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Written by Reena Francisco
My Dad the organizer
Yes he was not a military man but all the boys (I have four brothers) would be made to do chores in the garage or fix the garden during summers and weekends. There was no time to be idle. They would fix stuff or do stuff endlessly, and to this day, every brother of mine is a neat freak, and an organizer.
Today,we just smile as all of us take turns clearing soiled plates off the dinner table because Dad used to make us do it.
He was the original Mac Gyver who would fix things, have a tool set for repairs and thus influenced my brother Robert to be just as gifted and able to fix anything under the sun.
He was a sports buff. Golf, Tennis, Fishing and Hunting were among his favorite hobbies which my brother Raul picked up early on.
My dad was a Lolo Techie. He did his banking and bill payments online, he made his own playlists, he monitored and did some trading on line, he was purchasing things on-line way before on-line shopping became a trend. He would spend hours on the computer, he researched a lot and with his research came his experiments. He loved learning new things. Maybe this is where my brother, Raffy, got his curiosity for things, experimenting with new hobbies and his passion for continuous learning.
He loved plants and orchids. He would ask me to bring home orchids of different kinds from my travels. He would collect Cattleyas, Dancing ladies, Vandas and many more but his favorite was the award-winning Waling Walings from Davao. His house would be the orchid clinic for any orchid plant we would receive as a gifts. He made me appreciate that though it was very tedious to care for the orchids, it brought great joy to him to see them in bloom. His house is now full of trees, vines and flowers which I enjoy to this day. I would miss him most when I see the beautiful orchids in full bloom. My eldest brother Randy must have gotten his love plants from my Dad.
He was a wide reader and music lover. My brothers picked that up, too, as Randy would be a voracious reader and be the family’s intellectual who then of course, became a doctor, and who would be his doctor till he breathed his last.
What about me, the only girl among five kids? I was Daddy’s girl. But that did not come free. It had a price. We had to earn our stripes before he rewarded anybody. As we grew older, I spent more time with Dad especially during the last 8 years as he had to get treatment and when he needed a lot of care. That’s when I really got to know him.
I am thankful I got to spend his last few years with him. We would talk the whole day on Sundays, I used to call it Sundays with Chino ( like Tuesday’s with Morrie) and he would teach me more about life. I would consult him about business because he was a very studious banker who knew the stock market, managing money, and of course, managing life—even how to treat employees, staff and just about any business concern.
He loved dogs and that’s what he also shared with all of us. Now, everyone has a dog or dogs and Dad even left me with three dogs to care for but they give me so much joy every time I visit them and I know he’s looking down with a smile.
Dad was not a religious person but he was very spiritual in his own way. He has a prayer room in his house where he would spend every night from 6-7pm in quiet moments of reflection. He showed me that prayer was his refuge and comfort. He found strength in this quiet moments.
Now that he’s gone, I miss my Sundays, weekends and holidays with him. But I am glad we got to catch up when I was older. When I appreciated his wisdom more than seeing him as a military-like strict disciplinarian. He had a lot of wisdom brought about by his age and experience. I am sure there would have been more that he could have shared and more I could have learned from him if he were still around.
Enjoy your parents as they will not be around forever. I enjoyed my time with Dad and hope that my brothers Randy, Raul and Robert would have the same or similar experience with their children.
He knew about ECHOstore and would always be proud to say his friends were our customers. I would bring him Virgin Coconut Oil, Coffee, and Turmeric as he liked natural healing and believed in homeopathy, too.
This Father’s Day, I remember him with fondness and wished he had stayed on a little longer.