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My 100th Hub: A Tribute to My Father

Updated on May 25, 2012

My 100th Hub I Dedicate to My Beloved Tatay

I have always wanted to write something about my late father (Tatay is Tagalog / Filipino for father). My desire to write something about him started last October, on the month of his birth. But somehow, I kept on getting sidetracked. It seemed like whenever I sit down and write about him, something always stopped me.

Now I know. I wasn’t meant to write a hub for him then. But now, as I think about what I will write for my 100th hub, the idea of writing this hub for him just wouldn’t go away. I started out writing an entirely different 100th hub but the feeling wasn’t right. That was when I knew that my 100th hub is meant for him, always meant for him.

My father has been dead for almost three years now. His 3rd death anniversary is four months away but it seemed like yesterday when he was still with us. Even after almost 36 months, I still feel some pain from losing him so soon. He died when he was 68, a ripe old age, but somehow, we always thought he’d always be with us. When he died, it was the hardest thing for all of us (my siblings and I) to accept. Even now, I sometimes would say “if Tatay is only alive…”. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve accepted his death and moved on but then again, the pain has not subsided and I don’t think it ever will.

My Earliest Memories of Him

Some of my earliest memories of him are not exactly ‘memories’ but stories told to me over the years. I was the third child and daughter (we are four children in the family). After two older daughters, my parents wanted a boy and they honestly thought I was (I was very active in my mother’s womb). I was born three days before Tatay’s 37th birthday and even though I turned out to be a girl, that didn’t stop my Tatay from adoring me. He adored me so much that my older sister got jealous of me then. But it was obvious from the start that I was going to be a Daddy’s little girl (Tatay’s words, not mine).

Growing up, I identified a lot with my father. When I was still very young, I would often cry whenever somebody tells me I look my mother, and cheer whenever they tell me I look like my father. When he went for a trip to Manila, I came down with a fever and stayed in a hospital for one week (I was only a baby then). When Tatay came back, he immediately went to the hospital and stayed there. Surprisingly, after a week of continuous fever, I slept for 20 hours straight, only waking up to ask for milk, and recovered. My father never forgot about it and kept reminding me of it.

An Outgoing, Active Person

Tatay was a very outgoing person. He was a very active and brave man. He moved to a new hometown when he got tired of living in Manila and established a new life here. He spent 39 years of his life in the new city and this ‘new city’, in turn, adopted him. Being new didn’t stop him from establishing new friends and new contacts. In fact, he’s credited with establishing our local organization for accountants as well as rallying a lot of accountants in Mindanao to form a more cohesive organization. To this day, whenever I go to places here in Mindanao, there is always an accountant who remembers my father. Even in Manila, he’s a well-known figure in our organization. In his death,a lot of people mourned for him. In fact, to accommodate all of them, we held a 10 - day wake (much more than our average of 3 to 7 days), 5 here in Mindanao and 5 in his actual hometown and birthplace. And every night, the place where we held those wakes were filled by people who wanted to see him for the last time.

He was also an athlete. He used to play tennis and bowling. When he couldn’t play these sports anymore, he went to billiards. He is a very good card player, we never could beat him when it comes to cards. In fact, when we went to Manila, he would sometimes go to a casino and play black jack and poker. I don’t know if he ever lost, all I know was he always win and would come back with a wad of paper bills to show his winnings.

One of the things I always remember about him is his love for singing. He loves to sing songs, not the new ones, but the ones he grew up with. He can belt out Mario Lanza’s or Matt Monro’s songs (as his voice is like theirs, I’m not kidding). He’s not shy about his singing. In fact, he would gladly belt out a song whenever his friends asked him to sing one.

A Kind Person

Tatay is also known for being a kind, generous person. Whenever we needed money, we can always ask for some from him. His employees can go to him and ask for a loan and he would just wait for them to pay him back (interest-free at that). When we have all graduated from college, he took two scholars from a poor family and paid for their education. He gave to charities and foundations (I still receive some letters from them until now). He gave generously of himself, his time and his money (not that we had a lot of this) whenever he thinks any or all of these are needed.

