Skip to main content

My Father's Gift of Memories

My father would have been 85 years old last April. He could have been very old, perhaps his back almost hunched, maybe still tinkering around. But I am sure where ever he is, he's happy, settled and enjoying the company of the rest of our relatives who's passed on to the next life.

But on Father's Day, 2008, I remember the man who gave me half of my life. On the occasion of honoring all fathers this year I would have dreamed of giving him a complete darkroom facility. A place where would continue to dabble in black and white photography. Yes my father was some sort of an 'expert' in black and white photo development.

This in fact was a favorite subject and though unschooled in this area, managed to wow me. In fact he took so many pictures of us his kids, developed and printed them. I still have some of those pictures and somehow, soon will be able to put it in this blog.

Taking our photos meant that he would need to develop the pictures. The dark room of the Philippine Constabulary Signal Corp Service was his constant laboratory and playroom. At home, he'd always have a small corner where reserved to keep all his enlargers and photo equipment which I think were all German made. They could be priceless by now. I don't know what happened to these equipment.

He left us sometime when I had just gotten out of the university. He moved from place to place, finally ending up in our ancestral home in Nueva Ecija. He stayed there for so many years but finally came back home to us six months before he died after his second cataract operation.

Ahh, I get carried away when I speak about my father. I have so many fond memories of him, despite being a very strict, old school disciplinarian. He was tough. We can't be noisy when he is sleeping. We can/t touch his enormous number of tools; DIY, radio-phonograph and even garden tools.

My father demanded respect for elders. And also understandably, he was kind of obsessive-compulsive personality. Complete order and cleanliness in the house is not a requisite - it is the rule . We we were far far rich but we had most of what we needed.

My father bought me my first bike when I was 3 years old. He wanted to buy me a piano when I was 7 but my mother asked him where he'd get the money; how he always talked about the beauty of eating vegetables and planting your own even on a tiny piece of lot which we managed to successfully do whenever our place had a backyard.

There so much more of those fond remembrances that I'd love to talk about, but for now, Papa where ever you may be Happy Father's Day. I love you.

Popular posts from this blog

The Ibanag Family in Retrospect

The Ibanags just like most Filipino groupings are matriarchal. When my mother was younger she wielded a power over me that forced my tongue in check whenever she gave me a scolding or admonition for a real or imagined “wrongdoing”.

No one ever talks back. Let alone me. I can not recall if there ever was an instance when I mastered enough courage to explain anything even when there was a chance to do so. But it sure did happen one day when I was already 26 years old and had 2 children. Swell. :-)

The elderly are treated with respect in the Ibanag culture. Deference is essential if not required and is lavishly displayed and shown. Proper language and the right tone of voice characterize conversations with the elders. It is not uncommon to take the elder’s hand, bring it to the forehead or kiss the hand to show courtesy and respect.

Women are venerated in the Ibanag family. Most of the time they have the last say in decisions involving family affairs. Although Filipinas are kn…

Ibanag and Filipino Childbirth Rituals

"For parents, birth rituals and ceremonies provide an immediate sense of connection as well as inclusion of the child into the clan, tribe or community. These rituals establish at a very early stage, who they are. The rituals also serve as guideposts as they grow and develop their own sense of identity. Even if they drift away from or reject their heritage, their early experiences give them a place to return to if they so choose".

The Ibanag culture is filled with childbearing rituals and practices which have been handed down from one generation to another. Here are some of them.

1. It is said that if a pregnant woman has a lot of blemishes or pimples on her face, her baby will be a girl.
2. If the mother glows and radiates beauty, the baby will be a boy.
3. If the mother craves for sweets and other carbohydrates, the baby will be a girl.
4. If the mother is craving for oily or fried foods, the baby will be a boy.
5. The mother should not eat 'balut' (a native duck egg d…

Learn the Ibanag dialect?

As I mentioned in one of my prior posts somewhere in one of my blogs, the Ibanag dialect is somewhat difficult to learn because when you speak it you can sound like a chirping bird :-)

I learned the dialect by just hearing it from my Mother who use it everytime her relatives come to our home to visit. And this was not that often. You see, her relatives from Isabela, that's where she was born, come to spend their vacation with us every summer, yes the whole summer months. And yes, EVERY summer of EVERY year. Well, they don't come empty handed. They bring sacks of rice, ample stocks of meat enough to feed all of us for 1 month. They bring live animals too, like chicken, piglets, not to mention baskets of fruits and vegetables, even our neighbors get their share.

Wherever Ibanags are, you know they are around because they are so loud and so noisy. They have this habit of speaking all at the same time :-)Sigh. Now if that is not enough reason for anyone to learn the dialect, I …