THOUGHTS ON FATHER´S DAY
By Rudy Arizala
On 15 June 2008, we celebrate Father's Day. And my memory brings me back when I was a kid.
I fondly remember when I was about 4 years old, father used to take me with him to civic activities such as the Rizal Day parade and tried to inculcate in my young mind the significance of the event.. Father, being a BIR agent, was considered by our town authorities as representative of the national government, hence, always invited to participate in civic activities of the town. Father was from the town of Liliw, Laguna but was assigned in Infanta in 1927 as a BIR agent. Still a bachelor, he met my mother, then a young lass of 19 years old and they were married in 1929. Since then, father adopted Infanta, Quezon as his second home.
When I started going to school, he saw to it that I learn about the lives of other Filipino heroes aside from doing my homework before going to bed. I acquired the habit of reading or studying my lessons because when I was still a kid, I always see my father every evening writing or doing his reports. I loved to sit with him and imitate what he was doing. Father was one of those few subscribers in our hometown to newspapers such as The Manila Tribune. Consequently, I also formed the habit of browsing over the pages of newspapers and magazines or at least look at the pictures when I did not know yet how to read.
I also remember when father took me along with him to Manila during one school vacation. That was my first visit to the City, the capital of the Philippines popularly called at that that "Maynila". I was impressed with the well-laid out metropolis separated by a huge river called the "Pasig River." At that time city or urban zoning was observed separating the residential areas from the commercial sectors. "Downtown" is located across the Pasig River. We stayed at a hotel at Plaza Sta. Cruz near the elegant shopping street called the "Escolta." From our hotel, father, clad in his his white-cream "de hilo" suit and white buntal hat, brought me first to the Escolta where he purchased a set of cutlery for mother at "Aguinaldo" department store. I marveled at the pretty young sales ladies who all looked to me like live "mannequins". It was also my first ride on the elevator of the said building. Then we went to nearby "Heacock" store where father bought some gifts or "pasalubongs" to our folks in the province. After that shopping spree, father took me to the other side of the Pasig river and showed me the Luneta, (Now, Rizal Park), the Mehan Botanical Garden and the zoo. I saw at the zoo a big elephant called "Goyo". At Plaza Lawton (now called "Liwasang Bonifacio) father showed me the Manila Post Office building with huge, massive, round posts or pillars. Then we went to Taft Avenue where father showed me the Finance, Agriculture and the Congress Buildings as well as the Philippine General Hospital. Across the Philippine General Hospital was the University of the Philippines compound dotted with several huge buildings. Years later, one of these infrastructures - the U.P. Library building - at Padre Faura street, became the Department of Foreign Affairs. I did not know then that someday I would be working in that U.P. Library building converted into Department of Foreign Affairs edifice. Said structure is now part of the Department of Justice buildings.
As a tribute to father on Father's Day, may I share with you the prayer below.
FATHER'S DAY PRAYER
By Rudy A. Arizala
In celebration Day of Fathers
When he bade goodbye, I remember
We accompanied him to his grave
For eternal rest, utter prayers.
He was very devoted father
Prussian discipline with loving care
Love of country, honesty, hard work
By examples, he taught us children.
Now that he is gone from our world
We have no more father to behold
Hear advices more precious than gold
And steady guiding hands to hold.
Being far from our native land
His grave I could not see nor visit
Fresh flowers I could not deposit
On his tomb now overgrown with grass.
To him have nothing now to offer
Except prayers to our Maker
May in heaven he rest forever
With our beloved dear mother.
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