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Monday, February 04, 2008

My First Mentor

He was married to one wife, and in his own ability tried to build a modest home for his four children. Although he had not been blessed to have a good education, any schools could provide. His talent in mathematics is quite above average, worth giving a gold medal so be it, in my highest order of accolade. Amazingly, though he had not known any mathematical formulae, he has his own way of solving the unknown x.

Who would have thought that being a mathematical genius he had dreamt of being a lawyer? His unwavering loved for politics made him served his people in his own village for twelve years, during the Philippines’ martial law era, getting not a single dime for his effort. His father passed away when he was aged six, his brothers all married and being the youngest male in the family. He had to support his mother and sisters, depriving him of proper education any child his age, could have had. His quest for learning how to read and write made him surreptitiously enrolled in their village school, after losing his battle for permission from his mother to be in school.

His mother had in mind he would neglect his duties, should he busied himself with his studies. He had to study and earned for a living, but he never let up to mark a good recognition in school for academic excellence. That had finally, paved the way for his mother’s approval to pursue his basic educational goal. The Japanese occupation to the Philippines however cut him off from his goal. Despite his being accelerated to higher grades, making him almost about to finished his elementary education, ahead of his classmates.

This man had never been my friend in my younger years. He was always like a shadow, looming behind my back. I loathed his attitude for not sparing the rod. When it comes to discipline for his children I would give him a two thumbs up.

It was not in my adolescent years I began to appreciate this man. His unrelenting encouragements and hard work made me mirrored him, made me tried to surpass his best effort. I felt good, letting him knew I did some achievements in school. I felt good, when he would show us things or items he bought from nearby towns. These made us thought there is something good beyond our small village. Accordingly, we have to study as our passport to get to those places. Little did we know he made us set our goals to aim for a better life. “Better than he had”. A constant admonishing thought from a man, we fondly called, Tatay.

Someday, I will meet and see my father again where he is now, my very first mentor in life. I hope I have something to tell him, in my own little way I had stepped forward no matter how humble my achievements in life are. This blog is dedicated to him on his 81st birthday, the 5th of February. I would like to thank him for the good memories.

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