An Intelligent Man

Academically, my father was not really an achiever. But he’s intelligent, no doubt about it. His favorite subject is Math (which would explain why he went to accounting). He can calculate Math equations by using only his mind. He knew about current events and he was very vocal about his opinions on politics, local or otherwise. He could talk with anybody and hold his place in a conversation. He was a very good accountant, and I’m not saying this because I’m his daughter.

He was also a very good, intelligent father. Sure, he would spank us but he often believed that talking to us was still the best. His words often made (and still do) sense. The way he explained them got all of us listening and following him. He never played favorites when it came down to discipline and to correcting us.

Diagnosed with Diabetes

My father was in his late 30’s when he was diagnosed with diabetes (it runs in our family). With his children still young then, being diagnosed with something that can potentially kill him might have frightened him. But Tatay was determined to live to see all of us finish our education. He disciplined himself, stopped drinking (he was never much of a drinker but he really cut down on his drinks), controlled his diet, went on a good exercise program and, generally, maintained good health. He religiously had his blood sugar taken and monitored. His diligence earned him three decades of life after his diagnosis.

How He Died

Up until now, I can’t believe how quickly my father was taken from us. In September 2006, he was diagnosed with a lump in his liver. We (including the doctors) all thought it was cancerous but my father never engaged in chemotherapy or surgery or anything like that. Instead, he turned to natural medicines, in the hopes of controlling his blood sugar and blood pressure, enough to have that surgery. May 2007, he was getting ready for that surgery and he went to Manila to be with us (just in case something happened to him later on). He stayed with us for two weeks and all that time, we never noticed anything strange with him. He lost a lot of weight and his skin was already very soft but he still maintained his optimism.

Little did we know that those were our last two weeks with him. When he went back to our hometown, he took in those natural medicines (a vegetable-based diet with vegetable – based drinks). His blood sugar went dangerously low. On his last night, he vomited. The next day, he was found dead in the bathroom by his scholars. It turned out that he suffered from a heart attack. He died one week after we last saw him and he died without any of us near him.

The Anger and Pain

The days following Tatay’s death were filled with hurt, pain and anger, and even, guilt. Hurt because we lost our precious father. Pain because it seemed to be too soon. Anger because nobody among his people and scholars thought to call us, call his friends and even our neighbors to tell them that my father was suffering, that nobody even thought of bringing him to the hospital. Anger because he stayed inside the bathroom for 10 hours (he died around midnight and was found 10 am the next day) and when they got to him, he was already very stiff. Anger because he didn’t deserve the way he died. Guilt because we didn’t check on him too often and guilt because not one of us came back to take care of him. In the end, all we got was a from our neighbor’s son that Tatay was already dead. Even now, I don’t want to think what he must have felt and thought of during his last hours here on earth because when I do, I would be filled with these same feelings over and over again. He helped a lot of people and in he end; nobody was really there to help him.

My Dedication

My father’s death, by its suddenness, caused us to lose the man we all hold dear. Even now, we still feel the pain of losing him. As I write this hub, tears are still flowing down my face. We still miss him, very much. Wherever he is, I know he’s still looking down at us, watching over us. His memories will always live with us. To my Tatay, I love you and always will. We will always remember you. Love, Emie.

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    • cwarden profile image

      cwarden 7 years ago from USA

      What a wonderful tribute to your father. I also lost my father not too long ago and I can relate to so many of the feelings you shared, I appreciate you for writing this. I'm sure your father is unbelievably proud of you.

    • emievil profile image
      Author

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks stuff4you.

    • stuff4you profile image

      stuff4you 7 years ago

      I have yet to lose someone really close such as a parent. Good tribute to your father!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      What a moving hub! this is a great tribute to a wonderful man!

    • emievil profile image
      Author

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hiya Cris. It was hard and I had to stop a few times to wipe my tears off. Fortunately, my husband didn't see me or he'll rant again (he was mad that my father died that way). And yes, I had to do it. Thanks for visiting my hub :).

