Kids should show love for dads while they’re still around

    “Happy Father’s Day!” greetings are still on our lips after celebrating it on Sunday, June 18.

    It was a day for showing the affection we have for our dads. For a son, dad was his first hero; for a daughter, dad was her first love!

    The power of a father in a child’s life is unmatched.

    That’s why we should shower our dads—our parents— love every minute that they’re still with us.

    Many things assumed wonderful meanings and significance because they were made possible by dad, like having a good education despite seemingly insurmountable odds.

    “Education is the most precious legacy that my better half Bheng and I could leave our children once we go to the Great Beyond,” said Jonathan “Jojo” G. Sagun of Magdalena in Claveria, Cagayan Valley.

    His daughter Charisse has just passed the Nursing board examination. Another daughter, Reeza, is taking up Nursing at the Northern Christian College in Laoag City while son Jonjon is still in elementary.

   No matter how big or powerful a person becomes he will always look up to his father.

   When my half sister Irene H. Camua and I went on a brief visit to Bobon, our village in Burgos town in Ilocos Norte, I met someone who simply introduced himself as Jun. He was about to leave for an overseas job in a Gulf (Gulf Cooperation Council) country.

    We were in a canteen in town having coffee and cookies.

    Jun was in town to secure a copy of his birth certificate, a requirement for his job application.

     For reasons I could not explain, we hit it off right away probably because of some similarities in the way we looked.

    As I write this, the book “Father’s Doppelgänger” crossed my mind. It is a biography of the late educator David Espiritu Ordoñez written by his son, retired professor and eminent scholar-author Dr. Elmer Alindogan Ordoñez.

    “I’m here for my birth certificate and for my father. I want to ask for his blessings as I leave for an uncertain future in a foreign land,” Jun said with a smile, his voice trailing off into a whisper.

    He said he had just gone to Pannzian, famous for its beach tucked away in Pagudpud, so-called “Boracay of the North”.

    He said the place was impressive, living up to the hype. The natural beauty of Pannzian, endowed by God and taken care of by man, warmly welcomed visitors from different places who wanted to experience something new and escape the humdrum of city life.

    “The beauty of Pannzian, including its serene surroundings seldom disturbed by the sharp shrill sounds of flying birds and passing cars, greeted me,” he said with a smile as he gazed blankly into the distance.

    He added, “I drank in the beauty of the surroundings, the lush vegetation and ancient brooding green trees that seemed to keep secrets waiting to be discovered.”

    Jun said he could not believe what he had heard that three days before he was born, there was a loud explosion at sea off Pannzian, whipping up raging waves that rose as high as multi-story buildings.

    “When the sea calmed down after a while, fishermen searched where the explosion took place to find out what triggered the shocking incident,” he said.

    What they saw, Jun said, was just a human leg. I felt shocked but I said nothing and kept on listening.

     He said his father was a fisherman and a good diver. He was one of two who tried to pry open the door of the ship that sank during the last world war.

    Local folks said it was carrying a large quantity of dynamite, which could be used for fishing. I wondered if dynamite fishing was not yet prohibited back then.

    “Unfortunately, the ship blew up as they tried to open the door with a dynamite,” Jun said with a wry smile.

    Jun said his father loved to go fishing and whatever he caught would be donated to whoever needed it for certain occasions like feast, wedding, graduation and birthday celebrations.

    In the mind’s eye, I could see that the late fisherman could have planned to catch fish using the dynamite from the ship to celebrate the birth of Jun, his first child.

    “Those who still have their dads are lucky. I hope they shower them with unadulterated love to pay them back for their untold sacrifices,” Jun said as he stood up, shook my hand and said goodbye.

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