My Father in Me

That was Former President Fidel V Ramos pinning his medal of honor

I dedicate this blog to honor the man who may never get to stay longer with us but will forever live in our hearts.

Ricardo was born in Cotabato of Ilocano parents. He was the 5th in the brood of 7. He and his other siblings lived a tough life. He could hardly go to school. They just did not have the means. He juggled jobs in between classes. But because he was persistent and determined, he managed to finish college. Not too long thereafter, he got himself in the P.C. He diligently worked his way up the ranks and eventually, he was assigned as the Assistant to the Regional Comptroller. He loved bowling and won a few tournaments. I remember he also used to play tennis. He was a man of good fashion sense too. He and Mama just looked so perfect together when they go out for social gatherings. Papa was a very loving and caring father to us. But he was also a disciplinarian and perfectionist. 

It was Papang Ric who instilled in me the importance of education. And he didn't mean just studying and finishing school. He impressed upon us that we must strive to achieve excellence in whatever we do. Though I had only spent 4  tender years with my father, I can say he had the biggest influence in my life in terms of my drive for success. That's my father - Never the mediocre, Always the go-getter. 

So picture this, when I was just 3 years old, and I can remember this clearly, my Papa would ask me with his friends around, "What will you be when you grow up?" "Law" is the short answer that he needed to hear from me to make him smile. That was me doing the baby talk then. 

Too bad, he didn't live long enough to see our dreams coming into reality.

At first, I never understood why my Mama would not let me do any household chore. She wanted me to only study at home. And that's what I did, I spent my summers answering workbooks. Before the school starts, I would have already nearly finished my Math and English booklets.

So in all my 14 years in school, I have religiously devoted most of my time in giving my best to land in the honor roll. It became a discipline out of necessity to retain my scholarships. I had it imprinted in my mind, that since we have limited resources with only my mom taking care of all our needs, I cannot afford a second chance. So I had always aimed at 1 shot in everything.

Life wasn't easy for us. We could have hardly afforded quality education were it not for the generous people who sponsored my schooling through the scholarship grants that I worked for and enjoyed in High School and College. 

And now looking back, I just feel grateful to my Papa for the inspiration. Every year, whenever I go up the stage, I, somehow, feel the twinge. I get reminded of that void in my life. I wished I had my Papa pinning my ribbon or putting on my medals, looking happy at what "we" have accomplished - all because he believed in me first. I could imagine him spoiling me with his bribe as a reward. That is my recollection of him, he always gives us the best - our needs and wants. 

Growing up without my Papa has been really tough. There was always that part in me longing for a father, a manly image. But vision of him has made me strong. It helped me get through every hurdle in life. Thank God for Mama too, who did a double job. 

Father's Day just passed by and it's always that time in a year that I wish I had my Papa to kiss during the mass while everyone else would turn to their fathers to greet them. If only I had the chance to hug and thank him, and tell him all the things I could have told him when I was 4 years old.

I know that though my Papa joined my Father in Heaven exactly 28 years ago, I never really lost him. That's because he is still fully alive in me. I will always have my father in me. 

I love you so much, Papa! I miss you everyday! Till I see you again!


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