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thanks for sharing your father's story, my friend. I know it must have been hard recalling everything and writing them down. But it had to be done, right?

    • emievil profile image
      Author

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      I'm sorry to hear about your loss MG. I can understand the feeling. It took me almost three years to put this down into writing. I hope you and your family are doing okay. Thanks for your comment.

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for sharing your love for your dad with us. I'm so sorry that you had to lose him at such an early age. How very appropriate to make you 100th hub in his honor.

      I lost my dad this past April and at this time I'm not ready to explore those feelings and place them on paper. Couldn't agree more that the loss of a loved one always seems like it happened yesterday. Thanks for sharing!

    • emievil profile image
      Author

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hey Art. I hope what you said is true. I think that was the only comfort for me, that he did not suffer. Thank you for confirming that, it eases the pain a bit. Thanks also for the hugz :).

    • emievil profile image
      Author

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Brenda, thanks for your comment and for your words of encouragement. You're welcome and thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      Lovely tribute to your Dad my friend, if it's any comfort the day I had my heart attack I also vomitted and the actual feeling of the heart attack was as if you were not actually there and if I had slipped away it would have been a painless way to go. God I hope that doesn't sound awful but trust me he wouldn't have suffered, I loved reading this, you are a great daughter and I bet he is still looking down on you, very proud indeed. Take a hug !

    • profile image

      poetlorraine 7 years ago

      a lovely tribute to your father, so sad he had an untimely death, and it does take some getting over. It was such a nice read thankyou

    • emievil profile image
      Author

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      @Ms. Lita, thank you very much for sharing your experience and your kind words.

      @reinalisa, thanks for becoming my follower. I'll go now to read your hub :).

      @franciaonline, thank you for your comment and for a very nice suggestion.

    • franciaonline profile image

      franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines

      What a hub Emievil!My eyes are still wet from reading your reflective hub. Thanks for sharing your feelings about your father.I will pray that God give you the grace to transform your pain into a memorial about your father. This hub is one. Another could be a community program - a volunteering type of a program, A tutorial in Math for poor students, for example - to honor his memory. That way, the goodness of your father lives on through you, with all the pain deep down reduced into a fertile ground for innovation or work of love. I am sure your father, wherever he is now, is just so thrilled with this hub about him.

    • reinalisa1 profile image

      reinalisa1 7 years ago

      This was very sweet to do this on your Dad! I always adore people who absolutely love and respect their parents, so I guess I adore you! Very Well Done. I too did a hub on my father called "This Wrench" basically describing how many things it turned other than just nuts and bolts. Please read it sometime if you have a chance . . . and also, I read some of your other hubs. They are really good. I hope you don't mind if I just became a fan/follower. Can't wait for your new ones! Take Care. Reinalisa1

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines

      I lost my Tatay at 86, cardiac arrest, looking at me, no words uttered, as we rushed him to the nearest hospital. He was dying in my arms as I prayed aloud the Holy Rosary on the way.

      The hurt never leaves me. I know how you feel for your Tatay. But our dead loved ones would be happy if we move on. We can always remember them occasionally. We have the so-called communion of saints, and they are there when we call them.

    • emievil profile image
      Author

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hey RedElf, thanks for the advice and the hugs. What would I do without you and all the hubbers here? :)

      Maita, hope you get to see your parents soon (I'm assuming they're here in the Phils.?). Thanks for the comment.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      He is a great dad and that is all you have to remember emie, Your tatay loved you, miss my parents too now,

      A great tribute to a man who deserved it, Maita

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Emie, this is a wonderful tribute! congratulations on your 100th hub, and what a marvelous topic. Many years ago, my mother died of cancer at age 67 - much too early. I believe when a parent leaves us the pain never really goes away, but it does get a bit easier over the years.. Hugs! ;)

    • emievil profile image
      Author

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      @Shalini, thank you for the wonderful comment.

      @Feline, thanks. Hope to write more. Always love to see you and your Garfield avatar :).

      @isabelle, I hope he is proud wherever he is right now. Thanks.

