retro in august

august is one of the months  where significant events that are connected to me  are remembered.

to start with, i will be celebrating my second year anniversary as a runner on monday, august 21. coincidentally, the filipino nation will be commemorating the  29th death anniversary of ninoy aquino, who is actually my favorite filipino hero. it’s obviously a private and quiet celebration on my so-called running career anniversary, but not for the aquino family.
my true hero
my true hero
with my sons on our first visit: august 21, 2009
with my sons on our first visit: august 21, 2009
with knight, my youngest son, on our second: august 28, 2010
with knight, my youngest son, on our second: august 28, 2010
with my family on our third visit: november 24, 2011
with my family on our third visit: november 24, 2011
whether they like it or not, they have to ready themselves again for  the nth flashback on the day ninoy was assassinated. it will put them in a  déjà vu that will unearth pains, doubts, anger and  questions that have left unanswered for the past 29 years.
why do I have to focus on ninoy when i should be on the spotlight? it’s simple.
when i first decided to formally join an organized run  in year 2010, i picked a run in our village that was scheduled on this historical date. it was not a run for ninoy, but for me, it was a personal run for this great man who did not think twice in sacrificing his life for the filipinos.  “the filipinos are worth dying for” — this immortal line continues to inspire not only me but those people who believe that the torch of democracy must be kept lighted and must be passed on.
august 28 is set in remembering and honoring another great man in my life… my father. this is his birthday. will there be a celebration? none. 
it has been 12 years now, but i could clearly recall the last day i had with my father before his demise a week after. i was bidding him goodbye after a five-day summer break in bicol. it was an emotionally-charged moment between my father and me. our first… i embraced him tightly and again for the very first time, uttered the words “padabaun taka, papa.” (i love you very much, papa).  two firsts… why? in our family we were not oriented on being vocal as regards affection towards our parents and among us siblings. we had never exchanged “i love you’s” neither endearments. to us, it seemed out-of-character. we would rather share funny stories with each other and laugh to our heart’s content or debate on topics that would test our logic and self-control. likewise, we had never hugged nor kissed each other on the cheeks on occasions that called for this action. of course, it’s a  different story for our parents. it’s a must to do this as a show  of respect. for me, communicating, verbally and nonverbally was not maximized in our family. yet, I could say that we shared the kind of bonding that has helped me grow normally. the patriarchal rule gave us the discipline, industry, perseverance, and independence at an early age. these were my father’s intangible great legacies to us six.
my writing about my father tonight gave me the opportunity again to be thankful for him. he will always be my original popeye — my hero. now, as i am about to end this article, i also realized that majority of my personality came from my father.

if i were his son, i guess i would be following in his footsteps. i wonder though if i would make him proud. 

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