning the creek and garbage men collecting the sacks of garbage. The workers came from Quezon City Hall under the Oplan: Sagip Batis sa QC or Project Save the Stream. Cleaning the creek was so tedious and it took them about a week to completely remove the garbage.
After the clean-up! Wow!
Congratulations to the QC Environmental Protection Waste Management Department (EPWMD) for responding immediately to the problem. Thanks Onyx. I believe you will become a good councilor in our district.
POSTSCRIPT: Two weeks had past since this post and I noticed that the garbage is starting to pile up again. Di na ba tayo matututo?
To the residents of our subdivision and nearby areas, please protect our rivers and creeks. Keep them clean. HUWAG MAGTAPON NG BASURA SA ILOG!
Let us be responsible citizens. Be pro-active.