(The original article was published a year ago in Sampaloc Times, a newsletter of my beloved home church where I grew up.)
Value for Education
At a very young age, my father already cultivated in us the importance of a good education. I remember us kids doing multiplication exercises with him while we’re riding home from school. I also remember him tutoring me in my difficult subjects, especially when it involves math. He told us that he may not leave us much material inheritance, but if we get a decent education, this will give us enough to have a chance of changing the course of our lives.
My father did not have a master’s degree or a doctorate degree. He came from a family of farmers, and in fact he was the first one in their clan to finish college. His family did not have the means for a higher education, but my father worked his way through college. He had these stories of working odd jobs so just he can finish college.
Many years later, I learned that it was his dream to become a doctor, but because of the circumstances given him, going to medical school is out of his reach. So he took up Accounting instead and eventually became a CPA, an occupation he performed diligently and with integrity. And his dream of being a doctor? He passed it on to me. Sadly he did not live long enough to witness it into fruition.
He value education that he gave the opportunity to get a decent education, not only to his children but to others outside his family. I later learned that he helped a few other people get through college. I am not sure where these people are today, but I am sure they are grateful to him for the opportunity given them.
And for me? I owe my father the education I got and where it led me. If only he can see me now………….I hope I made him proud.
I think it is safe to say that my father is a man of faith. He preached it and he lived it. I fondly remember him sponsoring several evangelistic efforts. There was one place that even involve a 7-kilometer hike up a mountain, and another place that can only be reached by crossing a river through wading in the waist-deep water, and another in an inner city slums. And the neat part is he brought as along to these efforts. I witnessed it first hand his burning desire to share the truth he had found.
His faith did not falter even to the bleakest of situations. I remember vividly when he was lying in a hospital bed during the last few months of his life. His doctor just told him that he had a tumor in his brain, and unless he be operated on, he had no chance of living; but even with the surgery, it was no guarantee. To this he said that he was not afraid to die, for his trust is in God.
Here was a man who had fearlessly accepted his mortality and placed his utmost trust to the only One who can give us immortality. My father’s unfailing faith let him see beyond the uncertainty of this life; yes, even when facing death. A few months later, he died. But his faith lives…………in me.
As I lovingly embraced this faith that was passed on to me, I am hoping that I may I also passed it on to my children, and my children’s children.
To all the fathers in this world, Happy Father’s Day!