I am used to greeting my own father a Happy Father’s day when June comes… Now, I have my own hubby to greet too. Except that, I greeted them one week earlier! I forgot that it is supposed to be held on the third Sunday of June.
As a tribute to my own father, I’ll write a little about one lesson I learned from him…
My Father has always been a staunch believer of education. From the time I was in First Grade, he would round me and my siblings and tell us repeatedly that there is something in this world that no one and nothing could steal away- education. As a little girl, my mother and father would help me in whatever way to finish my homework until I could study on my own without their help. As I grow up and as soon as my young mind could understand, they would tell me their stories. In his familiar voice, my father would begin by telling us that “I and my younger brother has only P20.00 for a weekly allowance when we were in High School.” I would then ask him, ” What is P20.00 like during your High School days Papa?” He would gently look at me and answer, “It was enough for only one student, and since there are two of us sharing the small amount, we would scavenge for dried fish at the end of the week.” He would then continue, “You and your siblings are lucky. You don’t have to worry what to eat or when your next allowance comes.” He would then end up telling us to study hard while he can afford to send us to school.
I would understand why he repeatedly would tell us this story… He grew up in a small barrio (town in the countryside) with parents who cannot read or write. However, my grandparents decided that their own children should not suffer the same fate they had. They had a small subsistence farm and some cows. My grandmother had a small store and also sews for a living. With this little possession, they sent my father to a University. It was a difficult time even if my father has a scholarship. He needs a little amount for his board and lodging since his work in the University cafeteria is not enough to cover for his living expenses. Their cows were sold to help augment my father’s little earnings. After four difficult years, he earned his degree and met my mother. My mother had a similar background and together, they decided that their children should finish school.
As I look back at my childhood, I have gratitude and admiration for my parents. Our house wasn’t adorned with the latest living room showcase nor did we have the biggest and latest model television. Instead, what we have are shelves and shelves of books. They did not care too to dress me up and my siblings with expensive clothes but they cared to send us to piano schools, good schools ( as their money can afford) and expose us to the good things in life that money cannot buy.
My father, from a little boy who grew up in the seaside tending cows at daybreak has come a long way. I believe, that is what education does. It opens doors, leads us to avenues we never imagined are worth exploring. My father is not rich materially. But to me, he has endowed us with riches that money cannot buy- education.
Happy Father’s Day Pa!