      @dohn, thanks my friend. If I'm going to write about my top 100 favorite hubbers here, you'll be the first :).

      @hello, I hope we will move on. Sometimes it's really hard but we're learning. Thanks.

      @ripplemaker, daghang salamat :). Appreciate your hugs and for holding my hand :).

      @UH, my father passed away May 2007, we didn't even know the exact date as he passed away in the middle of the night. I admire his restraint and his discipline which enabled him to live for 30 years after his diagnosis. I know you feel the same way. Thanks for reading my hub and for your comment.

      @Storytellersrus, he was a wonderful man and a very good father. I think he didn't want to call us anymore and chose to die on his own rather than to for us to see him suffer. Thanks for reading my hub and for commenting.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I am sorry for your loss. Your father sounds like a wonderful support for you and your family and I am certain your loss is great. Surely he knew his time was coming and chose to spend two glorious weeks with you so that this is how you would remember him. He loved you too much to share his final sad moment perhaps and most certainly asks in this your forgiveness, hoping in time you will give him this greatest of all gifts.

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago

      Emie, I believe you chose the perfect topic to write your 100th hub. I can relate to that in a big way as my father was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 37/38 years old. He passed away in 2007. November 15th of 2007 to be exact.

      Wonderful tribute Emie.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hugs sent to you emie. This is a beautiful tribute to your Tatay. I'm at a loss for words so I'm just gonna sit here with you and hold your hand. Blessings...

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      It is the hrdest thing in life to loose a loved one and no matter aware we are of death we can't and never will accept it. The loss and hurt will never go away but you will learn to live with it in time. I am sure your father would want you to move on, like he did when he lost his parents. All the very best and thank you for sharing your grief.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      You did a wonderful thing by paying tribute to your late father, Emie. I know it's been three years hence, but I want to send my condolences to you for the passing of your Tatay. I know that he meant a lot to you. I also know that you are the torch bearer of his business and that you are his living legacy. I don't know what I'd do if I lost my father. Reading this makes me miss him and for that, I thank you.

      Congrats on your 100th hub, Emie. I know that you poured your heart out to write this one and that it catalogs the type of person you are: Loving, caring, a diligent worker, and good friend.

      From one to another,

      Dohn

    • Isabelle22 profile image

      Isabelle22 7 years ago from Somewhere on the coastline

      That was a beautiful tribute that any father would be so proud of.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 7 years ago

      Fathers are such special people! Congratulations on your 100th hub...you've written a lot in only seven months! :)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Congrats on your 100th hub, Emie. What a wonderful tribute to your father!

    • emievil profile image
      Author

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      @Papa Sez, thank you for your comment. I am sure you're a great father and your children will surely always remember you.

      @MM, they should have gotten together :). Few people nowadays know about Matt Monro. Thanks for reading my hub and for your comment.

      @Lady_E, it was really hard to write this. Took me over two hours as I have to stop and wipe my tears. But I'm happy I was able to write this hub. Thanks for your comment.

      @creativeone, I guess we're never really ready to lose our loved ones. Even at 68, we know he still had plans until like he's in his late 70s or even 80s. Thank you very much for your kind words and for reading my hub.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for a great loving hub, I can realte to losing your fahter, my dad died in 1984 at the age of 59, I thought it was to young for him, it was nine days before his 60th birthday. He also had a heart attack. Your hub did your father honor, I applaud his memory. Thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativoen59

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Well done on your 100th Hub. Very touching and I'm sure He is smiling at it and very proud of his loving daughter.

      Must have been hard to write because most of the time, we daughters always have a very special bond with our Dads.

      Best Wishes.

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 7 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Congratulations on your 100th hub, I am sure your father is very proud of you....My father also loved Matt Munro's songs.....

    • Papa Sez profile image

      Papa Sez 7 years ago from The Philippines to Canada

      Very apt choice for your 100th hub Emie...and a very moving tribute indeed. I feel your sorrow. Your father is a great man and you are a good evidence of his great life on earth. Being a father myself, I hope my children would also remember me kindly and fondly.