Loving Memories of My Father
October 8, 2020
The act of love that I wrote – it was a picture I sent of my dad which you can share, of course – is on that he was such a wonderful, wonderful father in terms of his love, which he did not display. He was a very strict man, but his work ethic and his care for his 13 children, of which I’m number 5, was really the greatest act of love that I have ever experienced.
He was Filipino, and we lived in Annapolis, Maryland. That was his last port of call in the U.S. Navy. But my dad represented to me, all the accomplishments I’ve had in my life, including retirement.
He really didn’t smile or let us kiss him because their custom was for us to kiss the hand of the older person, not touch or kiss their face. So he really was very, very strict but he always managed to let me help him, like with painting or carpentry, and I would hold his ladder. And he was so hard-working. He would leave at 5:30 in the morning and come home 5:30 at night and have to walk 2 miles each way to the bus. So that’s how he demonstrated his love, by taking care of all of us. And also by being so hard-working, and his work ethic, yes.
I feel that I share those qualities with my dad. It was very important for me to follow his guidance, so I have all of my work life. He’s in heaven now, but I used to like to talk to him about different things from “The Washington Post.” That’s how he learned English, by reading “The Washington Post.” And I also liked to talk to him about his background in the Philippines, and what he did with the tourists that came to the Philippines in those years, jumping off of the side of like a hill into deep waters to get coral, and a quarter for each time he got a piece of coral for people.
But a lot of things that he told me stuck in my heart because he was a great family member, even though his family lived in another country. His parents were killed during World War II by the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. So he was not a happy person but he demonstrated the love. He demonstrated it by his efforts, not so much by being loving, you know, or touching. He didn’t do that.